## KevinT 2 years ago Hi All, Is anyone working on Problem Set 2? I'm on the derivatives section. Also, I have been using the ocw courseware and the EdX courseware. I'm looking to meet people who are also way behind in EdX and/or just using the ocw program.

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1. mwiegant

Hi KevinT, I'm new to ocw, working on problem set 2 at the moment. So far I have only done problem 1 in the set. What are derivatives and what problem does it come up on, in the set?

2. KevinT

Hi, first, actually knowing the mathematical concept is not that important for this exercise. You just have to understand what the problem is asking. For example, a basic polynomial would be 2+3x+4x^2. (4x^2 is read as "4 x squared") The derivative becomes 3+8x. The derivative is the result of the exponent being multiplied by the coefficient (the 3 or 4 in this case) and the the exponent is reduced by 1. For instance, if we have 4x^3("4x cubed"), the first derivative is exponent 3 times coefficient 4=12 and the exponent 3is reduced by 1, thus X^n-1, where n is the exponent. Remember that X with no exponent is considered X^0 = 1, thus 3x =3 , (because 3 x X^0= 3 x 1 )as a derivative. The job in this section (what I'm working on) is to write a function that will solve this.

3. mwiegant

wait, is this calculus stuff?

4. PatrickD

Hey this is where I am... My thought was to call a function that determined the length of the tuple -- used that information to create an empty list that would than dump the data from the tuple into the list. Call each element in the list and apply their corresponding powers. I'm thinking I need some sort of while or for statement that takes the tuple length and creates the powers. Am I on the right track? I know I could make this super simple but I assumed the point of create a polynomial function that could have a varied length... Sorry if my language is off I don't really know all the names for these math terms.