The ingenuity of children has always been inspiring. New Orleans teenagers Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson’s ingenuity enabled them to figure out a mathematical equation that had seemingly been impossible.
According to 4WWL, Johnson and Jackson demonstrated that Pythagoras’ Theorem can be proven with trigonometry. The high school students presented their findings at the American Mathematical Society’s Annual Southeastern Conference.
“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,” Johnson told 4WWL. “A lot of times you see this stuff, you don’t see kids like us doing it.”
4WWL reported that mathematicians have tried to prove that Pythagoras’ Theorem can be proven with trigonometry for 2,000 years. A teacher challenged Johnson and Jackson to prove the theory.
“Our Slogan is ‘No Excellence Without Hard Labor.’ So, they definitely push us,” Johnson said.
Jackson added: “We have really great teachers.”
The Grio reports that “Johnson and Jackson’s abstract adds that the book with the largest known collection of proofs for the theorem – Elisha Loomis’s The Pythagorean Proposition – “flatly states that ‘there are no trigonometric proofs because all the fundamental formulae of trigonometry are themselves based upon the truth of the Pythagorean theorem.’”
Essence reports that Johnson and Jackson will study environmental engineering and biochemistry as college students.
Graduates of St. Mary’s High School, Jackson and Johnson join a list of notable St. Mary’s graduates, including Judge Dana Douglas, the first Black woman to serve on the New Orleans federal appeals court, and Leah Lange Chase, the late owner of Dooky Chase restaurant.
Honestly, we’re not surprised. Black people have been flying high and defying gravity forever. Hopefully, everyone else can catch up to us.