eBook ISBN:  9781614441144 
Product Code:  CLRM/9.E 
List Price:  $45.00 
MAA Member Price:  $33.75 
AMS Member Price:  $33.75 
eBook ISBN:  9781614441144 
Product Code:  CLRM/9.E 
List Price:  $45.00 
MAA Member Price:  $33.75 
AMS Member Price:  $33.75 

Book DetailsClassroom Resource MaterialsVolume: 9; 1998; 131 pp
Calculus Mysteries and Thrillers consists of eleven mathematics projects based on introductory singlevariable calculus, together with some guidance on how to make use of them. Each project is presented as an amusing short story. In many of them, a group of undergraduate mathematics students formed into a consulting company called Math Iz Us, is hired to solve mathematical problems brought to them by clients. The problems solved include: helping to prosecute an accused pool shark, defending a driver accused of speeding, assisting a hockey coach in making his star forward a more effective goal scorer, and advising a pirate captain on how to divide a goldplated gooseegg fairly among his crew. In each problem, the problem solvers are required to present to their client a detailed written report of their findings. Thus, students must produce and analyze accurate mathematical models of complex, verbally presented real life situations and write a clear technical account of their solution. Instructors who are looking for problems that are novel, interesting, and several levels more complex than the typical text book word problem will find them in this book.
This book will be of particular value to instructors who wish to combine training in applications of calculus with training in technical writing. The complexity of the problems makes them suitable for use as group projects. The calculus concepts on which the problems are based include: tangent and normal lines, optimization by use of critical points, inverse trig functions, volumes of solids, surface area integrals, and modeling economic concepts using definite integrals. Although a few ideas from physics and economics are used in the problems, no prior knowledge of these fields is required.

Table of Contents

The Projects

1. The Case of the Parabolic Pool Table

2. Calculus for Climatologists

3. The Case of the Swiveling Spotlight

4. Finding the Salami Curve

5. Saving Lunar Station Alpha

6. An Income Policy for Mediocria

7. The Case of the Cooling Cadaver

8. Designing Dipsticks

9. The Case of the Gilded Gooseegg

10. Sunken Treasure

11. The Case of the Alien Agent

The Solutions

1. The Case of the Parabolic Pool Table—Solution

2. Calculus for Climatologists—Solution

3. The Case of the Swiveling Spotlight—Solution

4. Finding the Salami Curve—Solution

5. Saving Lunar Station Alpha—Solution

6. An Income Policy for Mediocria—Solution

7. The Case of the Cooling Cadaver—Solution

8. Designing Dipsticks—Solution

9. The Case of the Gilded Gooseegg—Solution

10. Sunken Treasure—Solution

11. The Case of the Alien Agent—Solution


Reviews

Obviously, the stories in “Calculus Mysteries and Thrillers” are unrealistic situations where calculus could be used. Yet, as in good fiction, being untrue does not mean inapplicable or useless. I believe they still have pedagogical value illustrating the power of calculus. In some ways, the stories return the spice to textbook problems whose flavor has been boiled away for space considerations.
Jeremy Case, MAA Reviews


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Calculus Mysteries and Thrillers consists of eleven mathematics projects based on introductory singlevariable calculus, together with some guidance on how to make use of them. Each project is presented as an amusing short story. In many of them, a group of undergraduate mathematics students formed into a consulting company called Math Iz Us, is hired to solve mathematical problems brought to them by clients. The problems solved include: helping to prosecute an accused pool shark, defending a driver accused of speeding, assisting a hockey coach in making his star forward a more effective goal scorer, and advising a pirate captain on how to divide a goldplated gooseegg fairly among his crew. In each problem, the problem solvers are required to present to their client a detailed written report of their findings. Thus, students must produce and analyze accurate mathematical models of complex, verbally presented real life situations and write a clear technical account of their solution. Instructors who are looking for problems that are novel, interesting, and several levels more complex than the typical text book word problem will find them in this book.
This book will be of particular value to instructors who wish to combine training in applications of calculus with training in technical writing. The complexity of the problems makes them suitable for use as group projects. The calculus concepts on which the problems are based include: tangent and normal lines, optimization by use of critical points, inverse trig functions, volumes of solids, surface area integrals, and modeling economic concepts using definite integrals. Although a few ideas from physics and economics are used in the problems, no prior knowledge of these fields is required.

The Projects

1. The Case of the Parabolic Pool Table

2. Calculus for Climatologists

3. The Case of the Swiveling Spotlight

4. Finding the Salami Curve

5. Saving Lunar Station Alpha

6. An Income Policy for Mediocria

7. The Case of the Cooling Cadaver

8. Designing Dipsticks

9. The Case of the Gilded Gooseegg

10. Sunken Treasure

11. The Case of the Alien Agent

The Solutions

1. The Case of the Parabolic Pool Table—Solution

2. Calculus for Climatologists—Solution

3. The Case of the Swiveling Spotlight—Solution

4. Finding the Salami Curve—Solution

5. Saving Lunar Station Alpha—Solution

6. An Income Policy for Mediocria—Solution

7. The Case of the Cooling Cadaver—Solution

8. Designing Dipsticks—Solution

9. The Case of the Gilded Gooseegg—Solution

10. Sunken Treasure—Solution

11. The Case of the Alien Agent—Solution

Obviously, the stories in “Calculus Mysteries and Thrillers” are unrealistic situations where calculus could be used. Yet, as in good fiction, being untrue does not mean inapplicable or useless. I believe they still have pedagogical value illustrating the power of calculus. In some ways, the stories return the spice to textbook problems whose flavor has been boiled away for space considerations.
Jeremy Case, MAA Reviews