When analyzing functions in mathematics, it is often helpful to multiple representations of the function. These multiple representations consist of analyzing a function in three different para-digms (symbolical, graphical, and tabular). One application central to calculus involves finding the maximum or minimum value of a real-valued function. In a traditional calculus class, this process is typically done by finding the solution by using the notion of derivatives on the algebraic or sym-bolic form of the function. Spreadsheets allow students to analyze optimization problems in the tabular form. As a consequence, students in an algebra or pre-calculus class can study optimization problems without the formal tools of calculus. This article provides an example of using spread-sheets to analyze the maximum volume of a pup tent used on a camping trip.

Buhl.xls (21 kB)
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