Monday, January 25, 2016

[AM_20160125DAHT] Horizontal Tangents via Quadratic Discriminants


     This is a Additional Mathematics textbook problem.  This question is of an intermediate level of difficulty.  The general method is by differentiation.  The equation of the curve happens to be capable of being put into a quadratic equation in  x.  Hence we can also use the theory of quadratic discriminants.  I present both methods of solution.

Method 1 (Using differential calculus)

Method 2 (Using quadratic discriminants)

Heuristics Used
H04. Look for pattern(s)
H05. Work backwards
H09. Restate the problem in another way
H11. Solve part of the problem
H12* Think of a related problem
H13* Use Equation / write a Mathematical Sentence

Suitable Levels
GCE ‘O’ Level Additional Mathematics
* other syllabuses that involve differentiation or quadratic discriminants
* any independent learner who is interested

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