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Classroom note: Sawtooth functions

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Using MAPLE enables students to consider many examples which would be very tedious to work out by hand. This applies to graph plotting as well as to algebraic manipulation. The challenge is to use these observations to develop the students' understanding of mathematical concepts. In this note an interesting relationship arising from inverse trigonometric functions is analysed. To understand what is going on students have to develop an understanding of how to deal with inverses where a function is not 1-1, by restricting the domain. The piece of work developed here also provides some interesting exercises in proof by induction.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Mathematics University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ UK, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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