This site contains an interactive app that allows visual exploration of Newton’s Method for finding the zeros of a function.
Type of Material:
Simulation. Interactive app with animated graphs, video and text.
This site can be used for in- class demonstration or for independent student exploration.
Any Internet browser and Adobe Flash Player to access referenced videos.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To visually explore Newton’s Method for a variety of self-supplied functions.
Target Student Population:
Students in appropriate precalculus or calculus class.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Algebra, first semester of Calculus (preferred), equation of a tangent line.
The site is an excellent, focused exploration of a single technique: Newton’s Method to determine the zeros of a function. It provides the opportunity to visually explore the method with self-supplied functions and an assortment of zooming tools. It also includes a video tutorial that explains both the “how to” and some of the background mathematics. There is a link to a complete mathematical explanation of the technique in standard notation.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This is an excellent resource for in-classroom demonstration or for independent student exploration. It is simple to use, visually appealing and provides ample user control of features.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is intuitive and easy to use. The linked video tutorial also provides an excellent back-up resource for anybody needing help with their self-exploration.
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