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- Fundamentals of Calculus I - MATH 019 Z1 - Course Syllabus
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You are on page 1of 3

The derivative of a function represents the best linear approximation of that

function. In one variable, we are looking for the equation of a straight line. We

know a point on the line so that we only need to determine the slope.

Blackboard 1. Let f : R R be a function and let a R be a real number. f is

differentiable at a, with derivative R, if

lim

xa

f (x) f (a)

= .

xa

slightly better to recast (1):

Blackboard 2. Let f : R R be a function and let a R be a real number. f is

differentiable at a, with derivative R, if

lim

xa

f (x) f (a) (x a)

= 0.

xa

We are now ready to give the definition of the derivative of a function of more

than one variable:

Blackboard 3. Let f : Rn Rm be a function and let p Rn be a point. f is

differentiable at p, with derivative the m n matrix A, if

f (q) f (p) A

pq

lim

= 0.

qp

kpqk

We will write Df (p) = A.

So how do we compute the derivative? We want to find the matrix A. Suppose

that

a b

A=

c d

Then

a b

1

a

A

e1 =

=

c d

0

c

and

a b

0

b

A

e2 =

=

.

c d

1

d

In general, given an m n matrix A, we get the jth column of A, simply by

multiplying A by the column vector determined by ej .

So we want to know what happens if we approach p along the line determined by

ej . So we take

pq = h

ej , where h goes to zero. In other words, we take q = p + h

ej .

Lets assume that h > 0. So we consider the fraction

f (q) f (p) A(h

ej )

f (q) f (p) A(h

ej )

=

h

kpqk

f (q) f (p) hA

ej

=

h

f (q) f (p)

=

Aej .

h

1

f (p + h

ej ) f (p)

.

h0

h

A

ej = lim

Now f (p + h

ej ) f (p) is a column vector, whose entry in the ith row is

fi (p+

ej )fi (p) = fi (p1 , p2 , . . . , pj1 , pj +h, pj+1 , . . . , pn )fi (p1 , p2 , . . . , pj1 , pj , pj+1 , . . . , pn ).

and so for the expression on the right, in the ith row, we have

lim

h0

fi (p + h

ej ) fi (p)

.

h

Blackboard 4. Let g : Rn R be a function and let p Rn . The partial derivative of g at p = (p1 , . . . , pn ), with respect to xj is the limit

g(p1 , p2 , . . . , pj + h, . . . , pn ) g(p1 , . . . , pn )

g

.

= lim

xj p h0

h

Example 5. Let g : R3 R be the function

g(x, y, z) = x3 y + x sin(xz).

Then

g

= 3x2 y + sin(xz) + xz cos(xz),

x (x,y,z)

g

= x3 ,

y (x,y,z)

and

g

= x2 cos(xz).

z (x,y,z)

Putting all of this together, we get

Proposition 6. Let f : Rn Rm be a function.

If f is differentiable at p, then Df (p) is the matrix whose (i, j) entry is the

partial derivative

fi

.

xj p

Example 7. Let f : A R2 be the function

f (x, y, z) = (x3 y + x sin(xz), log xyz).

Here A R3 is the first octant, the locus where x, y and z are all positive. Supposing

that f is differentiable at p, then the derivative is given by the matrix of partial

derivatives,

2

3x y + sin(xz) + xz cos(xz) x3 x2 cos(xz)

Df (p) =

.

1

1

1

x

of f at

p, Df (p) is a row vector, which is called the gradient of f , and is denoted

(f ) ,

p

f

f

(

,...,

).

x1 p

xn p

The point (x1 , . . . , xn , xn+1 ) lies on the graph of f : Rn R if and only if

xn+1 = f (x1 , . . . , xn ).

The point (x1 , . . . , xn , xn+1 ) lies on the tangent hyperplane of f : Rn R at

p = (p1 , . . . , pn ) if and only if

xn+1 = f (p1 , . . . , pn ) + (f ) (x1 p1 , x2 p2 , . . . , xn pn ).

p

f

f

f

(p),

(p), . . . ,

(p), 1 ,

x1

x2

xn

is a normal vector to the tangent hyperplane and of course the point (p1 , . . . , pn , f (p1 , . . . , pn ))

is on the tangent hyperplane.

Example 9. Let

D = { (x, y) R2 | x2 + y 2 < 1 },

the open ball of radius 1, centred at the origin.

Let f : R2 R be the function given by

p

f (x, y) = 1 x2 y 2 .

Then

2x/2

x

f

=p

= p

,

2

2

x

1x y

1 x2 y 2

and so by symmetry,

f

y

= p

,

y

1 x2 y 2

At the point (a, b), the gradient is

(f )(a,b) =

1

(a, b).

1 a2 b2

1

z = f (a, b)

(a(x a) + b(y b)).

1 a2 b2

For example, if (a, b) = (0, 0), then the tangent plane is

z = 1,

as expected.

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