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ERIC Number: ED460015
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Jun
A Calculus I Project: Discovering the Derivative of an Exponential Function.
Young, Anne Ludington
PRIMUS, v7 n1 Mar 1997
This paper describes a project one teacher assigns to Calculus I students at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. The project is introduced to the students early in the semester and requires the use of technology, team work, and the completion of an extensive writing component. The goal of the project is to lead the students to the formula for the derivative of an exponential function. The teacher assigns the project after the class has studied the meaning of the derivative and is familiar with estimating it graphically and numerically, but before any algebraic formulas are covered. The project is divided into three parts. In the first part, students are asked to estimate numerically the derivatives of four exponential functions. In the second part, they are to write a letter to a classmate explaining their solutions to Part 1. Finally, in Part 3 the students compose a newsletter article summarizing their conclusions and/or conjectures. This project is unique in that it not only engages for the students but also motivates them to consider the subject matter from a new and different perspective by giving them the opportunity to participate in the exciting mathematical process of making discoveries and conjectures. Student version of project overview and instructions is appended. (MA)
Descriptors: Calculus, Higher Education, Mathematics Activities, Mathematics Instruction, Secondary Education
PRIMUS, Department of Mathematical Sciences, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996 (Back/Single issues, $12; Annual Subscription, $44). For full text: http://archives.math.utk.edu/CTM/FIFTH/Young/paper.pdf.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference on the Teaching of Mathematics (5th, Baltimore, MD, June 21-22, 1996). In: Winkel, Brian, Ed. "PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Undergraduate Mathematics Studies" v7 n1 Mar 1997.