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ERIC Number: EJ783764
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Optimization of Cubic Polynomial Functions without Calculus
Taylor, Ronald D., Jr.; Hansen, Ryan
Mathematics Teacher, v101 n6 p408-411 Feb 2008
In algebra and precalculus courses, students are often asked to find extreme values of polynomial functions in the context of solving an applied problem; but without the notion of derivative, something is lost. Either the functions are reduced to quadratics, since students know the formula for the vertex of a parabola, or solutions are approximated using a graphing calculator. In this article, the authors show that it is possible to find the relative maximum and minimum values of a cubic polynomial by using elementary techniques that are appropriate for any algebra or precalculus course. (Contains 5 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A