### Homework 17: Directional Derivatives

```Math 21a: Multivariable calculus
Fall 2014
Homework 17: Directional Derivatives
This homework is due Monday, 10/20 rsp Tuesday 10/21.
f (x, y, z) =
√
x + yz .
at the point P = (1, 3, 1) and use it to find the rate of change of
f at P in the direction of the vector ~u = h2/7, 3/7, 6/7i.
2 a) Find the directional derivative of the function f (x, y) = log(x2+
y 2 ) at the point P = (2, 1) in the direction of the vector ~v =
h−1, 2i. (We use the notation log = ln). b) Find the directional
derivative of f (x, y, z) = xy + yz + zx at the point P = (1, −1, 3)
in the direction from P to Q = (2, 4, 5).
3 a) Find the direction in which the rate of change of f (x, y, z) =
(x+y)
is maximal at the point P = (1, 1, −1).
z
b) Find the maximal rate of change at (1, 1, −1) in that direction
found in a).
4 Find the directions in which the directional derivative of f (x, y) =
ye−xy at the point (0, 2) has the value 1.
5 [Arlington-Belmont-Waltham-Cambridge]
On http://goo.gl/fhY1rl,
you find a map of some suburbs of Boston (an original copy in
office 432).
a) The map contains some creeks. Find an example which confirms the rule that water crosses level curves perpendicularly.
b) The map shows some railway tracks. Check whether the rule
applies that railway trays follow the level curves of the height.
c) Estimate the maximal directional derivative on this map. How
would you measure this maximal steepness?
Main definitions:
If f is a function of several variables and ~v is a unit vector
then D~v f = ∇f · ~v is called the directional derivative
of f in the direction ~v .
If ~v = ∇f /|∇f |, then the directional derivative is
Dv f = ∇f · ∇f /|∇f | = |∇f | .
This means f increases, if we move into the direction of
the gradient. The length of the gradient vector |∇f | is the