Good Question 9

This is a good question that leads to other good questions, both mathematical and philosophical. A few days ago this question was posted on a private Facebook page for AP Calculus Readers. The problem and illustration were photographed from an un-cited textbook. Player 1 runs to first base [from home plate] at a speed of…

The Lagrange Highway

Recently, there was an interesting discussion on the AP Calculus Community discussion boards about the Lagrange error bound. You may link to it by clicking here. The replies by James L. Hartman and Daniel J. Teague were particularly enlightening and included files that you may download with the proof of Taylor’s Theorem (Hartman) and its…

Amortization

This is an example of how sequences and series are used in “real life.”  It could be used in a calculus class or an advanced math class. When you borrow money to buy a house or a car you are making a kind of loan called a mortgage. Paying off the loan is called amortizing…

Parametric and Vector Equations

AP Type Questions 8 Particle moving on a plane for BC – the parametric/vector question. I have always had the impression that the AP exam assumed that parametric equations and vectors were first studied and developed in a pre-calculus course. In fact many schools do just that. It would be nice if students knew all…

Error Bounds

How Good is Your Approximation? Whenever you approximate something you should be concerned about how good your approximation is. The error, E, of any approximation is defined to be the absolute value of the difference between the actual value and the approximation. If Tn(x) is the Taylor/Maclaurin approximation of degree n for a function f(x)…