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Topic: Re: Calculator
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Dave Slomer

Posts: 244
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Calculator
Posted: Aug 1, 1997 8:41 AM
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> From: Geoff Hagopian <galois@cyberg8t.com>
> Joshua, (and MB)
>
> Well, (at the risk of wandering into TI-CALC list topics and
> offending MB&CO - hey, the '85 is fair game for the ap test, right?)
> Just like with roots of reals, it returns only the principal root: that
> is, entering <sqrt>(0,1) for the principle root of the imaginary unit
> returns (.707, .707). Likewise, log(-1) returns (0,1.36), while ln(-1)
> returns (0,3.14).


Of course, the 86 is an 85 with tables and much more.

> Which raises the question, how much are ap students expected to know
> about complex arithmetic?


Zero. It's real analysis.

> Is it fair game to ask for simplified radical
> form of complex roots of a quadratic, cubic or quartic polynomial - or


No.

> is that the trivial business of precalculus which these seniors are way
> past?


It's not trivial, nor are they past it. Complex analysis awaits the hardy
in the wings.

> I like to have my precalc students explore basins of attraction
> using the Babylonian algorithm for polynomial roots in the complex
> plane. I suppose ap students are too busy with chain rule problems to
> bother with such old-hatiness...


Dave Slomer
AP Calculus and Computer Science Teacher
Winton Woods HS, Cincinnati, OH 45240






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