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Computing Derivatives

Computing Derivatives

At a Glance - Solving Derivatives

There are a lot of rules floating about now. Besides knowing how to take the derivatives of less complicated functions, we have all these rules for taking the derivatives of more complicated functions:

These rules can be combined in all sorts of ways. How do we know which one(s) to use?

There are several parts to the answer,

  • Practice. Every derivative calculated helps our sense of what we should be doing to find that next derivative.
  • Keep track of the work carefully, like we did when finding the derivative of a product of 3 functions.
  • Rewrite functions before finding derivatives.
  • Find derivatives the simplest way - for example, use the multiplication-by-a-constant rule instead of the quotient rule
    to find the derivative of .
  • Work from the outside in. We haven't talked about this yet, but we will.

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