# Tagged Questions

Questions on the evaluation of derivatives or problems involving derivatives (for example, use of the mean value theorem).

6answers
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### Why does this matrix give the derivative of a function?

I happened to stumble upon the following matrix: $$A = \begin{bmatrix} a & 1 \\ 0 & a \end{bmatrix}$$ And after trying a bunch of different examples, I noticed the ...
1answer
7k views

### How discontinuous can a derivative be?

There is a well-known result in elementary analysis due to Darboux which says if $f$ is a differentiable function then $f'$ satisfies the intermediate value property. To my knowledge, not many "...
5answers
3k views

### Why can't differentiability be generalized as nicely as continuity?

The question: Can we define differentiable functions between (some class of) sets, "without $\Bbb R$"* so that it Reduces to the traditional definition when desired? Has the same use in at least ...
6answers
11k views

### What did Alan Turing mean when he said he didn't fully understand dy/dx?

Alan Turing's notebook has recently been sold at an auction house in London. In it he says this: Written out: The Leibniz notation $\frac{\mathrm{d}y}{\mathrm{d}x}$ I find extremely difficult ...
7answers
3k views

6answers
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### Function whose third derivative is itself.

I'm looking for a function $f$, whose third derivative is $f$ itself, while the first derivative isn't. Is there any such function? Which one(s)? If not, how can we prove that there is none? Notes: ...
9answers
3k views

### How is the derivative truly, literally the “best linear approximation” near a point?

I've read many times that the derivative of a function $f(x)$ for a certain $x$ is the best linear approximation of the function for values near $x$. I always thought it was meant in a hand-waving ...
4answers
2k views

### Is it necessary that every function is a derivative of some function?

I thought about this a lot and consulted a lot of people but everyone had contradicting answers. I am a high school student. please help.
1answer
21k views

### Derivative of Softmax loss function

I am trying to wrap my head around back-propagation in a neural network with a Softmax classifier, which uses the Softmax function: $$p_j = \frac{e^{o_j}}{\sum_k e^{o_k}}$$...
1answer
733 views

### How to show that $f'(x)<2f(x)$

I would appreciate if somebody could help me with the following problem: Q: Let $f(x),f'(x),f''(x),f'''(x)>0$ , $f'''(x)$ is a continuous function and $f'''(x)<f(x)$ on $\mathbb{R}$ then ...
6answers
1k views

### What is the derivative of: $f(x)=x^{2x^{3x^{4x^{5x^{6x^{7x^{.{^{.^{.}}}}}}}}}}$?

I happened to ponder about the differentiation of the following function: $$f(x)=x^{2x^{3x^{4x^{5x^{6x^{7x^{.{^{.^{.}}}}}}}}}}$$ Now, while I do know how to manipulate power towers to a certain extent,...
5answers
3k views

### Notation of the second derivative - Where does the d go?

In school I was taught that we use $\frac{du}{dx}$ as a notation for the first derivative of a function $u(x)$. I was also told that we could use the $d$ just like any variable. After some time we ...
1answer
2k views

### How is the derivative geometrically inverse of integral?

I know that derivative is the slope of the tangent line, and that integral is the area under the curve. My question is that how these two distinct concepts are geometrically related? What is the ...
5answers
31k views