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Questions tagged [series]

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33 votes
11 answers

How can I teach my students the difference between a sequence and a series?

Sequences and series are related concepts but differ extremely from one another. I feel that students in integral calculus frequently mix them up. Part of the problem is that: Sequences are usually ...
Brian Rushton's user avatar
33 votes
12 answers

For calculus students, what should be the intuition or motivation behind series?

I've noticed that series are one of the most difficult portions of calculus for new students to learn. I think the level of abstraction has to do with this. Limits, derivatives, and integrals, as ...
Brian Rushton's user avatar
13 votes
8 answers

What are some fun/nonstandard examples of arithmetic/geometric series?

I am teaching those topics (arithmetic/geometric series) just now, and want some not so standard (fun) examples, which can be used essentially at high school/beginning calculus level. I'm ...
kjetil b halvorsen's user avatar
11 votes
6 answers

How can I convince students that Fourier series are useful?

Main question: Calculating the coefficients of a Fourier series can be difficult and time-consuming. How might a student be motivated/convinced to go through these (potentially tedious) details? Are ...
matqkks's user avatar
  • 1,243
9 votes
7 answers

Examples of arithmetic and geometric sequences and series in daily life

In this part of the course I am just trying to show that we actually see a lot of sequences and series every day in our regular life. I already found some examples such as the house numbers when you ...
Michelle_B's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers

Geometric Series Formula and Calculus

Is there any good reason that in educational materials, I consistently see the formula for calculating geometric series in canonical form as: $$\sum_{k=0}^{n-1} ar^k = a \frac{1-r^n}{1-r}$$ While an ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 2,646
7 votes
6 answers

Motivating example for sequences, sums and limits in high school

I currently work as a substitute teacher at a local high school and the topic in one of the classes is sequences, series and limits. Because I always disliked learning about a topic without having ...
Aaron Daniel's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers

How can we explain intuitively the convergence and divergence of these two series?

It is known that $\displaystyle\sum_1^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^{1.000001}}$ converges while $\displaystyle\sum_{n\text{ is a prime number}}\frac{1}{n}$ diverges. Though we can logically prove these results,...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 4,275
5 votes
8 answers

Comparison Tests in Calculus

How should I teach Comparison Tests in Calculus II, and why? Note that I will cover comparison tests in some way, and students will be expected to justify their answers to questions about series ...
Chris Cunningham's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers

Generating function example

I'm about to introduce the Generating Function concept to a couple of kids. The plan is just to roughly follow Herbert Wilf's Generatingfunctionology's first 12 pages, until Fibonacci numbers and Ch 1....
athos's user avatar
  • 777
4 votes
5 answers

What strategy for picking convergence tests for series do you teach?

Without getting bogged down in details, I'll list the names only. It seems that the strategy I generally use is this: Divergence test first Is it a recognizable form? p-series or geometric? a) No ...
user avatar
2 votes
4 answers

Proof that convergent Taylor Series converge to actual value of function

Taylor series (or Maclaurin Series) are the only way to get values for some functions, such as $$\operatorname{erf}(x)=\frac{2}{\sqrt{\pi}}\int_0^x e^{t^2} dt = \frac{2}{\sqrt{\pi}}\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}...
Elliot's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
1 answer

Intuition explanation about Lebesgue measure zero of the rational numbers [closed]

This is a question about the intuition of the rational number having measure zero. Let us consider followng proof: Let $I = [0,1]$ and $Q = \mathbb Q \cap I$ and let $\lambda$ be the Lebesgue measure. ...
flawr's user avatar
  • 409
-2 votes
1 answer

Finite sum of infinite series

I have two issues related to finite sum of infinite series, 1) How you would to describe 2 when you talk about the infinite geometric series 1+ 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ..... 2) How you would compare using ...
Janaka Rodrigo's user avatar