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The Calculus Lifesaver by Adrian Banner

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CHAPTER 13 _____________________________

Optimization and Linearization

We’re now going to look at two practical applications of calculus: optimization and linearization. Believe it or not, these techniques are used every day by engineers, economists, and doctors, for example. Basically, optimization involves finding the best situation possible, whether that be the cheapest way to build a bridge without it falling down or something as mundane as finding the fastest driving route to a specific destination. On the other hand, linearization is a useful technique for finding approximate values of hard-to-calculate quantities. It can also be used to find approximate values of zeroes of functions; this is called Newton’s method. In summary, we’ll look ...

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