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Introducing differential calculus on a graphics calculator

Kissane, B. (2016) Introducing differential calculus on a graphics calculator. At Right Angles, 5 (2). pp. 68-76.

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Calculus is fundamentally concerned with understanding and measuring change, which is why it has proved to be such a useful tool for more than three hundred years and has frequently been studied at the end of secondary school. The concept of a derivative is critical to the study of calculus, and is concerned with how functions are changing. In this article, we will outline how a modern graphics calculator can be used to explore this idea.

We will use a particular graphics calculator, the CASIO fx-CG 20, which does not have computer algebra capabilities. Too frequently, students focus on the symbolic manipulation aspects of calculus, which are appropriate for a later and more general treatment of ideas, but not as helpful for an introduction. Of course, similar explorations can be undertaken with other graphics calculators and with various kinds of computer software.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Azim Premji University
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