This activity is intended to supplement Calculus, Chapter 3, Lesson 2.
Max & Min
In this activity, you will explore relative maximums and minimums by drawing a tangent line to a curve and making observations about the slope of the tangent line.
When the tanimate2 program begins, choose Interactive. Press ALPHA 10 to find the slope 10 times. (You can choose a smaller number next time.) Select the Tangent Only option. Arrow to a point where you want to find the slope and press ENTER, or type a value and press ENTER twice. Observe the slope of the tangent line and determine the critical number(s) of the function.
For the graph that has a cusp:
For the cubic function:
7. Does a relative extreme value occur at every critical number? Predict a way to help determine whether or not there is a relative extreme value at a critical number.
Think about how you can tell if a critical number will be at a relative maximum, a relative minimum, or neither. When using tanimat2 for the quadratic opening down, move the point of tangency along the curve. Find the slope of the tangent at many locations to observe what happens.
8. When the point of tangency is to the left side of the relative maximum, will the slope of the tangent line be positive, negative, or zero?
9. What about when the point of tangency is to the right of the relative maximum?
Quit tanimat2 and return to the xtreme1 script. Repeat the process for the quadratic function opening up.
10. For this function, when the point of tangency is to the left side of the relative minimum, will the slope of the tangent line be positive, negative, or zero?
11. What about when the point of tangency is to the right of the relative minimum?
Fill in the blanks of the following sentences.
15. How many relative extrema can an nth degree polynomial have? Explain.