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Discussion: Function Flyer tool
Topic: Function Flyer
Related Item: http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/260/


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Subject:   RE: Function Flyer
Author: Bethany Hudnutt
Date: Mar 10 2004
Hello Julie,

I'm the manager for Project Interactivate, the project in which Function Flyer
is contained.

Did you find the help file associated with the activity?  At the top of the page
is a what? how? and why?  The how? gives details on how functions must be
entered.

Of you have specific suggestions for more effective support materials that would
be most appreciated.  I cetainly need to work on developing a lesson
specifically for this activity.

Take care,
Bethany

On Mar 05, 2004, Julee wrote:

Tool:
http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/activities/flyall/index.html
Function Flyer is one of the most versitile graphing utilities I have seen.  You
can use it to graph any function of Y in terms of x (provided that you can
figure out how the computer wants you to enter it).

I would appreciate a general message of common mistakes when I enter in a
function that the program does not recognize.  For example 3x must be typed as
3*x and cos x must be typed as cos(x).  With a little guess work I was able to
figure it out but there was no obvious link to instruct me how to better enter
my function.  

Aside from the entry issues, this grapher has many wonderful features.  It will
keep a trace of the function as constants and/or exponents are changed with a
slider.  The increments of the slider can be easily change as well as the
minimum and maximum values.  There is also a feature to allow the user to trace
spicific points along the curve of choice.  

I wasn't overly thrilled with the materials that accompany the program but as a
teacher, I can see its usefullness in introducing any new family of functions.
I feel it is very beneficial to be able to use the same grapher no matter what
family of functions is to be the focus.  

This program can really help students visualize what happens when coefficients
change because it can be set to visually track the changes in the graph.  

Julee Lee


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