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CalcPlot3D, an Exploration Environment for Multivariable Calculus - Overview

Paul Seeburger (Monroe Community College)

This dynamic Java applet developed with support from the NSF (Dynamic Visualization Tools for Multivariable Calculus, DUE-CCLI Grant #0736968)) allows the user to simultaneously plot multiple 3D surfaces, space curves, parametric surfaces, vector fields, contour plots, and more in a freely rotateable graph.

CalcPlot3DThis tool is intended as a dynamic visualization and exploration environment for multivariable calculus. Use it to illustrate the geometric relationships of many of the concepts of multivariable calculus, including dot and cross products, velocity and acceleration vectors for motion in the plane and in space, the TNB-frame, the osculating circle and curvature, surfaces, contour plots and level surfaces, partial derivatives, gradient vectors and gradient fields, Lagrange multiplier optimization, double integrals as volume, defining the limits of integration for double and triple integrals, parametric surfaces, vector fields, line integrals, and more. See the corresponding web page for documentation and a list of guided explorations developed for students to use with this exploration applet.


Instructors and students in multivariable calculus.


Plugins: Java Plug-in (free) with any browser
Operating Systems: Mac, Windows, Linux, etc.

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(Note: For the most up-to-date version of CalcPlot3D, see Paul's project website.)

Paul Seeburger (Monroe Community College), "CalcPlot3D, an Exploration Environment for Multivariable Calculus - Overview," Convergence (November 2011), DOI:10.4169/loci003781