Alcohol and Asymptotes: A Real-World Context for Rational Functions

This post is in response to the following tweet:

When I was a fellow with Math for America DC, my amazing mentor, Rosalie Dance, observed a lesson I did on transformations of y=1/and said I should bring in some real-world examples to explain asymptotes. To which I responded, “What?? There are no real-world examples of asymptotes!”

It turns out there are. And not only that, Rosalie had coauthored an incredible lesson on them.

Maybe I’ll give a more detailed breakdown of how I teach this lesson at some point in the future, but my single biggest piece of advice is this:

Do all of the problems ahead of time, at least two or three timesSeriously. The strength of this lesson is that it has students interpret the meaning of asymptotes in context. This is subtle and nuanced, and you need to be completely familiar with what quality answers look like.

Let me know if you have any questions about how to implement this!

Here’s the file: Asymptotes and Alcohol


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