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Minh-thi N.

Princeton University Undergraduate Astrophysics Student

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SAT II Mathematics Level 2

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Question:

The lengths of the sides of a triangle are 25, 29, and 34. To the nearest tenth of a degree, the measure of the largest angle is

Minh-thi N.

Answer:

We recognize that the angle with the largest degree in the triangle will be the angle that is directly across the side with length 34 and between the sides of length 25 and 29. This is because 34 is the longest side of the triangle. Hence, we can use the law of cosines to determine the angle with the largest degree. We see that (34)^2 = (25)^2 + (29)^2 - 2*29*25*cos(angle). We can use this equation to solve for the angle, giving us the answer, 77.65 degrees.

Physics (Newtonian Mechanics)

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Question:

Why does the ice skater spin faster when she moves her arms closer to her chest?

Minh-thi N.

Answer:

The ice skater spins faster because her Angular Momentum is conserved. She experiences no torque, but because when she brings her arms closer to her body, her moment of inertia decreases because her radius (basically the tips of her arms to the center of her body) decreases. Hence, because the angular momentum is conserved, when her moment of inertia decreases, her angular velocity increases and she spins faster.

College Admissions

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Question:

What is the number one thing that colleges look for in a student?

Minh-thi N.

Answer:

The most important thing in a college application is your high school GPA. Although test scores and essays and activities are also very important, universities and colleges want to recognize your academic ability by seeing how well you have performed in school. This demonstrates your ability to work hard and your dedication. Nevertheless, when looking at your GPA, colleges also pay close attention to your class choices, especially looking to see if you challenged yourself enough over your four years of high school. They also look for improvement, so it is important that you take your classes in school very seriously.

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