
06389084
j
2015a.00722
Gilbert, Michael
Who says we can't divide by 0? An introduction to the concept of limits.
Math. Sch. (Leicester) 43, No. 4, 2325 (2014).
2014
Mathematical Association (MA), Leicester
EN
I20
F40
limits
approach
conceptual understanding
concept formation
intuitive perspective
division
calculus
divergence
graph of a function
From the text: One of the more difficult mathematical theories for students is the topic of limit. To provide a conceptual introduction to limits, activities from the regular upper elementary and middle school mathematics curriculum can be extended to provide students with an intuitive picture of the concept of limit, which can then provide a preliminary frame for the symbolic treatment found in later classes. The term limit is used to describe the value that a function or sequence approaches as the input approaches some, usually infinitely large or infinitely small, value. This definition implies a hard boundary (such as a speed limit) but still allows for a range of acceptable outcomes. In a mathematical context, limits are `approached' but never reached.