Electronic Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics



CONTRIBUTED PAPER: 10-C9

Animated Demonstrations for Multivariable Calculus

John F. Putz
Mathematics and Computer Science Department
Alma College
Alma, MI 48801
Phone: (517) 463-7253
Fax: (517) 463-7277
E-mail: putz@alma.edu

ABSTRACT

With the ability of computer algebra systems to graph surfaces in three dimensions, came a major leap in our capacity to convey the ideas of multivariable calculus. Their facility for animation is the next significant stride. Of all the methods I have tried, animated demonstrations have been the most effective, particularly for: quadric surfaces; level curves and level surfaces; velocity and acceleration vectors; and directional derivative and gradient vector. In this paper, I share ten animated demonstrations that I have written using Maple V Release 4 to teach these topics.