College Math Teaching

October 15, 2013

What do you mean “you don’t know”???

Filed under: calculus, integrals, student learning — Tags: — collegemathteaching @ 6:38 pm

goatprof

I am grading calculus II exams and the above photo looks a bit like me. I’ll calm down before I hand the exams back to the students.

But I swear: I had one student DURING THE EXAM say “hey, you can’t do \int^1_{\frac{1}{2}} \frac{1}{x} dx  because \frac{1}{x} = x^{-1} and x^{-1+1} \frac{1}{-1+1} is undefined. Yes, this person passed calculus I and yes, we did that integral in calculus I (some schools hold off and develop ln(x) = \int^x_1 \frac{1}{t} dt using the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus). And yes, previously THIS SEMESTER we did integrals like \int \frac{1}{(x-1)(x+1)} dx .

(facepalm).

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