5. Graphs Using a Computer Algebra System
The graph of z = 4x3 + y3
We now have many tools which can help us to do mathematics.
All of your mathematics subjects require you to draw graphs. It is good to do lots of practise. Another way is to get some useful tools.
Once you start using a Computer Algebra System you will find that it changes your whole view on mathematics. It takes a lot of the tedium out of algebra and frees up time to think about what you are doing.
Some of the many commercial CASs available:
- Matlab - an industry leader (and expensive)
- MathCad - a sophisticated CAS (also expensive)
- Mathematica - also very sophisticated and also has a Web output. The best way to access Mathematica (for free) is via Wolfram|Alpha.
- Scientific Notebook (used in Interactive Mathematics. See SNB Information) and the related product Scientific Workplace
Open Source Computer Algebra Systems
For those of you on a tight budget (aren't we all?), here's a free open source computer algebra system SageMath.
Graphics calculators have become quite sophisticated, but usually have small screens with poor resolution, making it difficult to see details in the graph. However, they are certainly better than nothing!