Date: Apr 16, 2013 9:06 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Research help needed

Daniel Sarkes posted Apr 12, 2013 8:48 AM:
>
> Hi, I am conducting an undergrad research project
> involving L'Hopital's rule and Excel. The idea is to
> use computation L'Hopital's rule works. I have
> attached the lab and the teacher's guide. I also have
> a pre and post test so I can make an attempt at
> getting some sort of quantifiable data from this
> project. If you can help me and run the lab let me
> know an I will email them.
>
> thanks you for your time Dan
>

I am not a math teacher so I shan't be able to get you any quantifiable data on your project (relating to how students respond to it). However, I have some thoughts that may be useful.
1. It's "L'Hospital" not "L'Hopital" as you've consistently spelt it. Also, it should be "L'Hospital's" not "L'Hopitals" as you've put it somewhere.

2. You have consistently written "it's" where "its" would have been appropriate.
The above are doubtless petty and niggling issues, but it is better to be correct, as students will be learning to use the terms the way you use them.

3. Wayne Bishop has questioned the value as 'research' of what you're doing. I believe he does have a point (though not the one he thinks he is making). There is in fact not enough of the "WHYs?" and the "HOWs?" articulated in your documents. The "THATs" too, as Professor Bishop notes. If you're able to demonstrate/illustrate a bit more of the both the "WHYs?" and the "HOWs?" involved in your project, your research would have considerably more value to you and to your users. You may find a tool called the 'One Page Management System' (OPMS) useful for these purposes. Basic information about the OPMS is available here (in particular at the attachments to the message linked) - http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536 .

More information, including some useful software to with the required modeling that would enable you to extract the required "WHYs?" and the "HOWs?" involved in your project available on request. If you extract a few more of the "WHYs?" and the "HOWs?" of your project, doubtless Professor Bishop would remove some of his objections.

4. However, your basic ideas seem to be sound. I recall that L'Hospital's Rule used to be a source of much foncusion for many of my college-mates during engineering studies.

Best wishes
GSC