I have few questions about extrema of fonctions of two variables. It is written in my textbook: "At a local maximum, the gradient vector must be nul or undefined. A similar reasoning shows that the gradient must be nul at a local minimum." Actually there was no preceeding reasoning to this statement so I don't understand. - Why couldn't the gradient vector be undefined at the min? - If one of the partial derivative is undefined at a certain point, does it automatically means the point is a max? If no, how do you tell analytically? - If (a,b) is a critical point because the gradient at (a,b) is 0 and if the test of the second order partial derivative fails (i.e. =0). How can I conclude analytically to the nature of the critial point?