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Pascal's Triangle was on Scorpion the night before last. After a jail break Walter finds himself tracking down, or at least trying to connect with the jail breakers. His team is with him. Walter is played by Elyes Gabel. But, most importantly is what happens next. In an effort to meet the runaway jail breakers, Walter works with his side kick, the human computer, to create an engaging task that will lure the smart one of the jail breakers into connecting over the internet. The task is to decipher some puzzle related to the Pascal's Triangle. "Too easy and we are flooded by math geeks, too hard and we don't get him", Happy basically says. This is Pascal's Triangle: 1 121 1331 14641 and so on. You may or may not know that these numbers as above are the coefficients of (x+1)n, which is a polynomial of degree n. If I were to rewrite the Pascals Triangle to display this relationship I would get: 1 1x+1 1x2+2x+1 1x3+3x2+3x+1 1x4+4x3+6x2+4x+1 Ignore... read more

I often read student essays that incorrectly use the phrase “not only . . . but . . . ,” as in the following sentence: Incorrect: Video games are not only a source of distraction, but they may force players to think. There’s an easy fix for this often misunderstood construction: include the word also. Correct: Video games are not only a source of distraction, but they may also force players to think. Here’s another example: Incorrect: This not only reduces the advisor’s time but produces fewer alternatives to evaluate. Correct: This not only reduces the advisor’s time but also produces fewer alternatives to evaluate. Notice that in this example, the writer does not use a comma; this punctuation is not necessary with the not only…but also construction if a subject is not given in the second half of the sentence, which would make it a compound sentence. If you don’t understand, consider this example again: Correct: Video games are not only a source... read more

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