Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum



Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by Drexel University or The Math Forum.


Math Forum » Discussions » Education » math-teach

Topic: Re: In "square root of -1", should we say "minus 1" or "negative
1"?

Replies: 1   Last Post: Dec 3, 2012 12:47 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Joe Niederberger

Posts: 3,300
Registered: 10/12/08
Re: In "square root of -1", should we say "minus 1" or "negative
1"?

Posted: Dec 3, 2012 9:36 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

>Then, we can define 'complex numbers' as 'entities' consisting of a combination of real numbers and real numbers (x)i. And also: just do away with the '+' sign in a complex number.

I'm not proposing this a a fully thought-out approach, but rather is just a nascent idea.

*If* negative numbers can be successfully taught as "composite numbers" - a magnitude and a sign, where the sign is constrained to relate to directions along a line,
(and that composite nature is consistently emphasized), then why not just introduce complex numbers as numbers where the directional component is allowed into the 2D plane.

It would be fun and non-trivial to try to motivate the rest of the story from that starting point.

Cheers,
Joe N



Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© Drexel University 1994-2014. All Rights Reserved.
The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.