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
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.