Electronic Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics



CONTRIBUTED PAPER: 10-C3

Cubic Equations-Their Presence, Importance, and Applications in the Age of Technology

Robert Kreczner
Department of Mathematics and Computing
University of Wisconsin
Stevens Point, WI 54481
Email: rkreczne@uwsp.edu
Phone: (715) 346-3754
Fax: (715) 346-4260

ABSTRACT

In this article we will attempt, with the help of modern mathematical technology, to revive an interest and research among teachers and students in cubic and higher order equations. The article, written in attractive Mathematica's notebook format, basically comprises two themes: It uses Mathematica 3.0 to discover simple and natural methods, algebra and calculus based methods, for solving exactly a cubic equation. Once the idea is discover, then the computation can be easily carried out by a hand, by anyone with standard algebra or calculus skills. In the second part we will show variety of different problems whose solution requires solving a non-trivial cubic equation. In that part we will take advantage of Mathematica to do the computation.