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Is there a simple computer program I can use to graph functions?
September 15, 2009 1:44 PM   Subscribe

Is there an easy-to-use computer program (other than TI Interactive) I can use to draw graphs of functions when I'm writing my Algebra 2 tests?

Ideally, I'd like to be able to easily graph functions (single functions as well as piecewise functions), save the graphs, and insert them into a Word document. I'm using Windows Vista.

I loved TI Interactive but for reasons I'm not entirely clear about my school did not renew our subscription to that program this year (I don't know if there is a compatibility issue with Vista or if there is some other reason they did not renew, but the bottom line is I can't use that program any more). I'd like to find something similar to TI Interactive, preferably something that is free or very cheap.
posted by junipero to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm a fan of GraphCalc. Should be cheap enough.
posted by ConstantineXVI at 2:03 PM on September 15, 2009


You specifically state that you use Windows Vista, but if you've got access to a Mac, it comes with a wonderful utility called "Grapher". You just stick in equations and it makes pretty 2D and 3D graphs. You can copy and paste into Word just fine. Here's me using it, looks like this.

Some Windows people I know use Winplot, but it's kind of icky.
posted by floam at 2:05 PM on September 15, 2009


You can try http://fooplot.com/

Check the faq for piecewise functions.
posted by demiurge at 2:35 PM on September 15, 2009


You know you can do that with a spreadsheet, don't you? It isn't very difficult at all. Either Excel or OpenOffice Calc will do that.

First you create a cell and put "1" in it. (or 0, or -3.14159, or whatever you need.)
Then you create a cell beneath it which adds 1. (Or .1 or .01 or whatever increment you need.)
Then you duplicate that cell a bunch of times. Now you've got your X axis values.

To the right of the first cell you set up your function to convert that "1" into the function value.

Then you duplicate that cell underneat it as many times as there are occupied cells on the first column. Now you have your Y axis values.

From there it's just a matter of using their plotting function to plot one of those columns against the other.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:41 PM on September 15, 2009


I believe Wolfram Alpha will do it. For example.
posted by telegraph at 5:51 PM on September 15, 2009


I've tried WinPlot and it suits my needs but I agree with floam -- it's icky. I do have a mac at home so I'll try "Grapher" -- I had no idea I even had it on my computer, thank you. And I love Wolfram Alpha.

Fabulous!

Thanks, guys!
posted by junipero at 5:16 AM on September 16, 2009


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