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Slope of a curve

A curve has different slopes at each point. Let A, B, and C be different points of  a curve f (x)

Where ðx is the small increase in x

ðy is the small increase in y

The slope of chord AC =

If C moves right up to A the chord AC becomes the tangent to the curve at A and the slope at A is the limiting value of   

This is known as differentiating by first principle

From the first principle


Differentiate the following with respect to x

i)y = x2+3x


Differentiation of products functions [ product rule]

Let y =uv

Where u and v are functions of x

If x   →   x+ðx

u     →    u +ðu

v     →   v+ðv

y     →    ðy +y

y= uv ……i)


y+ðy = [ u+ðu][v+ðv]

y+ðy = uv +uðv+vðu +ðuðv….ii

Subtract (i) from (ii)

δy  =uðv +vðu +ðuðv



If y= uv

     It is the product rule


Differentiate the following with respect to x

i)    y = [ x2+3x] [4x+3]

ii)    y = [   +2] [x2+2]


Y = [x2+3x] [4x+3]



Differentiate the following with respect to x




If y = f(u), where u = f(x)



Implicit function is the one which is neither x nor y a subject e.g.

1)     x2+y2 = 25

2)     x2+y2+2xy=5

One thing to remember is that y is the function of x


Find  when x+ y3 – 3xy2 = 8

Differentiation of trigonometric functions

3)     Let y = tan -1 x

x = tan y

Let y = 

X = 



        Differentiate the following with respect to x.

i)   Sin 6x

ii)   Cos (4x2+5)

iii)   Sec x tan 2 x

        Differentiate sin2 (2x+4) with respect to x

        Differentiate the following from first principle

i)    Tan x

Differentiation of logarithmic and exponential functions

1-     Let y = ln x

Differentiation of Exponents

1)     Let y = ax

If a function is in exponential form apply natural logarithms on both sides

i.e.  ln y = ln ax

ln y =x ln a

Since â„®x does not depend on h,then



Find the derivative of y = 105x

Y = 105x

Iny = In105x



Find the derivatives of the following functions

a)  a)   Y =

b)    b) Y =

c)     c)Y=


Differentiation is applied when finding the rates of change, tangent of a curve, maximum and minimum etc

i) The rate of change


 The side of a cube is increasing at the rate of 6cm/s. find the rate of increase of the volume when the length of a side is 9cm


 A hollow right circular cone is held vertex down wards beneath a tap leaking at the rate of 2cm3/s. find the rate of rise of the water level when the depth is 6cm given that the height of the cone is 18cm and its radius is 12cm.



A horse trough has triangular cross section of height 25cm and base 30cm and is 2m long. A horse is drinking steadily and when the water level is 5cm below the top is being lowered at the rate of 1cm/min find the rate of consumption in litres per minute


Volume of horse trough

From the ratio of the corresponding sides

    A rectangle is twice as long as it is broad find the rate change of the perimeter when the width of the rectangle is 1m and its area is changing at the rate of 18cm2/s assuming the expansion is uniform



From a curve we can find the equations of the tangent and the normal


i.            Find the equations of the tangents to the curve  y =2x2 +x-6 when x=3


(x. y)= (3, 5) is the point of contact of the curve with the tangent


Gradient of the tangent at the curve is


ii.            Find the equation of the tangent and normal to the curve y = x2 – 3x + 2 at the point where it cuts y axis


The curve cuts y – axis when x = 0

Slope of the tangent [m] = -3

Equation of the tangent at (0, 2) is

Slope of the normal

From; m1m2 = -1,Given m1=-3

Equation of the normal is


  Find the equation of the tangent to 2x2 – 3x which has a gradient of 1

  Find the equations of the normal  to the curve  y = x2-5x +6 at the points where the curve cuts the x axis

Stationary points [turning points]

A stationary point is the one where by   = 0 it involves:

        Minimum turning point

        Maximum turning point

        Point of inflection

Nature of the curve of the function

At point A, a maximum value of a function occurs

At point B, a minimum value of a function occurs

At point C, a point of inflection occurs

At the point of inflection is a form of S bend

Note that

Points A, B and C are called turning points on the graph or stationary values of the function

Investigating the nature of the turning point

Minimum points

At turning points the gradient    changes from being negative to positive i.e.

