The article demonstrates the ability of spreadsheets to fit a polynomial to a set of discrete points. It is noted that such an ability enables students to not just evaluate a gradient at a single point, but at a whole family of points, which generates the analytical global gradient function of secants without doing any algebraic manipulations. One of the advantages of such an approach is that it enables the class to focus on the concepts being taught, rather than being hindered by the mechanics of trying to factorise a cubic polynomial.
Field of Research
010302 Numerical Solution of Differential and Integral Equations
Socio Economic Objective
970101 Expanding Knowledge in the Mathematical Sciences