Equations of Straight Lines
UBC Calculus Online Course Notes
A Review of Lines and Slopes
This page serves as a quick review of straight lines and their important features. Many of
these features are fundamental to a mathematical understanding of Calculus. After all, the
branch of Calculus we will first explore (the part involving derivatives) is the study of how a
curve can be approximated (at least in a very local sense) by a straight line (the tangent line).
Thus, before we can discuss such concepts effectively, we must understand the idea of slopes
and lines very, very well.
The reason we are interested in straight lines is that they are so simple; we need to know
only two pieces of information to describe a line completely. Which two pieces of
information are used depend on the situation, but several different possibilities lead to the
same description of a particular line. We will explore these details below as we discuss
•
The
slope
of a straight line
•
How to describe a straight line
Because this is a review, most students can skim this material, making sure that they
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 Fall '08
 HIMONAS
 Calculus, Equations, Derivative, Slope, 1m

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