
06145562
j
2013b.00681
Taylor, Daniel
MooreRusso, Deborah
Capitalizing on the dynamic features of Excel to consider growth rates and limits.
MathAMATYC Educ. 3, No. 2, 1720 (2012).
2012
American Mathematical Association of TwoYear Colleges (AMATYC), Memphis, TN
EN
I20
U70
calculus
graphs
courseware
technology uses in education
technology integration
teaching methods
educational strategies
mathematical models
mathematics instruction
algebra
investigations
spreadsheets
knowledge representation
functions
power functions
exponential functions
http://www.amatyc.org/publications/mathamatyceducator/February2012/index.html#taylor
Summary: It is common for both algebra and calculus instructors to use power functions of various degrees as well as exponential functions to examine and compare rates of growth. This can be done on a chalkboard, with a graphing calculator, or with a spreadsheet. Instructors often are careful to connect the symbolic and graphical (and occasionally the tabular) representations of the functions. However, the graphs that are typically used for this are static. The most recent versions of Microsoft Excel allow instructors to illustrate the connections between the symbolic, tabular, and graphical representations of the equations through quick generation of the function graphs. This requires only minimal input including three components: the equation of the function, its starting point, and the incremental changes between independent variable values. By formatting the spreadsheet to depend on these three things, the input values (and the calculated output values) are easily manipulated, allowing for changes in scale.