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Algebra

Honors Theses AY 16/17

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Algebra, Calculus, And The Act, Alex S. Krysl Apr 2017

Algebra, Calculus, And The Act, Alex S. Krysl

Honors Theses AY 16/17

It is a common saying that “the hardest part of calculus is the algebra”. Unfortunately, I found that many students lack the necessary, prerequisite algebra skills and knowledge in order to utilize completely the novel calculus concepts learned. For calculus to be effective, algebraic manipulation presents itself as an essential precondition.

As an example, students apply exponent rules throughout the whole differentiation and integration process—like the power rule. For students who lacked a solid background or basis in algebraic concepts like exponent rules, factoring, rewriting equations, and graphing functions, I observed their learning taking place in the calculus classroom ...