# Taylor & Maclaurin polynomials intro (part 2) | Series | AP Calculus BC | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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May 18, 2011
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Taylor & Maclaurin polynomials intro (part 2) | Series | AP Calculus BC | Khan Academy

## TL;DR

By generalizing the Maclaurin series, the Taylor expansion allows for the approximation of a function around any given point.

## Key Insights

• 💼 The Maclaurin series is a special case of the Taylor series, approximating functions around x=0.
• 😥 The Taylor expansion generalizes the Maclaurin series, allowing for approximation around any given point.
• 😥 By incorporating the derivatives and the given point, the Taylor expansion generates an increasingly accurate polynomial approximation.
• 🍉 Adding more terms to the polynomial improves the approximation but also increases the complexity of calculations.
• 😥 The Taylor series provides a powerful tool for approximating functions and understanding their behavior around specific points.
• 🏑 The Taylor expansion is widely used in calculus, physics, engineering, and other fields that require precise function approximations.
• 🆘 Understanding the Taylor expansion can help analyze the behavior of mathematical models and make predictions in various disciplines.

## Transcript

In the last several videos, we learned how we can approximate an arbitrary function, but a function that is differentiable and twice and thrice differentiable and all of the rest. How we can approximate a function around x is equal to 0 using a polynomial. If we just have a zero-degree polynomial, which is just a constant, you can approximate it wi... Read More

### Q: What is the difference between the Maclaurin series and the Taylor series?

The Maclaurin series is a type of Taylor series that approximates a function around x=0, while the Taylor series can approximate a function around any given point.

### Q: How does a higher-degree polynomial improve the approximation?

A higher-degree polynomial can better "hug" the function, meaning it closely matches the function's behavior for a longer interval around the given point.

### Q: What constraints are used to determine the coefficients of the polynomial?

The first constraint is that the polynomial at the given point is equal to the function value at that point. The second constraint is that the derivative of the polynomial matches the derivative of the function at the given point.

### Q: Can more terms be added to improve the approximation further?

Yes, by adding more terms with higher-order derivatives, the approximation becomes more accurate. However, the calculations become more complex as more terms are added.

## Summary & Key Takeaways

• The previous videos focused on approximating a function around x=0 using polynomials of increasing degrees.

• The Maclaurin series or Taylor series can be used to approximate a function around any point, not just x=0.

• By expanding the polynomial using derivatives and the given point, a more accurate approximation can be achieved.