<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=iA1Pi1a8Dy00ym" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="" />
Dismiss
Skip Navigation

5.1: Exploring Area under the Curve

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
Turn In

This activity is intended to supplement Calculus, Chapter 4, Lesson 3.

Problem 1 – Explore and discover

Graph the curve \begin{align*}y = x^2\end{align*}y=x2.

Your challenge is to think of at least two ways to estimate the area bounded by the curve \begin{align*}y = x^2 \end{align*}y=x2 and the \begin{align*}x-\end{align*}xaxis on the interval [0, 1] using rectangles. Use the following guidlines:

  • all rectangles must have the same width
  • you must build all your rectangles using the same methods
  • the base of each rectangle must lie on the \begin{align*}x-\end{align*}xaxis

Graph \begin{align*}y = x^2\end{align*}y=x2 and set your window to [-0.1, 1] for \begin{align*}x\end{align*}x and [-0.2, 1.3] for \begin{align*}y\end{align*}y. Draw your first and second method on the graphs below. For each method calculate the following:

  • Number of rectangles
  • Height and width of each one
  • Area of each
  • Sum of the area
  • Which method did a better job?
  • How could you improve on it?

In the following problem, you will examine three common techniques that use rectangles to find the approximate area under a curve. Perhaps you discovered some of these techniques during your exploration in the above problem. The first problem uses rectangles whose right-endpoints lie on the curve \begin{align*}y = x^2\end{align*}y=x2.

Problem 2 – Using five right-endpoint rectangles

Divide the interval [0, 1] into five equal pieces. Enter the information for each interval or rectangle in the table below. Remember that the right endpoint is the \begin{align*}x-\end{align*}xvalue and the height is the \begin{align*}y-\end{align*}yvalue of the right endpoint on the curve.

Interval Right Endpoint Height Area
  • Calculate this sum.
  • Now add up the numbers in the Area column.

The formula that can be used to express the total area is:

\begin{align*}R_5 &= 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 2) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 4) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 6) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 8) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(1 . 0)\\ & \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{or}\\ R_5 &= 0 . 2 [f1(0 . 2) + f1(0 . 4) + f1(0 . 6) + f1(0 . 8) + f1(1 . 0)]\end{align*}R5R5=0.2f1(0.2)+0.2f1(0.4)+0.2f1(0.6)+0.2f1(0.8)+0.2f1(1.0)or=0.2[f1(0.2)+f1(0.4)+f1(0.6)+f1(0.8)+f1(1.0)]

  • Are these two numbers the same or different?

Another way to find the area of the rectangles is using sigma notation.

  • Write the notation in the \begin{align*}\sum_{x=1}^5x^2\end{align*}x=15x2 form. Adjust what is being summed.

To sum it on the calculator, use Home > F3:Calc > 4:Sigma for the command with the format:

\begin{align*}\sum\end{align*}(expression, variable, lower limit, upper limit)

  • Does this agree with the answer for the area you found previously?

Problem 3 – Using five left-endpoint rectangles

This problem uses rectangles whose left-endpoints lie on the curve \begin{align*}y = x^2\end{align*}.

Divide the interval [0, 1] into five equal pieces. Enter the information for each interval in the table below. Remember that the left endpoint is the \begin{align*}x-\end{align*}value and the height is the \begin{align*}y-\end{align*}value of the left endpoint on the curve.

Interval Left Endpoint Height Area
  • Calculate this sum.
  • Now add up the numbers in the Area column.

The formula that can be used to express this area is:

\begin{align*}L_5 &= 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 2) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 4) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 6) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 8)\\ & \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{or}\\ L_5 &= 0 . 2 [f1(0) + f1(0 . 2) + f1(0 . 4) + f1(0 . 6) + f1(0 . 8)]\end{align*}

  • Are these two numbers the same or different?
  • What is the sigma notation for the area of the rectangles?
  • Use the calculator to find the sum. Does this result agree with the answer above?

Problem 4 – Using five midpoint rectangles

We will now investigate a midpoint approximation. How would you draw five rectangles, with equal width, such that their midpoints lie on the curve \begin{align*}y = x^2\end{align*}?

Divide the interval [0, 1] into five equal pieces. Enter the information for each interval or rectangle in the table below. Remember that the midpoint is the \begin{align*}x-\end{align*}value and the height is the \begin{align*}y-\end{align*}value of the midpoint on the curve.

Interval Midpoint Height Area
  • Calculate this sum.
  • Now add up the numbers in the Area column.
  • Are these two numbers the same or different?

The formula that can be used to express this area is:

\begin{align*}M_5 &= 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 1) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 3) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 5) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 7) + 0 . 2 \cdot f1(0 . 9)\\ & \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{or}\\ M_5 &= 0 . 2 [f1(0 . 1) + f1(0 . 3) + f1(0 . 5) + f1(0 . 7) + f1(0 . 9)] \end{align*}

  • What is the sigma notation for the area of the rectangles?
  • Use the calculator to find the sum. Does this result agree with the answer above?

Problem 5- Summarize your findings

In this activity, you explored three different methods for approximating the area under a curve. The exact area under the curve \begin{align*}y = x^2\end{align*} on the interval [0, 1] is \begin{align*} \frac{1}{3}\end{align*} or 0.333.

  • Which approximation produced the best estimate for the actual area under the curve?
  • Describe which factors contribute to left, right, and midpoint rectangles giving overestimates versus underestimates.
  • What can you do to ensure that all three of these techniques produce an answer that is very close to \begin{align*}\frac{1}{3}\end{align*}? Test your conjecture by using evaluating a sum that produces a much more accurate answer.

Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.

Color Highlighted Text Notes
Please to create your own Highlights / Notes
Show More

Image Attributions

Show Hide Details
Description
Subjects:
Grades:
Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Nov 04, 2014
Files can only be attached to the latest version of section
Please wait...
Please wait...
Image Detail
Sizes: Medium | Original
 
TI.MAT.ENG.SE.1.Calculus.5.1
Here