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Sketching conics

  1. Mar 1, 2013 #1
    What is the most motivating way to introduce the sketching of conics which have a cross product terms?
    This topic involves a lot of other stuff such as eigenvalues, orthogonal matrices, completing the square etc. I find a significant number of students get lost in this forest of sketching conics. Are there examples which have a real impact and are motivating why they should learn this topic?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2013 #2
    Understanding the second derivative test for multivariable functions could be a motivating factor. It is not exactly the same thing as sketching conics, but it is closely related.
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