Monthly Archives: September 2014

What if we have items equal to the pivot, neither bigger nor smaller?

It’s unlikely you’ll have something like that in the exam. But if you do, just do what the textbook says: consistently read “smaller than or equal to the pivot, but not actually the pivot item itself” for “smaller”, or “bigger than or equal to the pivot, but not actually the pivot item itself” for “bigger”. One or the other. Doesn’t matter which.

How proof dropped out of school maths

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It is a very odd choice by Edexcel to have FP1 (Further Pure Mathematics 1) students study proof by induction, a particular (and rather subtle and paradoxical) form of proof, before they’re introduced to proof more generally. And it raises the question – just when and how proof disappeared from school maths. As far as I can make out, the story goes something like this. Continue reading