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Making Animations and Flipbooks

Carl Swenson
Organization: Seattle University
Department: Department of Mathematics
Journal / Anthology

Mathematica in Education
Year: 1991
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Page range: 2-7

Students often consider school math to be an abstract set of symbols, formulas, algorithms, and witchcraft that has no roots in the real world. Graphic images are an important tool needed to teach mathematics well. These images provide needed links for the visual learner, and deepen the understanding of mathematics for all learners. With computer generated graphics we can show pendulums swinging, functions growing, and tires rolling. Mathematica, with its notebook format and animation control, is an ideal tool with which to create animations. Topics are abundant: in precalculus and calculus some of my animations include functions, the effect of changing a given coefficient in a polynomial, limits, the secant line becoming the tangent line as delta-x becomes small, the slopes of the tangent lines from the derivative function, Riemann sums, Taylor polynomial approximations, pendulums, cycloids and The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Today's students are more visually oriented and more visually sophisticated; we must pay attention to this and promote more visualization of mathematics. This paper will present the process through which I produce animations and flipbooks to illustrate mathematical concepts. It is my intent that others will be able to use some of my ideas, experiences, and Mathematica code to produce their own animations and graphic materials for students.

*Mathematica Technology > Programming > Animations
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*Making Animations and Flipbooks   [in MathSource: Packages and Programs]
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