Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Playing with Polar Equations

It's been fun the past few days to show the precalc kids what their calculators can do. We started with parametric equations were fun to play with, and now we've moved on to polar equations.

I found a parametric equation that produced a heart after a quick google search on Valentine's Day. Some of my precalc kids embellished it a bit.

I don't always do a lot with the polar equations, but this year after I discovered that desmos would graph polar equations (and you can add sliders to help you show the different options on the rose and such) I thought it might be fun to take some time and investigate.  On Friday I gave them this worksheet that has some really cool graphs on it.  I edited it so that the kids couldn't see what the graph would produce. Lots of oohs and aahs were heard!

Then last night because I had oodles of spare time on my 3-day weekend (ha!) I sat and typed this up. (I stole borrowed a lot of this from this worksheet I found online. Don't let the comic sans font dissuade you from checking it out.) I figure we'll spend a couple of days on it in class, and their own polar equation design is due on Thursday.

I was talking with some friends last night... it was nice to have a "3-day" weekend, because it really gave me a 2-day weekend, as opposed to the normal 1-day weekend that we all usually get. It's not just me that dedicates Sundays (or in this week's case, Monday) to school work, right?

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