In a message dated 5/1/2001 11:25:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time, gaff@NEU.EDU writes:
> The quadratic formula comes into its own when dealing with quadratic > functions that contain parameters; for example if you want to derive the > formula for the time a projectile is in the air, or if you want to study > families of functions. If students haven't developed to the point that > they can appreciate problems like this then they probably won't be able to > understand the value of the quadratic formula, and won't remember it. >
But remember that CAS like the TI89/92+ can solve quadratic and other equations with parameters in terms of the parameters. In fact if you ask it to solve a*x^2 + b*x + c = 0 it will give you the quadratic formula. It will also solve for the parameters in terms of x and the other parameters. The value, IMHO, is in the solution, not in the method of solution.