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Published on 24 Sep 2015 | over 2 years ago

MIT grad shows how to find derivatives using the rules (Power Rule, Product Rule, Quotient Rule, etc.). More videos with Nancy coming in 2017! To skip ahead: 1) For how and when to use the POWER RULE, constant multiple rule, constant rule, and sum and difference rule, skip to time 0:22. 2) For the PRODUCT RULE, skip to 7:36. 3) For the QUOTIENT RULE, skip to 10:53. For my video on the CHAIN RULE for finding derivatives: youtu.be/TUJgZ4UDY2g For my video on the DEFINITION of the derivative: youtu.be/Vv1BUCkgsr8

What is the derivative? It's a function that gives you the instantaneous rate of change at each point of another function. You can calculate the derivative with the definition of the derivative (using the limit), but the fastest way to find the derivative is with shortcuts such as the Power Rule, Product Rule, and Quotient Rule:

1) POWER RULE: If the given equation is a polynomial, or just a power of x, then you can use the Power Rule. For a term that's just a power of x, such as x^4, you can get the derivative by bringing down the power to the front of the term as a coefficient and decreasing the x power by 1. For example, for x^4, the derivative is 4x^3. If you have many terms added or subtracted together, and if they are powers of x, you can use the Power Rule on each term (by the Sum and Difference Rules). NOTE: The derivative of a constant, just a number, is always 0 (that is the Constant Rule). Also, if you have a term that is a constant multiplied in the front of the term, like 2x^3, you can keep the constant and differentiate the rest of the term. In this example, you keep the 2 and take the derivative of x^3, which is 3x^2, so the derivative of the term 2x^3 is 2*3x^2, or 6x^2. ANOTHER NOTE:You can use the same power rule method for fractional or negative powers, but be careful... for negative powers, it works as long as x is not 0, and for fractional/rational powers, if the power is less than 1, your derivative won't be defined at x = 0.

2) PRODUCT RULE: If your equation is not a polynomial but instead has the overall form of one expression multiplied by another expression, then you can use the Product Rule. The Product Rule says that the derivative of two functions multiplied together is equal to the first function times the derivative of the second function, plus the second function times the derivative of the first function.

3) QUOTIENT RULE: If your equation has the overall form of one expression divided by another expression, then you can use the Quotient Rule. The Quotient Rule says that the derivative of one function divided by another (a quotient) is equal to the bottom function times the derivative of the top bottom minus the top function times the derivative of the bottom function, all divided by the bottom function squared. This is true as long as the bottom function is not equal to 0.
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