Yesterday, I posted the following on Facebook, and wanted to describe it.


The explanation is probably meaningful only to a limited audience, granted. Nevertheless, I will still explain it, and I’ll hopefully avoid “Rat” at the end of the post.

Before I make the post, I want to give the inspiration for it. On Wednesday, in my calculus class, I taught my students about the method of substitution for integrals. After we did a few examples of u substitution, I remarked:

If you’re not given the u, you can often determine the best u by looking in the following:

  • Arguments of trig functions

  • Exponents of e

  • Radicands

  • Parentheses raised to a power

  • Denominators

This should be enough to set up the problem.

In the first line, I have the square root of f(x). The positional representation of f is that f is the Radicand in this case.

In the second line, f(x) is being multiplied by zero. The effect of multiplying anything (finite) by zero is to make the result zero. That is, annihilating the multiplicand, or in this case, the action is eradicating the radicand.

In the last line, the Pokemon Raticate has entered under the square root and is faced against the zero multiplier.

Ergo, what is happening in the third line is that the radicand Raticate is eradicated!

Now I better hope that the Rat from Pearls Before Swine isn’t around the corner to eradicate ME!


Thanksgiving Recess: Ahead!

Lincoln: 31 days

Israel: 198 days

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