Electronic Proceedings of the Seventh Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics

Orlando, Florida, November 17-20, 1994

Paper C022

Understanding Taylor's Theorem with the TI-85

Gary H. Ford

Department of Mathematics
Radford University
Box 6942
Radford, VA 24142
Phone: (540) 831-5166
Fax: (540) 831-6452

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To most students, Taylor's Theorem is just a bunch of words on a printed page. This past year, I taught Taylor's Thm. using the TI-85 graphing calculator to illustrate the relatively simple idea of approximating one function with another in a prescribed interval. My perception of the results is that the graphing calculator greatly enhanced the understanding of the concepts involved. My students were actually interested in questions like 'Where is the approximation good?' and 'How closely does the one function approximate the other?', questions I've never heard before concerning these concepts. In this talk, I will present some examples, graphs, etc. that were used in class. Included also will be a discussion of how to utilize the TI-85 to find an interval on which the approximation is good to a specified level.

Keyword(s): calculus, TI-85, graphing calculators, sequences and series