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ERIC Number: EJ932730
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1051-1970
Functional DNA: Teaching Infinite Series through Genetic Analogy
Kowalski, R. Travis
PRIMUS, v21 n5 p456-472 2011
This article presents an extended analogy that connects infinite sequences and series to the science of genetics, by identifying power series as "DNA for a function." This analogy allows standard topics such as convergence tests or Taylor approximations to be recast in a "forensic" light as mathematical analogs of genetic concepts such as DNA testing or genetic profiling. This gives students, nowadays familiar with the ideas of "extracting DNA" or "getting a hit on CODIS" from pop culture, a familiar vantage point to understand and explore this fascinating part of calculus. We present an outline for implementing such material, and discuss some pedagogical advantages of this method of presentation. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures, and 1 footnote.)
Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A