Electronic Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate MathematicsChicago, Illinois, October 30-November 2, 2003Paper C017Creating Animated Text for Web Pages Using Difference Equations and JavaScript |
Paul BouthellierDepartment of Mathematics and Computer Science University of Pittsburgh-Titusville Titusville, PA 16354 USA Phone: (814) 827-4432 Fax: (814) 827-5574 pbouthe@pitt.edu list of all papers by this author |
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Students first need to decide on what sort of motion(s) they wish the letters to perform, such as a double sine wave which follows the mouse. The x- and y-coordinates of the positions of the letters on the web page then need to be determined. Difference equations whose output values are these coordinates then need to be created.
Such projects require a good deal of mathematical sophistication on the part of the students, generally at the level of differential equations. Not only do the difference equations need to be derived, but their limiting behavior needs to be analyzed. Showing the students how to create the JavaScript is generally the simple part.
Creating such animations has proven very successful in two ways: First students have to model the behavior they wish to create. They then run the web page to see if their equations worked. If not, they need to find what went wrong and fix any errors. Secondly, students enjoy altering the difference equations of their existing pages and seeing what happens. They then analyze their equations in order to understand what they observe.
Keyword(s): Internet