Hi,

the first thing to do is to convert the above question to a root finding problem.

you can do so by first finding distance of an arbituary point on the curve from (-3,0).

you should get the equation of d = sqroot( (Xo - (-3) )^2 + (f(Xo) - 0 )^2 ) , where (Xo, f(Xo)) is an arbituary point on the curve.

since distance in this case has an absolute minimum, use Newton's Method to find the root of this derivative, d'(Xo) = 0, to solve for the value of Xo where this absolute minimum occurs, ie, the point closest to (-3, 0).

Hope this helps!