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Revenge of Table Derivatives


If you liked the last Problem of the Week, which asked you to calculate the derivatives of functions defined by a table, then you are gonna love this week's Problem of the Week, the Revenge of Table Derivatives. Why? Instead of two functions, you're looking at four--count 'em FOUR--functions in the table. Enjoy.



Derivatives of Table Functions

Image: ahmet guler / FreeDigitalPhotos.netBy special request, the October 8 Problem of the Week is all about derivatives of tabular functions. "What are tabular functions," you ask? They're mysteries--only a few of their values are given in the form of a table, and you aren't provided with the actual functions themselves.

"How am I supposed to take the derivative of a function I don't know," you ask? Geesh! Enough with the questions already. Just click here and get crackin'.


Particle Man Hates Triangle Man

In this week's Problem of the Week, you get to know Particle Man. As you'd expect, he does the sorts of things a particle can. What's he actually like? What makes Particle Man tick? It's not important. Particle Man.

And then you will explore the deep-seated enmity between Particle Man and his arch-nemesis, Triangle Man. Spoiler alert: They have a fight and Triangle wins. Triangle Man.

Actually, you're not going to do any of that this week, but I thank They Might Be Giants for saving me from having to write an actual intro. Click here to try this week's Problem of the Week, about the motion of a particle (man).


B-B-B-Betty and the Jet

In this day and age of reality television and celebrity obsession, what could get better ratings than shooting Betty White out of a cannon? To make things even more dangerous, what if the producers planted the cannon in an area with heavy jet traffic? Anwers to these questions and more in Problem of the Week #4, now posted! (Betty White was not harmed in the construction of this Problem.)


Win One of Mike's Books!

Original image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.netIn honor of our 500th Facebook "like," it's time for our fifth and final contest (at least for a while). This is your chance, people! Give it your best shot!

Your challenge: Imagine Ben & Jerry's is creating a new math-themed ice cream and name that flavor! Extra credit for designing the artwork on the container, in the Ben & Jerry's theme. This is a tall order, so you get an extra 24-hours to complete your task.

Head over to our Facebook page to enter. All entries are due by 8 PM Eastern Time on September 22, 2011.