Posted by JOE on Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 2:36pm.
You end up with a right triangle with the two legs being 12 miles and 5 miles.
Use the Pythagorean theorem, with c representing the hypotenuse.
a^2 + b^2 = c^2
12^2 + 5^2 = c^2
144 + 25 = c^2
169 = c^2
13 = c
Ok, thanks. But how did you get 12 and 5?
He traveled 15 miles east and then 10 miles west.
15  10 = 5
He traveled 12 miles south.
That gives us a triangle.
He started at point A. Went to point B, and then to point C. He ended at point D. You need to find the distance betwen point A and point D.
B_______<___15____<______A (start)

v

12

v
___>____10__>___D
C
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