Imagine finding a new way to prove a mathematical theorem in high school. Calcea Rujean Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson, two Black girls from New Orleans, did just that when they proved Pythagoras’s theorem via trigonometry in a way that hasn’t been done before. While it’s not the first time trigonometry has been used to prove it, Calcea and Ne’Kiya uses something unique, dubbed the “waffle cone”.
Unfortunately, this amazing discovery has been overshadowed by skepticism (two well known mathematicians confirmed the proof) and Well Actually guys claiming that it wasn’t that big because someone else had used trigonometry to prove it. And they weren’t wrong… but the girls never claimed that in the abstract of the paper they presented at an American Mathematical Society regional talk in Atlanta in March.
Regardless, shout out to Calcea and Ne’Kiya. This is something to be celebrated and I wish them all the best in their futures.