A Direct Approach to Computing the Sine or Cosine of the Sum of Two Angles

  • A Direct Approach to Computing the Sine or Cosine of the Sum of Two Angles

    Timothy Gutmann
    Students struggle with the formulas for computing the sines and cosines of sums of angles. My experience suggests this in part caused by the disconnect between the common, algebraic derivations of these identities and more hands-on approaches to trigonometry in which the sine and cosines functions can be experienced by students as measurements of segments within the unit circle. Here I explain a measurement-based derivation of these identities that has been helpful to my precalculus students.