 Increasing as x- increases

  Is positive at the minimum point

   Is positive for minimum value of the function of (y)

Maximum points

At maximum period the gradient changes from positive to negative


  Decreases as x- increases

  Is negative at the maximum value of the function (y)

Point of inflection 

This is the changes of the gradient from positive to positive

  Is positive just to the left and just to the left

This is changes of the gradient from negative to negative.

  Is negative just to the left and just to the right

  Is zero for a point of inflection i.e

   Is zero for point of inflection


Find the stationary points of the and state the nature of these points of the following functions

Y = x4 +4x3-6


At stationary points


Then the value of a function

At x = 0, y = -6

X= -3, y =-33

Stationary point at (0,-6) and (-3,-33)

At (0,-6)

Point (0,-6) is a point of inflection

        At (-3,-33)

At (-3, -33) is a minimum point


You test     by taking values of x just to the right and left of the turning point


1)     1. Find and classify the stationary points of the following curves

a)     (i) y = 2x-x2

b)     (ii) y =   +x

c)     (iii) y= x2(x2– 8x)

2)    2. Determine the smallest positive value of x at which a point of inflection occurs on the graph of y = 3â„®2x cos (2x-3)

3)    3. If 4x2 + 8xy +9y2 8x – 24y +4 =0 show that when  = 0,

x + y = 1. Hence find the maximum and minimum values of y


     1. A farmer has 100m of metal railing with which to form two adjacent sides of a rectangular enclosure, the other two sides being two existing walls of the yard meeting at right angles, what dimensions will give  the maximum possible area?


Where, W is the width of the new wall

L is the length of the new wall

The length of the metal railing is 100m

      2. An open  card board box width a square base is required to hold 108cm3 what should be the dimensions if the area of cardboard used is as small as possible



The gradient function of y = ax2 +bx +c is 4x+2. The function has a maximum value of 1, find the values of a, b, and c

MACLAURIN’S SERIES [from power series ]

Let f(x) = a1 +a2x+a3x2 +a4x3 +a5x4+ a6x5…….i

In order to establish the series we have to find the values of the constant co efficient a1, a2, a3, a4, a5, a6 etc

Put x = 0 in …i

Putting the expressions a1,a2,a3,a4,a5,………back to the original series and get

 which is the maclaurin series.


Expand the following

i)    â„®x

ii)  f(x) = cos x



        Write down the expansion of 

        If x is so small that x3 and higher powers of x may be neglected, show that


Taylor’s series is an expansion useful for finding an approximation for f(x) when x is close to a

By expanding f(x) as a series of ascending powers of (x-a)

f(x) = a +a1(x-a) +a2(x-a)2+a3(x-a)3 +……..

This becomes


        Expand  in ascending powers of h up to the h3 term, taking  as

1.7321 And 5.5 as 0.09599c find the value of cos 54.5 to three decimal places


        Obtain the expansion of  in ascending powers of x as far as the x3term

Introduction to partial derivative

Let f (x, y) be a differentiable function of two variables. If y kept constant and differentiates f (assuming f is differentiable with respect to x

Keeping x constant and differentiate f with respect to y


        find the partial derivatives of fx and fy

If f(x, y) = x2y +2x+y


        Find fx and fy if f (x,y) is given by

f(x, y) = sin(xy) +cos x



1.      find fx and fy if f(x,y) is given by

Suppose   compute 

Mathematics (from Ancient Greek μάθημα; máthēma: ‘knowledge, study, learning’) is an area of knowledge that includes such topics as numbers (arithmetic, number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and the spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (calculus and analysis).

Most mathematical activity involves the use of pure reason to discover or prove the properties of abstract objects, which consist of either abstractions from nature or—in modern mathematics—entities that are stipulated with certain properties, called axioms. A mathematical proof consists of a succession of applications of some deductive rules to already known results, including previously proved theorems, axioms and (in case of abstraction from nature) some basic properties that are considered as true starting points of the theory under consideration.

Mathematics is used in science for modeling phenomena, which then allows predictions to be made from experimental laws. The independence of mathematical truth from any experimentation implies that the accuracy of such predictions depends only on the adequacy of the model. Inaccurate predictions, rather than being caused by incorrect mathematics, imply the need to change the mathematical model used. For example, the perihelion precession of Mercury could only be explained after the emergence of Einstein’s general relativity, which replaced Newton’s law of gravitation as a better mathematical model.

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