# Polar Equations

Ideally, as with parametric and vector functions, polar curves should be introduced and covered thoroughly in a pre-calculus course. Questions on the BC exams have been concerned with calculus ideas related to polar curves. Students have not been asked to know the names of the various curves (rose, curves, limaçons, etc.). The graphs are usually…

# Writing on the AP Calculus Exams

The goals of the AP Calculus program state that, “Students should be able to communicate mathematics and explain solutions to problems both verbally and in well written sentences.” For obvious reasons the verbal part cannot be tested on the exams; it is expected that you will do that in your class. The exams do require…

# Roulettes and Art – 2

Continuing with our discussion of ways to produce interesting designs with the Roulette Generator (RG) for Winplot, Here are some hints on making more detailed designs using more than one function. Hint #5: Adding more graphs to the first: You may add other graphs by selecting the roulette and/or velocity equations from the Inventory (CTRL+I)…

# Roulettes and Art – 1

For the last few post we have been exploring roulettes using the roulette generator (RG) for either Winplot or Geometer’s Sketchpad. These files use the equations      The derivative is given by the equations Notice that the derivative is also a form of roulette. To generate various roulettes by changing the values of R…

# Roulettes and Calculus

Roulettes – 5: Calculus Considerations. In the first post of this series Roulette Generators (RG) are explained. Here are the files for Winplot or Geometer’s Sketchpad. Use them to quickly see the graphs of these curves by adjusting one or two parameters. While writing this series of posts I was intrigued by the cusps that appear in some of the curves.…

# Hypocycloids and Hypotrochoids

Roulettes – 4: Hypocycloids and Hypotrochoids In our last few posts we investigated rouletts, the curves that are formed by the locus of points attached to a circle as it rolls around the outside of a fixed circle. Depending on the ratio of the radii (and therefore the circumferences) of the circles these curves are the…

# Epitrochoids

Roulettes – 3: Epitrochoids In the first post of this series Roulette Generators are explained. Here are the files for Winplot or Geometer’s Sketchpad. Use them to quickly see the graphs of these curves by adjusting one or two parameters. The parametric equations of these curves are below. R and S are parameters that are adjusted for each curve. Before looking at Epitrochoids, consider the…