From wikipedia:

The function sine can be traced to the jyā and koṭi-jyā functions used in Gupta period Indian astronomy (Aryabhatiya, Surya Siddhanta), via translation from Sanskrit to Arabic and then from Arabic to Latin.[1] The word “sine” comes from a Latin mistranslation of the Arabic jiba, which is a transliteration of the Sanskrit word for half the chord, jya-ardha.

I asked a guy I know from Jordan about the word. The non-trigonometry root of the word “sine” is akin to sinus. It is “pocket” or “cave.” So I asked for the word, in Arabic, for “pocket” and he said what I would write as “jaib” or “jahib.” So, I then asked him the word for “sine” and he said “jiba.”  In Arabic the pronunciations of these two words are so similar. My guess is that “jiba” became heard as “jaib” and thus the mistake. Tangent and secant function names are obvious, pocket is not.

I have 2 interactive geogebra graphics below. The first one is less busy and gets the basic three functions of trigonometry represented. The second is all six functions. If you “grab” point B and drag it around the circle, you can see the pieces move and how they relate to the angle THETA. You can also click the play button in the bottom left corner.


Ruminations on #edcamppgh – Un Conference

A couple of months ago I attended an #edcamp “un-conference” at Montour High School. Several teachers from nearby schools and districts were in attendance. There were also quite a few administrators present.

I have been meaning to write a few follow-up posts about my experience but haven’t had the time nor the gumption. Now I do.


First, let me explain the un-conference…

I have been to many many conferences on education – both general and math focused. I planned my days prior to the conference by reading the brochure and choosing the topics I found to be the most interesting and beneficial to me as an instructor. I sat in a dark room and watched a slide presentation or some demonstration from a projected computer screen or ELMO. I made promises to change my ways and be a better teacher when I returned. Somehow, it never seemed to manifest but I was happy at the end of the school year because I had all the CEUs I needed.

That’s a conference for you.

At the start of the #edcamp, we sat in a large classroom and camp volunteers (my term) came around with sticky notepads and told us to use two notes to write two questions related to education or our particular teaching work, one on each note. They collected the notes.

As the guest of honor – more about him and his presentation in a later post – presented (are we going to just sit through more presentations?) the volunteers were busy sorting through the sticky notes and posting them according to relativity to each other. That is, they put the questions in groups by similarity. From these groups came topics.

After the opening presentation, we were invited to pick a topic from those which had sprung from our questions. The topics were assigned to different classrooms. Here’s the kicker: there was a facilitator in each room, but not a presenter! We were to be involved in the discussion. AND AND AAAAND we were ENCOURAGED to move from room to room. If you had played out or if you lost interest, they wanted you to leave.

That’s an un-conference for you.

It was a very effective approach.


Passionate Outlets and Growing Up

Everyone has an inner voice. Well, my inner voice says that everyone does. That voice knows what my true passions are. It knows I love Math. My inner voice guides my music taste. It is alive when I dance or play volleyball. I know it well when I am lifting or working out.

When did this inner voice and I start relating? I really can’t tell you. What about yours? Always? I know mine hasn’t changed as I have aged either. Same same stuff.

I want to turn to the passions my young inner voice pointed me to in my early life. I mean that both as a lifestyle and as the topic of this post.

My oldest daughter – 7th grade – has been posting on this blog lately. She and I agreed that she could write about her experiences as a student in junior high. My expectations we that she’d talk about the particulars of he homework or some interesting topic they were covering in science or literature or… Expectations – how stupid of me!

I did get a bit of that, here and there. But she needs more space than the confines of this blog! She needs to be a 7th grade girl! So she has a separate blog now. I’ll share details about that, later.

Anyway, here’s what I learned in this process. She loves Dr. Who. She’s in love with David Tennant. She is growing up whether I want her to or not. (I do want her to – but sometimes I want to be able to stop the train and go back). She’s expressive. She doesn’t – maybe can’t – curb her expression when she writes.

It seems to me that writing is likely a passion for her. She has been writing stories as prolific as her language and experience allowed since she was physically able to create a letter or word with a writing utensil. I’m glad to have been reminded of this! I’m really looking forward to he new blog venture.

Having a passion to turn to is a good thing in a trying age.


Bye everyone. :'( ;’)

Hey this is Soph again. Just wanted to let you know that I’m getting my own blog to write about whatever I want. I might rarely and occasionally write on this one, but I’d like my own. Hopefully my father will still post my articles and photos on Facebook. Thanks to all who supported me in my early stages of stardom, and the <:) 60 likes that I got on that evening gown photo, hopefully you guys will be able to check out my new website. Make sure to still read the articles and things, like, and comment on my new website and Facebook. I love you all, and siging off for the last time on this blog, Sophia. You can find my new website adress on Facebook. :’)



For those of you who don’t know what I look like, here’s a brief idea. I have short, shaggy hair, blue eyes, long lashes (thanks mascara), nice sized lips, plucked eyebrows, and ACNE! So even though I have pierced ears and wear makeup, some people still think I’m a guy. This really offends me because I’m obviously NOT a guy, and because these people weren’t stupid. Anyway, if you have short hair and have been called a guy, post it on FB!

Now to more important matters. I was in Spanish class about an hour ago,and the teacher was telling us that we had a week to memorize the Spanish speaking countries and capitols in South America. She made us watch what she called a rap song, if rap songs are listening to a lady say the country and the capitol over and over again. Unfortunately, this was not very memorable, therefore I have not memorized them yet.

The final subject I want to discuss today is dogs. I want a dog. I currently have a fish that I live with named Jax. My father bought him for me, and Jax keeps me company in my room. But what I really need is a dog. Post on FB if I should get a dog or not! (Dad’s house) Adios!


ACT and SAT Prep (part 1 of who knows?)

I would say “It’s that time of year again.” It isn’t. To say that there is a season for college entrance exams no longer applies. Students have been preparing for them most of their lives. The spin-off from the weight placed on the SAT and ACT et al has been enormous.

Google ACT or SAT prep. Search for a book or website. Try it on Amazon. SO MANY PUBLICATIONS. So much money to be made. Hey, I’d be lying if I said I don’t take advantage of such a system. I will say that I do it under slight protest. What are the REAL reasons students and, moreover, their parents, want to “ace” these tests?

Let’s find out!