• Why won’t CalcPlot3D run on Chrome?

CalcPlot3D is a Java-based applet and Chrome no longer supports Java.  However, CalcPlot3D runs on other browsers such as Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer.

  • CalcPlot3D doesn’t work on my computer.  What can I do?

First make sure that your browser is one that works with Java applets (e.g. Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer). Next check to see if your Java Plugin in up-to-date. To install the most recent version of Java click here.

  • Can I use CalcPlot3D offline?

Yes!  You can launch CalcPlot3D on your computer to be used later offline by clicking on the Launch CalcPlot3D button on the right hand menu of the Exploring Multivariable Calculus website.

  • Can I use CalcPlot3D on a tablet?

Currently CalcPlot3D does not run on tablets or smart phones.  However, as part of an NSF grant supporting this project, a non-Java based version of CalcPlot3D is being developed that will work on tablets and phones.

  • What multivariable calculus concepts are represented in CalcPlot3D?

There are many multivariable calculus concepts in CalcPlot3D and more are being developed.  Here are a few:

    • Vectors, dot products, cross products
    • Parametric curves (called Space curves in the applet) velocity, acceleration, TNB frames
    • Surfaces in R^3: multivariable functions, parameterized surfaces, implicit functions, contour plots, Cartesian, polar, and spherical coordinates
    • Directional derivatives, partial derivatives, gradients, tangent planes, Taylor polynomials, Riemann sums
    • Vector fields
  • Is there a user guide to CalcPlot3D?

Yes, we have a guided tutorial.

  • Can I save my work?

There are two options. If you would like to save a copy of an image that you have created in CalcPlot3D, click on the File menu option in the upper toolbar and select Copy as BMP. You can also click on the graph and either type Ctrl-C (or command-C on Macs) to copy the image and then use Ctrl-V (or command-V) to paste the image into a word processing program.

Alternatively if you would like to save a series of graphs and/or animations in CalcPlot3D (for instance you may have prepared an example in CalcPlot3D for a lecture beforehand and would like to load this prepared example in class relatively quickly), then you can create a script. Here are some Scripting with CalcPlot3D in CalcPlot3D.

  • Do I have to create my own examples or are there some built-in examples and problems?

CalcPlot3D has several built-in examples and explorations (sets of exercises for students to work through to discover geometric relationships). Many other examples and explorations have been created by seasoned instructors and we will be sharing those on this blog. Check out the Scripts and Explorations tabs above. Additionally part of an NSF grant is dedicated to developing new examples and explorations covering material not only from multivariable calculus but also differential equations, linear algebra and applications to physics and engineering.