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The Epsilon Delta Game

Mark A Townsend
Organization: Lebanon Valley College
Department: Mathematical Sciences
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Many calculus students regard the epsilon delta definition of limits as very intimidating. But this notebook turns learning the topic into a game. The dual goals are to automate the teaching of epsilon and delta basics, and to make the topic enjoyable! The notebook will first help you create a limit problem. Then you will receive the preliminary algebraic simplification that a solution requires, so that you may concentrate on the logic instead of the algebra. In the background, the notebook calculates its own recipe for the deltas. After you develop your own recipe, there will be a game pitting the notebook's deltas against yours. You will see pictures which show you whether your deltas are working, and also whether you are "beating the notebook." You can then choose to see a rigorous epsilon delta proof for the limit problem, as well as a geometric explanation of why the procedure used for finding the notebook's deltas is feasible. After you absorb the explanations at the end, you will not only win the game every time; you should actually be able to write a good proof of why your delta recipe must work!

*Mathematics > Calculus and Analysis > Calculus

rigorous limit definition, delta definition, of limits
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epsilondeltagame.m (37 KB) - Mathematica package
epsilondeltagame.nb (128 KB) - Mathematica notebook