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…

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…

π from Collisions

  One of my sons sent me the link to the videos below. They show a very unusual way to find the digits of π. The problems and its two solutions show the connections and the interplay between mathematics and physics. The quality of the illustrations and the verbal explanations are excellent. Here are the…

Asymptotes and the Derivative

What does an asymptote of the derivative tell you about the function? How do asymptotes of a function appear in the graph of the derivative? One of my most read posts is Reading the Derivative’s Graph, first published seven years ago. The long title is “Here’s the graph of the derivative; tell me about the…

Teaching Concavity

As you’ve probably noticed, different authors use different definitions based on how they plan to present topics later in their texts. So, the same concept seems to have different definitions. A definition in one book is a theorem in another. Students should be aware of this; looking at different definitions and related theorems about the…