NuCalc is symbolic algebra and graphing software for the Macintosh. It gives us a window to the tools our students will use in 2001 -- but it's available in 1996. NuCalc represents a qualitative leap in the quality and accessibility of this kind of software. It may not be as comprehensive (or expensive) as other excellent products, but it's easy to use and extremely fast.

This site presents some sample pages from a book, Introducing Dynamic Algebra with NuCalc, by Tim Erickson. The book draws from a wide range of mathematical topics, especially transformations of functions, and explains how to use NuCalc to help solve traditional and not-so traditional high-school math problems. Many pages are blackline masters suitable as handouts. The book is $19.95 from Key Curriculum Press; the book plus the software is $39.95. If you have a Power Macintosh, you have the software already: it comes free on those machines, where it's called "Graphing Calculator." If you have a 68040 machine or an -030 with FPU, you can buy the software (with the book) from Key.

To access NuCalc files from the web, you will need to download the NuCalc Web Helper application and configure it as a helper application in your browser.

Transformations

In the old days, plotting was plodding. NuCalc can show you any function's graph in seconds. But can you go backwards -- from the graph to the function? This section from the book takes you through using NuCalc to explore transformations: translations and dilations. Appropriate for students who can graph y = xFourier Series^{2}by hand.

Fourier Series are powerful tools for analyzing functions. Usually, they're a college topic, but NuCalc can help give students relevant experiences in adding up sinusoids. These pages appear late in the book, and require an understanding of "sigma" notation, dilation in the x-direction, and the shape of y = sin(x).

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