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Demystifying the Chain Rule in Calculus - Comments

  1. Jan 2, 2018 #1


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  3. Jan 2, 2018 #2
    Congrats on your first Insight @PeroK!
  4. Jan 2, 2018 #3


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    Nice article, @PeroK!
  5. Jan 2, 2018 #4


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    Great insight, it addresses the main issues an average student (and i myself had) might stumble into when coming in first contact with the chain rule.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  6. Jan 10, 2018 #5


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    This is a very insightful insight. I have just begun studying calculus and I was extremely worried about this magical chain rule. This article was helpful in demystifying whatever I could understand from the insight :bow:.
  7. Apr 24, 2018 #6


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    The light type used, 33% saturation, makes it difficult to read. Any chance of increasing the amount of "ink" used? This thread, as all others, uses 50-75% saturation. And the reply box I'm typing in uses 98% saturation.
  8. Apr 25, 2018 #7
    Thank you PeroK, I've found myself lost with things like this a couple of times and I agree when you say that the differential notation lacks of many things. The last issue that I lately found confusing was that you pointed out in equation (8):

    Having a function f(g(x,t),x) write the partial derivative of f wrt x without having written the same term in both sides of the equation. :woot:

    One option would be , being fi the partial derivative of f wrt its i-th argument, write fx = f1(x,t) gx+f2 ,
    this way you could avoid writting f2 again as fx and it would be the same as you suggested there (1,2 instead of X,Y).
    Another option: Using differential notation you would have to use parenthesis and write explicitly that
    f1 = (∂f / ∂g) keeping the 2nd argument of f fixed, but that would bring notational clustering so better stick with the first option. :P

    Fortunately, some people will read this article and they won't have to question all their knowwledge again as I did in that moment.
  9. Apr 25, 2018 #8


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    Nice article.

    I would only comment that in multivariate calculus one inevitably gets into directional derivatives. To understand these I think it is helpful to think of the derivative(or differential) of a function as a linear map on direction vectors. The Chain Rule then says that if you compose two functions, the derivative of the composition is the composition of the derivatives. In classical multivariable calculus this means you matrix multiply the Jacobian matrices.

    Also thinking of the derivative in this way gives a conceptual framework for the Chain Rule.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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