Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Related Rates Update

A while ago I mentioned that I wanted to get the students to create some more realistic related rates scenarios for calculus. I made up a sheet last semester and had them do just that. We talked a bit about how the "simple" and "cheesy" problems they see in the book are just SIMPLIFIED stand-ins for actual problems people really want to solve. I gave some examples. Here is the sheet with their assignment.

We talked about the "cheese" factor. And by "we" I mean "me". Apparently, that was not enough, because about 1/3 of the samples I got back were still "edible and fermented". Next year more "we" and less "me". (hah! as if!)

I made sure to share the wealth and divide the types of problems "evenly" by birthday.

I made sure to get them to talk to someone who is NOT from calculus about the problem and ask if it was something that looked like someone would care if it was solved.


  1. Jerry Tuttle9:09 AM

    Hi. I like your very last sentence: have them talk to someone outside of calculus ....

    I think we do too much math in isolation. And in the workplace, the math person needs to communicate and sell the solution to non-math people.

    Jerry Tuttle

  2. Thanks, Jerry. Based on some of the responses, though, it seemed that the "non calculus" people were still thinking like textbook people. I think it's great to communicate, maybe the questions have to be clearer.