Q&A #403

Number Theory and Trigonometry

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From: Marielouise (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jul 26, 1998 at 21:42:25
Subject: Re: Number Theory and Trigonometry

Hi Lee,

If your son has shown interest in trigonometry and number theory I am going
to assume that he has already studied elementary algebra.  If not, make sure
that he takes a teacher directed course in algebra.

Have you discussed this interest with the math department of your son's
school?  Ask them if there are opportunities for students to participate in
contests such as the state Mathematics leagues (such as the Indiana Math
League or the Michigan Math League).  These are the same contest that comes
out six times a year, six questions each.  There are always some number
theory questions.  Answer keys are provided for the contests.  Interested
students study previous contests in order to learn.

Many schools have groups that study independently to  take contests such s
the ARML or the AHSME.   The AHSME (American High School Mathematics
Examination) is a tough test.  Again it is the answer keys that provide
information for learning.

Write to:
Dr. Walter E. Mientka, Executive Director       eMail: walter@amc.unl.edu
American Mathematics Competitions
1740 Vine Street			       	FAX: 402-472-6087
University of Nebraska			    	Tel: 800-527-3690
Lincoln, NE 68588-0658 U.S.A.		    	Tel: 402-472-5114 (off hours)

For books on elementary number theory I suggest that you go to a local
bookstore such as Barnes and Nobles and look through books written by Martin
Gardner or Rudy Rucker. Ask for listings of Dover Publications.  Let your
son chose the book.

Another place to learn is to go to the Ask Dr. Math website:

Children are often interested in learning things that their parents show
interest in.  In your school math department ask for old textbooks.  Go
through the book together learning what ever interests your son.

Nothing of what I have told you is very original. I hope that you are able to
latch onto something that interests you both.

 -Marielouise, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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