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



CONTRIBUTED PAPER: 10-C35

Calculator/Geometry Strategies for Understanding x^(m/n)

John J. Edgell, Jr.
Professor Mathematics
Southwest Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Phone:(512) 245-2551
Fax: (512) 245-3425

Michael J. Brown, M.Ed.
Secondary Mathematics teacher
Comal Independent School District
Res: 200 Camaro Way
San Marcos, TX 78666
Phone: (512) 392-2503
E-mail: browns@centuryinter.net

ABSTRACT

Some students may benefit in the understanding and applying real numbers of the form x^(m/n) from a combination of calculator and theoretical geometric techniques. This paper will demonstrate a seven-step calculator routine and a spiral sequence of similar right trigons for conceptualizing and applying real numbers of the form x^(m/n), with examples. Papers will be distributed which will include specific geometric spiral examples with corresponding coordinates and calculator routines, and a rationale for such spirals will be attached.