Calculus
posted by Sean on .
Evaluate the definite integral from [0,4] 4x^2 dx, by using its definition as a limit of approximating sums.
First, I solve analytically so I know the answer I am trying to reach: 4/3 * x^3 over [0,4] = 4/3 * 4^3 = 256/3
Now, by approximating sums, I can get:
256 * lim(n > infinity) of sum(j=0 to n1) of j^2/n^3
I can use the computer to solve this and I reach the correct answer. In Mathematica Alpha notation: 256 * lim sum j^2/n^3, j=0..n as n > infinity
How do I solve that limit by hand? Or is there a better way to solve the original problem?

You need to derive the formula for:
Sum from j = 0 to N of j^2
There are many different ways to do this, the more advanced math you know, the simpler it gets :).
An elementary method is to consider summing (j+1)^3  j^3 instead of j^2. Obviously, if you sum a function of the form f(j+1)  f(j), all the terms except the first and last one will cancel:
Sum from j = 0 to N of [f(j+1)  f(j)] =
f(N+1)  f(0)
If we choose f(j) = j^3, then:
f(j+1)  f(j) =
(j+1)^3  j^3 =
3 j^2 + 3 j + 1
So, if you know the summation of j from zero to N, you can find the summation of j^2. Of course, you can find the formula for the summation of j in the same way by taking f(j) = j^2. 
You are awesome Iblis. That limit was the tricky part. I followed your proof and it makes perfect sense. Thanks

I meant that summation was the tricky part (not limit). thanks again.