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Topic: MIT Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement
Replies: 17   Last Post: Oct 24, 2012 12:51 PM

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Robert Hansen

Posts: 11,345
From: Florida
Registered: 6/22/09
Re: MIT Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement
Posted: Oct 23, 2012 5:16 AM
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On Oct 22, 2012, at 2:06 PM, "Dave L. Renfro" <> wrote:

> Problem A1: They should say that k is an integer. Otherwise,
> a correct answer would be (1/2) x 10^(log 2x), where x equals
> the given numerical expression.
> Problem B1: They should say that a and b are real numbers.
> Otherwise, a correct answer would be a + 0*i, where a equals
> the given expression(s).

I don't think that is nitpicking., since the author wasn't satisfied with just "scientific notation" or "complex number" and went on to define them, poorly. Maybe the author was trying to jog the "gifted" student's memory.

> Problem B2: Instead of saying "Find all possible values of x which
> solve the equation x^4 - 13x^2 + 36 = 0", I would be less vague and
> explicitly ask for all complex solutions.

Doesn't that factor to (x^2 - 9)(x^2 - 4)? -> x = +/-3, +/-2

Everyone seems to be missing the real problem with this exam. It is sorely lacking of dot notation!

Bob Hansen

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