Search

Keyword

# CalcPlot3D

## Discuss this Resource

Original message:

Ways you have used CalcPlot3D
by Paul Seeburger (posted 11/14/11)

I would love to see some comments added to this resource to reflect the ways many instructors have used this applet in their teaching. I created this resource to help my students to see the connections between the concepts we study in multivariable calculus more clearly. I use it to demonstrate certain properties in my lectures like the fact that the gradient vector points in the compass direction we should move along a surface in order to go most steeply uphill. I also use it in lectures to visually verify solutions to various boardwork exercises like finding the equation of the plane determined by three non-collinear points and the intersection of two planes (or other surfaces). I then get my students to use the applet by requiring them to visually verify solutions to various homework problems on graded worksheets. They print out their resulting graphs from the applet and hand them in with their homework. I have them do this with various topics including those mentioned above, as well as contour plots, level surfaces, tangent planes, flowlines through vector fields. I also ask my students to complete several concept explorations that use the applet to consider the geometric properties of dot products, cross products, velocity and acceleration vectors, and Lagrange multiplier optimization. I use it for some "what-if" types of explorations in class when we study space curves as well. I would love to hear what others are doing, and in particular, I think it would be helpful to share particular functions, space curves, etc. and activities that could be done by students using this applet (or similar resources).