Thursday, April 3, 2014

Reflection #1: Unit Q Verifying Trig Identities

  1. What does it actually mean to verify a trig identity?
  • When you verify a trig identity you are basically reordering it to have it equal to whatever value you want it to equal. Think of it it like a conversion problem, to get to another unit you have to do something to the original value, maybe divide it by a certain number. When you are verifying trig identities, you are using separate identities to change your trig function into an entirely different trig expression. 

      2. What tips and tricks have you found helpful?
  • The tips and tricks I have found helpful were the ones that were taught to me, there isn't really much you can learn off your own knowledge, you have to follow specific rules to these problems. These rules are like never dividing by a trig function and just knowing what strategy to use in what situation. It is like a student making up entirely different conversion factors by saying a mile now equals 5 feet, which is entirely wrong. He has to follow the given conversion factor or he will get the question wrong, so in a sense these problems are about 80% memorization of strategies and rules. 

        3. Explain your thought process and steps you take in verifying a trig identity.  Do not use a specific example, but speak in general terms of what you would do no matter what they give you.

  • From what I have learned through all my practice in this unit, verifying trig identities is all about knowing the right first step. It doesn't really matter if you mess up the next steps because you can start again but as long as you get a good start on where to go in a trig identity, you are given options on what to do next. I also pay attention to what I have to verify to so I can keep in mind what identities to use in the problem. The most important detail about what goes through my head when solving this problem is that I cannot over-complicate it. If I do over-complicate a problem, not only am I going in the wrong direction, but I exhaust myself trying to think of ridiculous ways to finish the problem. The steps should be simple, straightforward, and in the right direction. 

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