Two High School Students Solve 2000-Year-Old Math Problem

Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson, two high school students attending St. Mary’s Academy, believe they have proven the Pythagorean theorem using trigonometry, a 2000-year-old math problem.

According to reports, two high school students from New Orleans, Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson, believe they have discovered a new way to prove the Pythagorean theorem.

They claimed to have used an equation from trigonometry to prove the famous theorem in a new way — something that has baffled mathematicians for around 2000 years and deemed impossible. The students, who attend St. Mary’s Academy, have been encouraged by the American Mathematical Society to submit their proof for peer review.

In March, they presented their groundbreaking proof at the society’s semi-annual meeting in Georgia, where they were the only high schoolers to present.

Catherine Roberts, the executive director of the American Mathematical Society, called their achievement “very exciting”, noting that it was rare for high school students to present at a major math conference.

During an interview on local station WWL, Johnson and Jackson shared their experience presenting their proof. Johnson remarked that there was nothing like being able to do something that people didn’t think youngsters could do. Jackson added that their success was due to having “really great teachers.”

Johnson and Jackson reportedly plan to pursue careers in environmental engineering and biochemistry after graduating from St. Mary’s Academy this spring.

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