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Historical Activities for the Calculus Classroom

Gabriela R. Sanchis

The history of the calculus is a fascinating story, inspired by the search for solutions to interesting problems.  We do our students a disservice when we fail to share with them some of this exciting history. Over the last two years, with support from the National Science Foundation, I have been developing modules for teaching calculus concepts in a way that integrates the historical evolution of these concepts. The attached article contains some examples. Included are several interactive Java applets, produced using Geometer’s Sketchpad, which require a Java-enabled Web browser. These can be identified by the appropriate icon. In addition, many of the exercises provided require The Geometer’s Sketchpad and/or a CAS (Computer Algebra System) such as Derive, Maple, Mathematica, or a TI Voyage 200 calculator.

To view the article itself as a pdf file, click here.  The applets may well work better if you download the article to your computer (by right-clicking) and exit from Convergence.

Similarly, if you want the article along with the answers to all of the exercises, click here.  Again, you may want to download this and exit from Convergence before trying the applets.



Gabriela R. Sanchis, "Historical Activities for the Calculus Classroom," Loci (August 2007)