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Section 1.6 Did you know?

This section includes a list of highlighted tips for using the CalcPlot3D app. Most can be found elsewhere in this manual, but this section may help you find some useful features of CalcPlot3D that you may not have discovered yet.

  1. If you can't see all the options of a function, curve, point, etc., click on it's textbox and its options will appear.

    See Section 2.12 for more information on this important CalcPlot3D fact.

  2. CalcPlot3D allows you to enter most functions you might want to use.

    See Appendix A for available functions.

  3. For a given surface, you can visualize partial derivatives, the directional derivative, the gradient vector, the normal vector, and more.

    See Section 3.3 for the 2D Trace Plane menu.

  4. You can save the current view to the URL.

    You can create a URL that includes codes for the current view in the CalcPlot3D plot. This allows you to save this URL to your browser Favorites, place it as a hyperlink, or send it to a student or colleague.

    For more information on how to do this, see Subsection 4.1.5.

  5. You can even save a series of views in a script file and load it into CalcPlot3D at a later time.

    For a project, demonstration, or exploration, or just to show a friend something cool you are exploring in CalcPlot3D, you can create a script file with 1 or more steps/views in it and save it to your computer to be loaded into the app at a later time.

    For more information on how to do this, see Chapter 8.

  6. You can use parameters to animate most objects.

    The letters a, b, c, d, and t can all be used at parameters in functions to show what happens when we vary certain aspects of a function.

    For example, we can enter the following function in the default function object:

    \(z =\)a(x-c)^2 + b(y-d)^2 + t

    Sliders for each parameter we just used will automatically appear (if they are not already visible). We can then vary any one of these parameters and observe the effect on the shape of the surface.

    See Section 2.10 for more information and examples.

  7. You can graph parametric equations in CalcPlot3D.

    CalcPlot3D allows you to explore parametric equations in the plane or in space.

    See the Space Curve object in Section 2.2 for details.

  8. If you plot a parametric surface in CalcPlot3D, you can do some really interesting things with the \(uv\)-trace plane.

    CalcPlot3D allows you to explore use a trace point with parametric surfaces and to vary the \(uv\)-domain rectangle directly by clicking-and-dragging the edges.

    See Section 2.8 for details.