ERIC Number: EJ720055
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 29
A New Elementary Function for Our Curricula?
Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, v19 n2 p8-26 2005
The concept of function is central to the teaching and learning of mathematics. As a mathematical notion, the concept of function is fundamental, yet powerful, and is a unifying theme that is found running throughout most branches of mathematics. Until quite recently, when it came to the elementary transcendental functions it was commonly perceived that everything there was to know in this domain had been discovered long ago. Recent research efforts in the field of special functions (Corless, Gonnet, Hare, Jeffrey, & Knuth, 1996) have however turned up a seemingly new elementary transcendental function whose importance had not previously been recognised but which nonetheless demanded attention. Now going by the name of the "Lambert W function" (Weisstein, 2003), this function is a notable example of what one can appropriate into the curricula with relative ease despite the fact that it is remains a topic of contemporary research interest. In this article the author introduces the Lambert W function, hoping to raise the profile of the function to a wider audience of teachers and educators of mathematics, and will argue for the case of its inclusion into the curricula. By presenting properties of this particular function and highlighting some of its applications, it will be shown how the existing curricula at the senior secondary and introductory tertiary levels stand to benefit by its introduction.
Descriptors: Mathematics Teachers, Modern Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction, Educational Benefits, Secondary Education, Higher Education, Introductory Courses, Mathematics Curriculum
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT), GPO Box 1729, Adelaide, South Australia 5001. Tel: +61 8 8363 0288; Fax: +61 8 8362 9288; e-mail: email@example.com.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A