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Chapter 1 Prerequisites for Calculus

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Section 1.1 Lines

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The shortest distance between two points is a geodesic. A geodesic is the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere, and a line is a straight line with a constant slope.

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Ex 1: Decide if the following are LINES.

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local linearity Much of Calculus focuses on the concept of “local linearity”, meaning that even if a function curves, if you were to pick a point and stay very close (local) to that point, the function behaves very much like that of a line. For example a parabola…

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Example 1: Graph the functions y = sin x and y = x on your calculator. Stay close to the point (0, 0), and zoom in on this point several times. We can say that as long as we stay “close” to (0, 0), the functions y = sin x and y = x are almost the same thing. Now, the concept of “close” is more complicated than it might sound, but more on that in chapter 2.

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In calculus, we will be writing equations of lines: tangent lines, normal lines, horizontal lines, vertical lines, straight lines, pick-up lines, etc. We’ll be writing these equations in numerous different formats from a variety of pieces of information. You will become quite adept, and perhaps tired, at writing equations of lines. Let’s review.

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Regression Analysis is a process of finding a curve to fit a set of data. The basic process involves plotting the points and finding a function that “best fits” those points. The curve you find is called the regression curve. For the purposes of this section, our “curve” is linear, but it could be a parabola or other power function, a logarithmic function, a trigonometric function, or an exponential function.

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