011B

Math is cool, and my 16 year old son is looking at me like I'm even older than I am. First of all, you may have been sent here because you missed Question 11 of the amazing math maze (twice). Or, you may have just done a search for the title of this page. Either way, you're in a good place. I'll address the question first and then I'll pontificate a bit on the coolness of mathematics.

In our equation examples, x and y are the variables. You plug in a value for x and it gives you a value for y. So, the value of y is dependent on the value that you give to x. The exponent or power of x determines the type of equation. If you set up one side of the equation to be y and have that equal to something else, we can look at the exponent of x and determine whether the exponent is a 1 or not. If the power of x is 1, then the equation is linear.

To make things a little more confusing, if there is no exponent, we assume the exponent is 1. So, in the equation y = x, the exponent of x is considered to be 1. In our question, we had the following choices.

a) y = x + 4

b) y = x + 2^{2}

c) y = x^{2} + 7

d) y = 4x + 4

Most of the equations are linear. You were supposed to pick the one equation that was __not__ linear. There is no exponent on x in "a", so we assume an exponent of 1. Choice "a" is linear. I tried to trick you in choice "b". The exponent on the 2 is not an exponent on x. There is no exponent on our variable x, so we assume it to be 1. The answer is not "b". In "c" x has an exponent of 2. The exponent is the number above the rest of the numbers. Since it's a 2, it means take x times itself. If it was a 4 it would mean take x times itself 4 times. If x has an exponent that is not 1, then x is not linear.

Let's give it one more try. Remember to choose the one that does not have an exponent of x that is 1. By the way, the reason we call these linear is because - if you graph them - the solution points form a straight line.

a) y = x + 3

b) y = - x^{2} + 7

c) y = x + 2^{4}

d) y = 3x + 3

Click the letter corresponding to the equation that is __not__ linear.

Well, no - not really. Math is Cool in the sense that it is extremely powerful. It is always correct. And I believe it to be the language of God. But, if - by "Cool", you mean it will make you attractive to the opposite sex. Well, probably not. However, to be fair - I am happily married and I've always been a nut about math.

There's an interesting website with an article that attempts to answer the question "Why Must I Learn Math" by Mark Karadimos. But does it make you "cool". I don't really know. Will a lack of mathematics make you an idiot - definitely. You'll soon find yourself making statements like - "The town was decimated by a horrific flood" which actually means that 90% of the town was untouched. Wait a minute, that may not be math - this could be a vocabulary problem.

So - "Math is Cool", that statement is up for debate. Should math be cool? Definitely!