One of my colleagues placed the following problem on an exam for his Calculus II course…

and was impressed by the variety of correct responses that he received. I thought it would be fun to discuss some of the different ways that this limit can be computed.

Method #4. The geometric approach. The numbers and can be viewed as two sides of a right triangle with legs and and hypotenuse . So as gets larger and larger, the longer leg will get closer and closer in length to the length of the hypotenuse. Therefore, the ratio of the length of the hypotenuse to the length of the longer leg must be 1.

I'm a Professor of Mathematics and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of North Texas. For eight years, I was co-director of Teach North Texas, UNT's program for preparing secondary teachers of mathematics and science.
View all posts by John Quintanilla

Published

One thought on “Different ways of computing a limit (Part 4)”

Now this one is real math. I give it at least 12 out of 10.

Now this one is real math. I give it at least 12 out of 10.