THE methods employed in this book, which presents an attractive appearance, are almost entirely independent of the aid of general mathematical principles. For instance, the form of tke graph of y = ax + b and its dependence on a, b are explained by plotting graphs of the equations obtained by varying a while b remains constant, and then those obtained by varying b while a remains constant Naturally greater difficulties occur in handling the equations y = ax2 + bx + c, y = ax3 + bx + c, &c., by the same method. Inexpert mathematical students of the type for whom the author writes find it very hard to get hold of the notion of a parameter, and a great deal could certainly be done by adopting the plan indicated above, and steadily followed in this book. Even the ordinary student of analytical geometry would prob ably get at “the facts of the case” sooner if he ap proached, for example, the equation x2 + y2 - ax - b = 0 by drawing graphs of the circles of the specified system, keeping b a positive constant and giving a various values, then keeping b a negative constant and varying a.
Practical Curve Tracing, with Chapters on Differentiation and Integration.
By R. Howard Duncan. Pp. vii + 137. (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1910.) Price 5s. net.
About this article
Cite this article
P., P. Practical Curve Tracing, with Chapters on Differentiation and Integration . Nature 83, 423 (1910). https://doi.org/10.1038/083423a0