Electronic Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate MathematicsChicago, Illinois, October 30-November 2, 2003Paper C019Interactive Web-Based Calculus Projects at Hollins University: Area of U.S. States and Roller Coasters |
Julie ClarkDepartment of Mathematics and Statistics Hollins University PO Box 9681 Roanoke, VA 24020 USA Phone: (540) 362-6524 jclark@hollins.edu list of all papers by this author | Trish HammerDepartment of Mathematics and Statistics Hollins University PO Box 9681 Roanoke, VA 24020 USA Phone: (540) 362-6599 phammer@hollins.edu list of all papers by this author |
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In the second project, developed for Calculus I students, the emphasis is on application of derivatives. Students develop a more thorough understanding of slope, local maximum and minimum points, and points of inflection by applying these concepts to straight stretch roller coasters. Students use interactive online images of real roller coasters to identify peak and valley points and also to determine the points of steepest ascent and descent. Then students determine the 'thrill' (as defined in the project) of these coasters. Student use downloadable Maple worksheets to design and mathematically model straight stretch coasters (given certain coaster restrictions) and to determine the corresponding thrill. Cubic polynomial functions and trigonometric functions are used to model the paths of these single drop and several drop coasters. As a project assignment, students are asked to mathematically design a coaster which satisfies the given restrictions and that has the maximum thrill. We will showcase this exciting project along with possible solutions.
Keyword(s): calculus, Internet, applications