All entries for Sunday 06 February 2011
February 06, 2011
Teaching the concept of limit in calculus
Limit

This entry was another spinoff from the session of mathematics education for post16. The topic was teaching calculus. I chose to introduce differentiation from the concept of limit using Geogebra. The dynamic geometry software is meant to illustrate the existence of limit for the gradient of a function. The points A and B on the curve y=x^{n} in the Geogebra page can be made arbitrarily close but never coincide. As separation of AB in x tends to 0, the gradient of the curve tends to a limit. I would begin the introduction of limit with Zeno's paradoxes. When the students had comprehended the concept of limit, the derivative of y=x^{n} can be algebraically derived from the binomial expansion of (x+dx)^{n}. The zoom and unzoom actions of the page were achieved using the javascript extension of Geogebra.