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Using Recursion to Explore Financial Matters

 Activity Description Activity Guide

This six-part activity asks students to solve a classic problem first with paper and pencil, then by using lists, and then by using recursion. Then students are asked to apply the recursive method to explore a real world dilemma.

Mathematics Topics: Students are using sequences and recursion to explore linear and exponential functions and graphs connected with the compounding of money.

Mathematical Thinking: Students must derive algebraic and recursive expressions to solve problems, and compare and contrast approaches to exploring problems.

Technology: Graphing calculators are used to: (1) generate sequences, using lists and associated list operations, and (2) generate tables and graphs from recursive equations.

Sample Screenshots: Below are screenshots of recursive equations, and tables and graphs generated from them.

Figure 1. Recursive equations, tables, and graphs for Part 3.

Figure 2. Recursive equations and associated tables for Part 4.

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