This is a very full-featured Java applet function grapher.
Type of Material:
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Function Grapher eases the burden on the student in any learning situation involving functions by providing a quick graph of the function or functions in question.
Target Student Population:
High school and college students in mathematics, science, or engineering.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The user should understand the relation between a function and its graph.
Evaluation and Observation
Function Grapher does all the usual things flawlessly, and gives the user good control over the appearance of the graph while doing so. It employs standard syntax and provides a wide variety of functions, including logical operators. In addition to the basics, Function Grapher graphs sequences and sums of functions, has excellent zoom in/out features including a zoom box, and a nice trace feature that is useful for solving equations. The documentation is very clear and thorough.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This would be a great tool in any algebra/trig or calculus class. Students can quickly explore the relation between a function and its graph, and examine the graphical effect of changing the function. The ability to graph sequences and sums of functions would be of great value in a calculus class. The trace tool would make solving equations graphically a breeze.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The use of Function Grapher is completely intuitive. Zoom in/out, tick marks and axis scales are all easily controlled and do what one would expect. Syntax is standard, and is explained at length for the new user.