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

Chicago, Illinois, November 6-9, 1997

Paper C009

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

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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.

Keyword(s): multivariable calculus, Maple