Saturday, September 27, 2014

Caclculus II: Parametric Equations

Last week I realized how much hand-holding my calc II students needed so they could get started with parametric equations. Most of them are very weak in trig. Many of them aren't sure how to get started when they're doing something new with graphing.

So I slowed down. But I also wanted them to do more exploration and experimenting. On a whim I gave them the typical assignment to draw something using parametric equations (or polar graphs). It can be anything, be creative. I don't have a particular assignment yet.

Sometimes (for some students) less is more. One of my students emailed me with a question, I replied, we went back and forth with over a dozen emails, and he produced this loveliness. I've included a screenshot below, but what he did is animated, so click on over to Desmos.

Wow! I hope his enthusiasm inspires the rest of them!

1 comment:

  1. Fun animation. I showed it to my kids (very small) and they were eager to experiment, moving the curves around and changing the sizes. Of course, that was after I had my turn playing with the system (I hadn't seen desmos before).

    FYI, if you want to embed animations into your blog posts, you can use iframes, like this:
    <iframe height="1000" src="" width="1000"> </iframe>

    You often have to adjust the height and width parameters. I assume there are great ways to control how the source gets presented within the frame, but I haven't found those yet.


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