Don’t Be Obtuse; Use PTC Mathcad for Trig

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While taking a test in my high school Trigonometry class, all of a sudden, my desk started to shake. My immediate thought was that the person sitting behind me was shaking my desk with his or her foot. I looked to check. That wasn’t it. And then it dawned on me. Apparently the realization struck all of us in the class around the same time, because we all looked up almost in unison. It was an earthquake.

Actually, it was an aftershock of a small earthquake that hit the region the night before. Somewhere around 3.5 on the Richter scale, if I remember correctly. Nothing too major, but Illinois is not California. Tremors are not a normal occurrence in the Land of Lincoln. So I remember it pretty well. But, truth be told, that’s about all I remember about my trig class. I remember the earthquake and I remember SOH CAH TOA, the mnemonic that everyone used to remember how to calculate the sine, cosine, and tangent of a right triangle. But that’s about it.

I do math for a living, and if you’re reading this blog, you probably do too, on some level. And I like math. Other subjects, like history, required so much memorization, whereas math was so logical. But for me, trigonometry was like the history class of the math world. It was boring and all the different properties and identities had to be memorized, only to be promptly forgotten after the test. Perhaps it would have been a bit more interesting if I had been told that the aftershock we felt could be modeled by a series of sines and cosines, but it’s too late now.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the utility and importance of trig now, but I still can’t say I particularly like it, and I certainly don’t remember much of it, especially those identities. And I’m gonna guess that you might be able to relate to that on some level.

You probably saw the punchline coming from a mile away, but it really is true: PTC Mathcad gives you the tools you need to use, simplify, and solve trigonometric equations. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember your trig identities or the Double Angle Formulas because PTC Mathcad’s symbolic engine will take those into account for you.

Or say you want to solve a trigonometric equation where the solution is periodic. Solving symbolically gives one solution.

But PTC Mathcad will also show you the more complete, generic solution that includes periodicity.

Where ℤ represents the set of all integers.

The benefits of PTC Mathcad for trigonometry do not stop at the symbolic engine. PTC Mathcad allows you to solve systems of equations with trig functions numerically using Solve Blocks. Trig functions can also be quickly and painlessly visualized using X-Y, Polar, Surface, and Contour Plots.

All of this allows you to focus your time and energy on what’s important—the engineering math.

To get an even better idea of PTC Mathcad’s capabilities, you can go to our dedicated page focused on solving trig equations – watch an overview video of Solving Trig Equations with PTC Mathcad, as well as download a free Trig Equations worksheet.