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This is a very simple introduction to trigonometry. First, let us look at the many varied uses of trig. First, possibly the largest use is Global Positioning System (GPS) that keeps track of where we are whether we are driving a vehicle, flying an aircraft, running a cruise ship, or a space satellite. These systems actually calculate several thousand trigonometry behind our backs every second. Trigonometry is used in building and highway design as well as hundreds of uses in astronomy. The path of the sun across the sky is a trig function. What is trigonometry? trigonometry is the study of triangles more specifically The relationship between the angles and the length of the side. We will restrict this study to right triangles. A simple basic fact of triangles is that the sum of the three angles is always 180 (decimal).
Another simple basic fact for a right triangle is Pythagorean theorem: The square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the two sides. Now if we look at a scientific calculator we see sin and cos keys. These keys give the sine and cosine of the appropriate angle of a right triangle. The values are simply the ratio between the side of the triangle and the hypotenuse. We will not talk about how the calculator computes the sine and cosine. I am simply going to talk about how to use the calculator to solve triangles.
Instructor: Vaughan Thompson
Vaughan Thompson holds a BA in Mathematics from San Diego State University. He was a software engineer for 20 years and is currently retired. Vaughan has been a math tutor for two years at Pima Community College. He is a driving instructor licensed in the state of California and has taught 30 AARP Driver Safety classes and more than 100 teenagers behind the wheel.
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