Our Math Major Panel meeting will be Thursday, April 11th from 10 to 2:30 pm at ISU's Alumni Center, Room 119 in Normal, IL. The meeting will be broadcast for remoting members via AnyMeeting. This email is to allow you to register for the Anymeeting webinar if you cannot attend in person. We will also have a conference call available via our conferencing services at 309-438-1000, access code 2202. Please register through the links if you plan to attend remotely.
Lori and Linda,
For several years the IAI GECC math panel has struggled with an acceptable description for Business Calculus. In particular, the importance of multi-variable calculus has been hotly debated. The current business calculus (M1-900 B) description is:
This calculus course is designed specifically for students in business and the social sciences and does not count toward a major or minor in mathematics. It emphasizes applications of the basic concepts of calculus rather than proofs. Topics must include limits; techniques of differentiation applied to polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions; partial derivatives and applications; maxima and minima of functions; and elementary techniques of integration including substitution and integration by parts. Business and social science applications are stressed throughout the course. Prerequisite: College Algebra with a grade of C or better.
My question concerns "partial derivatives and applications." The vagueness of this topic is meant to give schools/faculty some choice in how they best want to handle multi-variable calculus. The IAI GECC math panel recently heard that Elgin CC's business calculus will not transfer (as business calculus) to UIUC because it does not specifically include the topic of multi-variable function optimization via Lagrange multipliers.
From your panel's point of view, do you have any advice on which multi-variable calculus topics are of the utmost importance. Is the method of Lagrange multipliers so important in business applications that my panel is being remiss in not specifically listing it?
Thank you so much for your comments.
IAI GECC Math Panel Co-chair
Prairie State College