Infinite Musings

Students get confused about infinity, , because they think of it as a number, because used like a number. Even though they know there is no largest number, they think of infinity as the largest number. In studying limits, the starting point of calculus, infinite limits come up early on. We tell them . But…

Continuity

Karl Weierstrass (1815 – 1897) was the mathematician who (finally) formalized the definition of continuity. Included in that definition was the epsilon-delta definition of limit. This definition has been pulled out, so to speak, and now is usually presented on its own. So, which came first – continuity or limit? The ideas and situations that…

Limits – They Make the Calculus Work.

In an ideal world, I would like to have all students study limits in their pre-calculus course and know all about them when they get to calculus. Certainly, this would be better than teaching how to calculate derivatives in pre-calculus (after all derivatives are calculus, not pre-calculus). Limits are the foundation of the calculus. Continuity,…

Limits

In an ideal world, I would like to have all students study limits in their precalculus course and know all about them when they get to calculus. Certainly, this would be better than teaching how to calculate derivatives in precalculus (after all derivatives are calculus, not pre… ). Here are a few of my previous…