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Point on a Parabola

Date: 9 Jan 1995 07:14:24 -0500
From: Secret Someone
Subject: (none)

How do you find the point on the parabola  y=x^2  nearest the 
point (-3,0)???

                                        Steven Burris

Date: 9 Jan 1995 14:41:30 -0500
From: Dr. Ken
Subject: Re: your mail

Hey there!

I'll see if I can get you started, although I'm not sure how far you've
gotten yet.

You want to use the distance formula (between the given point and a general
point on the parabola), and then minimize the quantity it gives you.  So
this will be set up as a max-min problem, and you'll take the derivative of
the distance, set it equal to zero, blah blah blah.

Let us know if this isn't enough to get you going.

-Ken "Dr." Math
Associated Topics:
High School Calculus

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