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# Teens who discovered new way to prove Pythagoras’s theorem uncover even more proofs

## 🌈 Abstract

The article discusses two college freshmen, Calcea Johnson and Ne'Kiya Jackson, who discovered a new way to prove Pythagoras's theorem using trigonometry, which was previously thought to be impossible. They have since uncovered multiple additional proofs and presented their findings at a regional meeting of the American Mathematical Society.

## 🙋 Q&A

### [01] Proving Pythagoras's Theorem

**1. What did Calcea Johnson and Ne'Kiya Jackson discover about proving Pythagoras's theorem?**

- They found a new way to prove Pythagoras's theorem using trigonometry, which was previously thought to be impossible.
- They have uncovered a total of 5 proofs and have found a general format that could potentially produce at least 5 additional proofs.

**2. How did they come up with this new proof?**

- They were working on a bonus question from a math contest during their final year of high school, which served as the impetus for them to plot out a new way to demonstrate that one could indeed use trigonometry to prove Pythagoras's theorem.

**3. How was their work received by the math community?**

- Some in the math community were skeptical, claiming that their work was not unprecedented and that a 2009 trigonometry-based proof for Pythagoras's theorem should get its due.
- However, mathematicians who reviewed their work confirmed that they had arrived at a valid new proof, which was a celebration-worthy accomplishment.

**4. What recognition did they receive for their work?**

- They presented their findings at a regional meeting of the American Mathematical Society and have submitted their discoveries for final peer review and publication.
- They received a commendation from Louisiana's then governor and symbolic keys to the city of New Orleans.
- Michelle Obama wrote a post on social media celebrating their achievement.

### [02] Calcea Johnson and Ne'Kiya Jackson's Future Plans

**1. What are Calcea Johnson and Ne'Kiya Jackson's plans for the future?**

- Despite their groundbreaking work, they do not see themselves as math geniuses and are not interested in pursuing careers in mathematics.
- Calcea Johnson plans to only take up a minor in math, while Ne'Kiya Jackson is attending Xavier University and enrolled in its pharmacy department.
- Calcea Johnson is now an environmental engineering student at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

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