Discussion:  All Topics 
Topic:  "Graphing Calculator" Software 
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Subject:  Derivative and Tangent Line Applet 
Author:  Gene 
Date:  Sep 8 2003 
You can use the pulldown functions or you can enter functions by typing. I
asked the students to experiment as they wish on the pulldown functions, but
be sure to try on x^3, x^4, and x^5. Assignment: Of all functions with their
general shapes, what's special about the derivatives of these? Write up what are
the key visual properties of the derivatives of each and draw another candidate
for the derivative of each. (We'd examined the graph of y = x^2 in class and
noticed that it had the amazing property of having y' a straight line and that
other vaguely "parabolic" curves needn't have that property—they'll see that
y=x^4 is another such.)
I'll also use this tool for second derivatives.
 
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