Ranking Task Warm Up -- exponentials and natural logs

By Tanya Faltens

Network for Computational Nanotechnology

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Class warm up activity to be done in pairs. Students evaluate each of 8 terms and rank them from lowest to highest value. Some terms may have equal value.

I have found that this is surprisingly challenging for most of my students. Bonus points can be given to the first team to complete the task correctly. No calculators allowed!

It is a good idea to use an example ranking task such as this before assigning more difficult ranking tasks that relate to the course content. This drill helps students understand what a ranking task is, and helps them remember some mathematical functions that are useful.

I'd love to hear from you if you use any of my materials in class! I have more that I can share, if there is interest. Send me a note through nanoHUB, or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Dr. Tanya Faltens created this ranking task when she taught Materials Science and Engineering courses at Cal Poly Pomona. She is currently at Purdue University, and is the Educational Content Creation Manager for the Network for Computational Nanotechnology.


Inspired by a workshop on Ranking Tasks by Shane Brown at the ASEE Zone IV Conference in Reno, NV, in 2010.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Tanya Faltens (2012), "Ranking Task Warm Up -- exponentials and natural logs," https://nanohub.org/resources/13910.

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