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New Orleans Teens Make Mathematical Discovery 2,000 Years In The Making

New Orleans Teens Make Mathematical Discovery 2,000 Years In The Making

They said it was impossible!

Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson are seniors at St. Mary’s Academy in New Orleans, WWLTV reports. Recently, the girls presented at the American Mathematical Society’s Annual Southeastern Conference, revealing that they had made a mathematical discovery that scholars have called impossible for the last 2,000 years. The two have proved that Pythagoras’ Theorem can now be proven with trigonometry.

“It’s really an unparalleled feeling, honestly, because there’s just nothing like being able to do something that people don’t think young people can do. A lot of times you see this stuff, you don’t see kids like us doing it,” Calcea told reporters. 



For a quick math refresher so you can understand…Trigonometry is based on Pythagoras’ Theorem (A^2 + B^2 = C^2). So the idea of using trigonometry to prove the Theorem has been deemed impossible because it’s considered a circular logic fallacy, meaning an idea can’t prove itself. 

However, both Calcea and Ne’Kiya have found a way to use trigonometry to prove the Theorem without circular logic. It’s a discovery mathematicians have been trying to make for 2,000 years and is quite phenomenal. The only high school students presenting at the conference, the girls have credited their teachers with helping them to crack the code, challenging them to make the impossible possible. 

“We have really great teachers,” said Ne’Kiya. 

Calcea echoed those sentiments, pointing back to the school’s motto. “Our slogan is ‘No Excellence Without Hard Labor.’ So, they definitely push us,” she added. 

Wow ladies! The children really are the future. Congratulations!

Cover photo: New Orleans teens make mathematical discovery 2,000 years in the making/Photo Courtesy of WWLTV