Got a Creative Graph in Mind?
Graphing functions or sets of data is a big idea in mathematics. And once the visual appears, one starts to see pictures. For example, think of our pharases: stair-step function for the greatest integer function, McDonalds sign for an invereted quartic with non-zeron middle terms, etc. In fact, at one time, schools used to hold contests to determine which student's graphic picture was the "best," and many were very elaborate scenes.
This week's website is directed at both of these elements--the graphing and the visual pictures.
Desmos goal is to help create "a world of universal math literacy, where no student thinks that math is too hard or too dull to pursue. We believe the key is learning by doing. When learning becomes a journey of exploration and discovery, anyone can understand – and enjoy! – math."
Using browser-based HTML5 technology, the software DESMOS is proposed as a "next generation" of graphing calculators,,, that can graph anything from functions to derivatioves to derivatives and Fourier series, plus handle data tables, curve-fitting, and transformations....AND IT IS FREE!
If you follow their link to "Partners," you learn that it is possible to quickly embed a versions of Desmos in a document, in a web site, or as an APP for phones. And this is just the start.
Finally, back to the pictures. The Desmos people create daily graphing challenges, then challenge users to use the DESMOS software to duplicate the images. Sometimes it is just involves understanding the visual properties of a certain function, while others require a disciplined creativity involving multiple functions. So give the DESMOS Daily Challenge a try. The pictures are sorted by Basic and Advanced....and some should be labeled Outstanding!