Is Samsung a LIAR?!

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Is Samsung a LIAR?!

Team 12 web story pic 4.8.16This week in DP Math Studies, students are putting their geometry and trigonometry skills to the test! Students watched a Samsung advertisement for an 80-inch television. The advertisement claims that the 80-inch television has “double the viewing area” of a 55-inch television. Students found this claim rather peculiar. How can a 55-inch television be half the size of an 80-inch television? That did not sound mathematically correct. Was Samsung flat out lying in their commercial to get more people to buy the television? Or is there something we are not seeing?

Students started this exploration by finding the ratio of Samsung televisions, which is 16 inches wide by 9 inches long. They then applied this ratio to various televisions to find unknown dimensions. However, students noticed that the dimensions did not match the size of the televisions given. Some students already knew and others quickly found that televisions are measured on a diagonal and that is what is referred to as its “size.” Students applied the Pythagorean Theorem and trigonometric ratios to solve for the missing sides in order to find the area of these televisions. Then students came back to our original question of whether Samsung was telling the truth in their advertisement.

Students were given the opportunity to refine their predictions based on the calculations they had just done on sample televisions. Finally came our moment of truth; students were given a 55-inch television and an 80-inch television with no dimensions except the diagonal. Students again applied their knowledge of geometry and trigonometry to solve for the areas of each television. As it turns out, Samsung’s 80-inch television is more than double the area as the 55-inch television. This goes to show that although not all advertisements are completely honest, some actually do have some truth to them. It just takes a little digging and mathematics to prove it right!