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# I did a pretty nasty derivation of third order approximation for first derivative by hand. I got all the nasty Newton coefficients right, and was very precise until THE VERY LAST LINE, where I butchered simple math operations. I wonder if there is a name for my particular brand of stupidity.

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Y i k e s
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I usually try to check my derivations using Wolfram Alpha or Coq (depending on the type of problem, assuming the logic is "simple" enough, and I have time).

Hooray for proof assistants.
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@RememberMe I am likely to type the wrong thing in Wolfram Alpha :)
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@NickyBones been there done that lol

I actually did that in Coq last night, handed in the assignment but realized that the machine proof was of a very slightly (but crucially) different theorem because of a typo...

Sigh.
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@RememberMe Did you email the TA? Beg for mercy, it helps sometimes
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@NickyBones It's a really small class so there's no TA........
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I failed calculus three times before I got diagnosed with dyscalculia. This is utter gibberish to me. Though I imagine it’s rather important and interesting to others. I cannot even fathom what to do with this or how it’s applicable to anything in the real world. What the heck is it and what is it good for?
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@stackodev It's crucial for describing physical objects and then solving optimization problems related to it. You can't do science and a huge portion of engineering without it.
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@NickyBones I know that at least. I was referring specifically to the image in the OP.
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@stackodev In many applications you need to calculate derivatives numerically. You calculate the expression by hand, and then you can code it. Using interpolation allows you to determine the precision/stability of this numeric operation.
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Reminds me of one time I was working all day with heavy machinery, saws and massive lumps of metal.

I avoided injury right up until the last minute, when I grabbed the spirit level to check if it was level, but missed, and speared the middle of my palm on the sharp corner. All day with those dangerous tools, and the thing that injured me was a bloody spirit level at the last minute.

This very much feels like the mathematical equivalent.
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@AlmondSauce At least my only injury was to my self esteem :)
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@NickyBones Ok, that’s beginning to make sense to my math-atrophied brain. Someday I will make an effort to at least partially master calculus. It’s a serious thorn in my side that I failed so badly when I deeply love all things science/engineering/computers. Stupid dyscalculia is stupid.
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@stackodev I find it also very hard. I panic when I see complex mathematic notations, and I feel like the symbols are twisting like a worm in front of my eyes and I can't properly read them. When it happens, I copy what I try to read in my own hand writing, sometimes it helps.
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@NickyBones Yes. That’s exactly how I plowed through my dyscalculia and finally passed. I had to spend HOURS writing, calculating, checking, rechecking. On tests I got permission to take them untimed so I could have enough time to ensure that my brain wasn’t losing track of positives/negatives and x vs. y.
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@stackodev Yes, combining like terms is my personal hell.
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