Integrating
Without Polar Coordinates
William Dunham
Mathematics Teacher,
January 1988, Volume 81, Number 1, pp. 34–35.
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Article reprinted with permission from
Mathematics Teacher,
copyright January 1988 by
the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. All rights reserved.
T
he improper integral
(1)
ranks as one of the most important and challenging that a college mathematics student
is likely to encounter. As an illustration of the power of calculus to attack truly
sophisticated problems, it appears in such texts as Munem and Foulis (1984, 943–44).
Outside of calculus, its chief application is in statistics, where the numerical value of
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