9
votes
2answers
785 views

Can formally differentiating give a derivative of a discrete function?

When I teach calculus, I really try to stress the importance of knowing the domain of a function. One example that I sometimes like to use to show students the importance of inspecting the domain is ...
32
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the simplest, most elementary proof that a particular number is transcendental?

I teach, among many other things, a class of wonderful and inquisitive 7th graders. We've recently been studying and discussing various number systems (N, Z, Q, R, C, algebraic numbers, and even ...
16
votes
11answers
5k views

The role of the mean value theorem (MVT) in first-year calculus.

Should the mean value theorem be taught in first-year calculus? Most calculus textbooks present the MVT just before the section that says that if $f'>0$ on an interval then $f$ increases on that ...
9
votes
11answers
12k views

Why does undergraduate discrete math require calculus?

Often undergraduate discrete math classes in the US have a calculus prerequisite. Here is the description of the discrete math course from my undergrad: A general introduction to basic ...
23
votes
14answers
3k views

Making sure that you have comprehended a concept

Hi, I have a question that I've been thinking about for a long time. How can you assure yourself that you've fully comprehended a concept or the true meaning of a theorem in mathematics? I mean how ...
18
votes
13answers
2k views

Do you find your students are less competent in basic algebra and arithmetic, and, if so, do you believe that this is due to overuse of calculators at an early level? [closed]

So first I gave my class the quiz problem: Compute $$\lim_{h\rightarrow 0} \frac{\frac{1}{3+h} - \frac{1}{3}}{h}.$$ Upon finding that they could not do that (no real surprize) I asked them to compute ...
11
votes
12answers
4k views

Looking for an introductory textbook on algebraic geometry for an undergraduate lecture course

I am now supposed to organize a tiny lecture course on algebraic geometry for undergraduate students who have interest in this subject. I wonder whether there are some basic algebraic geometry texts ...