Date: May 25, 1995 8:02 PM
Author: ToniU@aol.com
Subject: Re: Fwd- Puzzling Questions

ubj:   Re: Fwd- Puzzling Questions
Date: Thu, May 25, 1995 9:25 AM EST
From: Patsy_Fagan@qmbridge.drake.edu
To: ToniU@aol.com (ToniU)

RE>Fwd: Puzzling Questions 5/25/95
Hi, I have an explanation for 0!=1 that makes much sense to me and to my
students.
Based on the permutation problem "How many different wall arrangements can
you make by placing 3 pictures in a row?" , the answer is 3!. To follow
that thinking is the question "How many different wall arrangements can you
make by placing 1 picture?", the answer is 1!. The number of different
wall arrangements you can make by hanging no pictures then is 0! or 1 -
hang no pictures. I hope this is helpful.

As to why m is used for slope, one explanation is that Rene Descartes was
French and the word for mountain is montagne, hence he used the first
letter of the word. Why the letter 'b' is used for y-intercept is still a
mystery to me.

Have a nice day!
6:07 EDT

Hi, everyone--

I have two puzzling questions that I desire to know:

1) Why is 0!= 1?

2) Why is slope designated by m and the y-intercept by b in the y=mx+b?

Can anyone answer these mysteries for me?

I thank you in advance for your knowledge and wisdom.

Beverly Anderson <baba@tenet.edu>