Question from Franco:
Hi There !
I am an intellectually very curious person with university degrees in the humanities field , but with a fairly poor mathematical background dating back to my High School days ( 50 years ago) , where I did Algebra, Trigonometry, etc.
I have now found a new interest in the CAUSAL aspect of reality , as opposed to the equally valid, but widely different ( although complementary )aspect dealt with in Philosophy and I ' d like to tackle Physics, with the ambition to gain some insight also into its more recent challenging developments, such as the Theory of of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. I have read a lot about them in nonmathematical terms and I believe I have a basic grasp of their conceptual signification ( which for me, as in anything, is essential, even in Maths , at least as far as a mathematically unaided abstract thinking allows me !). I would like now to sharpen my mathematical tools, at least well enough to get me through some college level work. I am now honing my skills with the C.O.W. ( Calculus on the Web ) site, but I am am keeping my options open with other educational, sites, such as yours, which I have recently discovered. I have completed the precalculus level in a few months and I am now about to enter the « forbidden » land of Calculus, which I never did before. So far, by racking my brains, I have been able to get through, but in this case, I have hit a brickwall and this is why I'd like to get your help.
I have read Professor Steve La Rocque's answer to a student regarding simultaneous equations . It is very well laid out, but I still have a problem regarding the following set of equations in relation to the equation of a circle.
We are investigating the circle passing through (3,1), (2,0) and (3,4).
I have to substitute these points into the generic equation x^2+y^2+Dx+Ey=F
3 D + E  F = 10
2 D  F = 4
3 D  4 E  F = 25
Although I have been able to solve correctly other drills on the same topic, on this one, with THREE equations, I have hit a brickwall and I can't get out of the thicket even even by following Prof. Larocque's stepbystep explanation, Simply put, I cannot come up with the right values for D, E, F. Can somebody lay out the sequence with the solution , so that I can work my way backward and see where I was making the mistake.?
Thank you so much !
Franco
