Category: Calculus (SV)


Line Rider, in its infancy, had only one tool, the pen. With this tool, you drew your masterpiece curve (or piecewise curves), on which, the little hatted dude rides his sled. There were rules about the curves, when drawn left to right, the were riding curves, when drawn right to left, decoration… or something like that. However, the new version of LineRider has multicolored pens, an eraser tool (woo hoo) and now with the addition of the magical Jing program… I can easily record and share my masterpiece with you. If you watch my masterpiece, keep in mind that I have just nicely demonstrated two types of discontinuities in my work… removable discontinuities (the little dude just glides over the hole) and jump discontinuities (the little dude leaps from one part of the curve to another). LineRider can be an interesting and fun study in slopes for algebra students, asymptotes for pre-calculus students, and limits for calculus students. However, the true works of art are the ones created and set to music like these classic LineRiders all available on YouTube: (turn on your sound) Jagged Peak Adventure Urban Run Electronic Adventures LineRider SuperMario (okay… that one is really clever!) These are good for a 5-minute break in class… you know… for those students that refuse to get out of their seats and stretch… they might as well be entertained!...

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Links to Calculus Flash Videos

A few people asked if I would create links to some of my Calculus videos. I use a variety of software to produce the videos… Camtasia, SnagIt, TI-SmartView, the Internet, Wolfram Demonstrations, PowerPoint, and whatever else happens to be helpful at the time. I’ve selected three of them (pretty much at random) for you to see. Please keep in mind that these are not “professionally produced” … I do not have time to go back and edit a word if I misspeak (although I could with the software I use, I just don’t have time… it’s hard keeping up with online calculus). These video lessons are my version of what takes place in the classroom, and just like on a whiteboard, I may occasionally make a mistake and correct it… well, hopefully I correct it! 🙂 Using Secant Slopes Limits and Vertical Asymptotes The Falling Lexus Example Before you watch the Falling Lexus Example, you ought to watch the “Falling Lexus Commercial.” The files are all zipped. When you unzip the file, choose the LARGEST file (the swf file) to run. You will need to have a Flash Player downloaded to watch. [Update 5/6/12: My videos are now all loaded on, recorded live with a Tablet PC, and produced with Camtasia Studio as an MP4.  I’m leaving this post here for perspective.] Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher...

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Can you say ‘Asymptotic’?

Go on, tell me these aren’t some of the most beautiful real-world exponential graphs you’ve seen lately… I was minding my own business, watching Chris Anderson (of WIRED magazine) discuss Technology’s Long Tail in one of the TedTalks (this is one of the things I do while I do mundane tasks like building PDF files and letting Camtasia build .avi video files) … when I saw some of the most beautiful examples of exponential growth and decay in graph after graph after graph. If you’re teaching pre-calculus or calculus this semester, you’ve got to see this and use it in your classes. Personally, I’m sick of population problems and radioactive decay problems… and I bet our students are too! Apparently, Chris Anderson has written an entire book about the “long tail,” that is, the asymptotic behavior at the end-life of a certain kind of technology, when it begins to approach “FREE.” The book is called “The Long Tail” and is available in bookstores everywhere. If you want to read more of Anderson’s musings about technology and the future, his blog can be found here. Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in...

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