MathGroup Archive 2010

[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index]

Search the Archive

Re: calculate vertex of a parabola

Yes, of course when students are learning about completing the square, 
we want them to carry out the steps involved.

But once they have mastered it, to continue to insist they carry out 
those steps can become as pointless as to insist, for example, that they 
still extract square-roots using a paper-and-pencil algorithm.

On 9/29/2010 4:12 AM, Helen Read wrote:
> On 9/28/2010 6:06 AM, Murray Eisenberg wrote:
>> In his "Presentations" add-on application, David Park has a function
>> CompleteTheSquare that can save you the effort of carrying out the
>> manipulations:
>>      <<Presentations`
>>      CompleteTheSquare[a x^2 + b x + c, x] // InputForm
>> -b^2/(4*a) + c + a*(b/(2*a) + x)^2
> Personally, I'd like my students to understand how to do it the more
> effortful way :-)
> --
> Helen Read
> University of Vermont

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

  • Prev by Date: Re: Poisson's integral formula doesn't work
  • Next by Date: Re: Multiline functions
  • Previous by thread: Re: calculate vertex of a parabola
  • Next by thread: UnitStep vs Piecewise