# Common Math Errors by Dawkins P.

By Dawkins P.

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Additional info for Common Math Errors

Example text

The two operations above, ∞ − ∞ ∞ are called indeterminate forms because there is no one single value for them. and ∞ Depending on the situation they have a very wide range of possible answers. There are many more indeterminate forms that you need to look out for. As with the previous discussion there is no way to determine their value without taking the situation into consideration. Here are a few of the more common indeterminate forms. ∞−∞ 00 ∞ ∞ 1∞ 0 0 ∞0 0⋅∞ Let’s just take a brief look at 00 to see the potential problems.

A < 0 ) to a really, really large positive number and stay really, really large and positive. So, addition involving infinity can be dealt with in an intuitive way if you’re careful. Note as well that the a must NOT be negative infinity. If it is, there are some serious issues that we need to deal with. Subtraction with negative infinity can also be dealt with in an intuitive way. A really, really large negative number minus any positive number, regardless of its size, is still a really, really large negative number.

Another dropped notation error that I see on a regular basis is with definite integrals. Students tend to drop the limits of integration after the first step and do the rest of the problem with implied limits of integration as follows. aspx Common Math Errors Again, the first equality here just doesn’t make sense! The answer to a definite integral is a number, while the answer to an indefinite integral is a function. When written as above you are saying the answer to the definite integral and the answer to the indefinite integral are the same when they clearly aren’t!