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Investigate the family of curves given by the equation $ f(x) = x^4 + cx^2 + x $. Start by determining the transitional value of $ c $ at which the number of inflection points changes. Then graph several members of the family to see what shapes are possible. There is another transitional value of $ c $ at which the number of critical numbers changes. Try to discover it graphically. Then prove what you have discovered.

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Calculus 1 / AB

Calculus 2 / BC

Chapter 4

Applications of Differentiation

Section 6

Graphing with Calculus and Calculators

Derivatives

Differentiation

Volume

Missouri State University

Harvey Mudd College

University of Nottingham

Boston College

Lectures

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Investigate the family of …

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Describe how the graph of …

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