A Beginner’s Guide to Infinity

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Mentor

Margaret Kinzel


This paper aims to ease the frustration early high school students face when entering into the calculus series. I wrote it in a style that would hopefully encourage the student not to be afraid of calculus but rather be motivated to tackle the more challenging math classes he/she might encounter during their high school career. The issue that I address is the misconceptions associated with infinity. I define infinity in the various ways it appears mathematically, provides some brief history, looks into infinitesimals in partner with a paradox to drive the point home, and finally ties it all into the idea of limits. I toyed with the idea of taking it further and branching into derivatives, yet as my targeted audience has most likely not have had exposure to that concept, I decided not to include it in my thesis. I hope that this paper would be picked up either at a science fair, library, or used in a classroom at the beginning of the school year to quickly engage students and ease the anxiety they may face in approaching calculus. This paper intends to be a concise, quick read, with multiple helpful sites linked in. I appreciate you taking the time to read my thesis, and I hope you find that it achieved the goal I set for it.

Audience: Young high school student starting the calculus series

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