Calculator calculus


How THIS BOOK DIFFERS This book is about the calculus. What distinguishes it, however, from other books is that it uses the pocket calculator to illustrate the theory. A computation that requires hours of labor when done by hand with tables is quite inappropriate as an example or exercise in a beginning calculus course. But that same computation can become a delicate illustration of the theory when the student does it in seconds on his calculator. t Furthermore, the student's own personal involvement and easy accomplishment give hi~ reassurance and en­ couragement. The machine is like a microscope, and its magnification is a hundred millionfold. We shall be interested in limits, and no stage of numerical approximation proves anything about the limit. However, the derivative of fex) = 67.SgX, for instance, acquires real meaning when a student first appreciates its values as numbers, as limits of 10 100 1000 t A quick example is 1.1 , 1.01 , 1.001 , •••• Another example is t = 0.1, 0.01, in the function e/3t+9-3)/t. ix difference quotients of numbers, rather than as values of a function that is itself the result of abstract manipulation.

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Author(s)George McCarty
Age14-16, 16-19
Published by

Shelf referenceA 510.284 MCC
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