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Numerically Parametrizing Curves

Steven Wilkinson
Organization: Northern Kentucky University
URL: http://www.nku.edu/~wilkinson/
Journal / Anthology

The College Mathematics Journal
Year: 1998
Volume: 29
Issue: 2
Page range: 104-119

I will first derive the system of differential equations for parametrizing a plane curve, then extend the derivation to obtain a similar system of differential equations for space curves. Finally, I will discuss modifications to the system for both plane and space curves when singular points occur. The ideas behind this method will be familiar to most mathematics majors: concepts from introductory differential equations and multivariable calculus tied together with linear algebra. Upper-level undergraduates will be gratified to see that the knowledge they possess can be used to solve nontrivial problems.

*Mathematics > Calculus and Analysis
*Mathematics > Geometry > Plane Geometry