The PC Lab in PSB 208 has the computer software wxMaxima installed. Maxima is a fairly complete computer algebra system written in lisp with an emphasis on symbolic computation. It is based on DOE-MACSYMA which was developed over several decades starting in the 1960's. It is licensed under the General Public License or GPL (see Wikipedia for more information). Its abilities include symbolic algebra, calculus, plotting, and differential equations. It also has nice animation features.
The software is available for free on Windows, Mac and Linux computers:
(Download and install the latest version of wxMaxima.)
Calculus Demonstration Sessions
Below are a collection of wxMaxima sessions which are saved with the file names *.wxm. By downloading these files and opening them in wxMaxima you can modify and experiment with them to learn how to use the program. In addition, for each session there is a PDF version which can viewed using the Adobe Reader.
Some of the programs use just basic operations and graphing while others are somewhat sophisticated. They use the more powerful drawing package and animation features. In either case, you need only right-click the wxm link and download the file to your computer. In IE this is the “Save target as ...” option on the right-click menu. By double clicking the downloaded fine you can view the inputs and outputs. Note that you will need to evaluate each expression in the files below by clicking the expression and then using Shift-Enter to evaluate it.
Some of the complicated animations will take a few seconds to load so be patient. Once the slides have been produced you click the graph window and use the slider on the top menu bar to view the animation.
- Basic calculations and algebra: wxm pdf
- Basic lab graphing: wxm pdf
- Parametric curves: wxm pdf
- Polar plots: wxm pdf
- Tangent lines: wxm pdf
- Velocity vector: wxm pdf
- Table & graphs: wxm pdf
- Sine limit: wxm pdf
- Discontinuous functions: wxm pdf
- Functions & derivatives: wxm pdf
- Sliding ladder: wxm pdf
- Implicit functions: wxm pdf
- Newton's method: wxm pdf
- Max/min problem: wxm pdf
- Riemann sums: wxm pdf
- Area between curves: wxm pdf
- Surface plotting and contour animation: wxm pdf
- Direction fields and solving first order ODEs: wxm pdf plot