Monthly Archives: October 2009

Sunday song: Speed and Velocity

It’s fitting that I’ve just covered these topics in both my Calculus I and Calculus III classes this week… thanks, They Might Be Giants! Speed and Velocity When I’m on an airplane And we’re on a runway Ready to take … Continue reading

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1/t (Once upon a time)

I mentioned last month my new “unit circle” clock, which marks the hours in terms of their radian angle measure and parametrizes time positively, which is to say, counterclockwise.   (For example, the clock below reads 4:05:40.) One of the … Continue reading

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Unnatural selections

It’s October, which means its time for the Ig Nobel prizes!   If you haven’t heard of ’em, they’re annual awards presented jointly by the Annals of Improbably Research, the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students, the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, … Continue reading

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I just finished a multi-variable calculus lecture on surfaces in Euclidean 3-space, in which I drew an elliptical paraboloid, a sinusoidal cylinder, and a hyperbolic paraboloid, or, as my students identified them, a sippy cup, a lasagna noodle, and a … Continue reading

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Calculus haiku: basic differentiation formulas

We’ve moved onto some of the basic differentiation “shortcuts” in calculus, particularly the formulas for the derivatives of power functions, sine, and cosine. The power formula states that or The derivatives of the two most basic trigonometric functions are given … Continue reading

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