Quadratic equations are equations to the second degree that contain at least one term that is squared. So far, in order to solve them, we have had to make use of the complicated quadratic formula.
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A smarter alternative
Now, mathematician Po-Shen Loh from Carnegie Mellon University has conceived of an easier and better way to solve these tricky equations. "It is unfortunate that for billions of people worldwide, the quadratic formula is also their first experience of a rather complicated formula which they memorize," writes Loh in his new research paper that offers a smarter alternative.
Indeed, the formula dates back to the Old Babylonian Period around 2000–1600 B.C. which means people have been struggling with this math for a long time. But now Loh has found a new innovative and very useful solution.
4,000 years of history
"This article introduces an independently discovered simple derivation of the quadratic formula, which also produces a computationally-efficient and natural method for solving general quadratic equations. The author would actually be very surprised if this pedagogical approach has eluded human discovery until the present day, given the 4,000 years of history on this topic, and the billions of people who have encountered the formula and its proof," writes Loh.
On his website, Loh explains that the steps of his method had been discovered individually by ancient mathematicians but that no one had put them together like he did. If you would like to know more details on the exact formula he devised, you can visit his webpage that details it in full.
In a video released on YouTube, Loh claims to be "dumbfounded" that he has never seen his new solution before in any textbook. Well, going forward, we are pretty sure it will be included now.