**ERIC Number:**EJ783764

**Record Type:**Journal

**Publication Date:**2008-Feb

**Pages:**4

**Abstractor:**ERIC

**Reference Count:**2

**ISBN:**N/A

**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.)

Descriptors: Graphing Calculators, Calculus, Algebra, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts, Equations (Mathematics), Problem Solving

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: orders@nctm.org; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/

**Publication Type:**Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive

**Education Level:**N/A

**Audience:**N/A

**Language:**English

**Sponsor:**N/A

**Authoring Institution:**N/A