Other Asymptotes

A few days ago, a reader asked if you could find the location of horizontal asymptotes from the derivative of a function. The answer, alas, is no. You can determine that a function has a horizontal asymptote from its derivative, but not where it is. This is because a function and its many possible vertical…

Polar Equations for AP Calculus

A recent thread on the AP Calculus Community bulletin boards concerned polar equations. One teacher observed that her students do not have a very solid understanding of polar graphs when they get to calculus. I expect this is a common problem. While ideally the polar coordinate system should be a major topic in pre-calculus course,…

Parametric Equations, Polar Coordinates, and Vector-Valued Functions – Unit 9

Unit 9 includes all the topics listed in the title. These are BC only topics (CED – 2019 p. 163 – 176). These topics account for about 11 – 12% of questions on the BC exam. Comments on Prerequisites: In BC Calculus the work with parametric, vector, and polar equations is somewhat limited. I always…

Discovering the MVT

Today’s Blog is an exploration that will lead up to the Mean Value Theorem (MVT) and, I hope, help your students better understand the MVT and why it is true. While you may do this by hand, using a graphing calculator will make things way easier. This is good calculator practice and can be done…