I have not yet had the privilege of studying multivariable calculus, but I have made an educated gue

vilitatelp014 2022-05-07 Answered
I have not yet had the privilege of studying multivariable calculus, but I have made an educated guess about how to find the minimum or maximum of a function with two variables, for example, x and y.

Since, in three dimensions, a minimum or maximum would be represented by a tangent plane with no slope in any direction, could I treat y as a constant and differentiate z with respect to x, then treat x as a constant and differentiate with respect to y, and find the places where both of these two are equal to zero?

Sorry if this is just a stupid assumption... it may be one of those things that just seems correct but is actually wrong.
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Answered 2022-05-08 Author has 7 answers
In fact you got quite a good "guess". When it comes to finding maxima and minima of a function f : R 2 R , you begin by finding the critical points which, as you said, are obtained by solving the system:
{ f x ( x 0 , y 0 ) = 0 f y ( x 0 , y 0 ) = 0
The solution(s), ( x 0 , y 0 ), is either going to be maxima, minima or saddlepoint. You determine which one it is by studying the Hessian matrix evaluated at that point.

I'm sure you will get to it when you start doing multivariable calculus. Great guess, however!
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