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Chapter 7: Computation of Derivatives from their Definition

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We discuss ways to compute derivatives on a spreadsheet, with emphasis on repeating the symmetric approximation with exponentially decreasing d and extrapolating the results.


7.1 Introduction: the Obvious Approximation: f'(x) ~ (f(x+d) - f(x))/d

7.2 Round off Errors and the Derivative

7.3 The Symmetric Approximation: f'(x) ~ (f(x+d) - f(x-d)/(2d)

7.4 Extrapolating the Sequence of Answers