Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You Will Be So Screwed When We Get to Max-Min

Today in calculus class my students had to do the following problem:
The quantity demanded, x, is linearly related the price, p, charged. At a price of $20, there are 3000 units sold. For each $1.50 drop in price, an additional 200 units are sold. Write the equation of the line relating the price and the quantity.

We were then going to find the revenue function, the marginal revenue, all that.

But they were claiming ignorance of the point-slope form of a line. And so they were freaking out when I took the point on the line and its slope and magically divined its equation. They were giving me an evil look that I would have deserved were I trying to explain the fundamental theorem of calculus in terms of de Rham cohomology. But I wasn't. Point-slope form a line, kids. I learned that when I was, like, twelve. Yet another reason for me not to trust this so-called calculus you took in high school.

So, oh my goodness, can you imagine what's going to happen when they have to deal with some freaking cone formed by some crazy procedure and maximize the volume? Do you not really grasp the concept of a pre-requisite?

My life would be so much easier if you had to pass a serious algebra exam in order to get a driver's license.