If you laugh when reading this, you lose. :grumpy:(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

So, I was solving a bunch of extremely easy equations, and encountered this one I wanted to simplify (i.e. group into terms):

[itex]x^{3}-3x^{2}-4x+12[/itex]

Having an inflexible mind, I immediately decided that I should somehow be able to solve it using the sum of cubes formula. As you can most likely guess, this didn't work so well. It's an incredibly simple equation, and when you realize that it's just a matter of grouping the first two and the last two terms, it takes only a few seconds to solve.

The problem is, of course, that sometimes I simply 'forget' to use technique A of solving a problem because you fixate on using technique B.

How often do you people experience these annoyances? And, more importantly, what is your prefered method of dealing with them? Me, I often just bruteforce an equation through all possible algebraic options, but I suspect it can be done more efficiently. I also suspect that getting it 'right' faster may simply be a result of experience (or 'mathematical maturity', as some like to call it).

PS: Yes, you can correlate my mood to the amount of stupid little mistakes I make in math. :tongue:

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# The nasty easy equations

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