Finite Math For Dummies
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The mathematics of limits underlies all of calculus. Limits sort of enable you to zoom in on the graph of a curve — further and further — until it becomes straight. Once it's straight, you can analyze the curve with regular-old algebra and geometry. That's the magic of calculus in a very small nutshell.

Here are some important things to remember when evaluating limits:

  • The limit at a hole is the height of the hole.

  • The limit at infinity is the height of the horizontal asymptote.

  • Before trying other techniques, plug in the arrow number. If the result is:

    • A number, you're done.

    • A number over zero or infinity over zero, the answer is infinity.

    • A number over infinity, the answer is zero.

    • 0/0 or ∞/∞, use L'Hôpital's Rule.

      Use L'Hôpital's Rule when evaluating limits in calculus.

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Mary Jane Sterling taught algebra, business calculus, geometry, and finite mathematics at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, for more than 30 years. She is the author of several For Dummies books, including Algebra Workbook For Dummies, Algebra II For Dummies, and Algebra II Workbook For Dummies.

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