Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2006

Abstract

We show that there is a link between a standard calculus problem of finding the best view of a painting and special tangent lines to the graphs of exponential functions. Surprisingly, the exponential function with the "best view" is not the one with the base e. A similar link is established for families of functions obtained by composing exponential functions with a fixed linear function. The key tool in the proof is the Lambert W function.

Publication Title

The College Mathematics Journal

Volume

37

Issue

5

First Page

344

Last Page

354

Required Publisher's Statement

Copyright by the Mathematical Association of America.

http://www.maa.org/publications/periodicals/college-mathematics-journal/college-mathematics-journal-contents-novembe-2006

This is the author's version of the paper.

Included in

Mathematics Commons

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