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Roland drove 8 miles east and 5 miles north, how far is he from the starting point? Round to the nearest tenth.

This is a simple case of applying pythagoras's theorem to a real(ish)-life situation. The journey east & north form the two non-hypotenuse sides of a right angle triangle. The actual distance from the starting point is the hypotenuse. So, without repeating pythagoras from the start, but remebering that pythagoras's theorem states that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the square of the other two sides. The answer is the square root of, eight squared plus five squared. IE, the square root of 89. Which is 9.4 to the nearest tenth.
04 November 2011
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