Winplot is a FREE (download here) windows based graphing program. The software is unbelievably powerful; it has (really useful) features I have never seen in any other graphics software. What's especially swell is that with a little grounding it is remarkably easy to use. The only downside I've experienced with the software is that it does tend to crash a little more frequently than your typical windows-based programs. Luckily, those of us who are enculturated in the windows environment have developed thick skins when it comes to crashing programs, so given the free price of the software the crashing is something that is easily tolerated,

Speaking of free... I've developed the following videos to help you learn the software. The first 3 videos are intended to be watched first. The other videos can be watched pretty much in any order although you definitely want to work through video 6 before watching video 7.

Did I mention that the videos are free? Well... in this case you get what you pay for. There are a few minor audio squeaks (scratches, really) in the videos and there is some hemming and hawing here and there. If someone wants to pay me (substantially) I'll edit that out.

I learned 98% of what is on these videos by prodding and poking the menus inside Winplot. If you are the assertive type I'd watch the first couple of videos and then start working your way through the menus in Winplot. If you like a little more direction, I'd work through the videos sequentially.

The videos are in Flash MX format. When you watch the first video you may be prompted to download a flash player. Go ahead and download the software - it's safe and you'll need it sooner or later anyway. The video sizes range from 1 to 6 megs - depending upon your modem speed your screen may go blank anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes when you load each video.

Depending upon your screen resolution, the videos may be larger than your screen size. At the bottom of each video are controls with which you can pause the video, move around the video, etc. The intent is that you will have the videos and Winplot open simultaneously. Watch part of the video - pause and practice in Winplot, watch more video, pause and practice some more, etc.

Please let me know if you find any really significant factual errors in the tapes (here).

More videos should be popping up in the future.

Video 1 – Getting started

- Plotting the line .
- Using the slider (like the TRACE function on TI calculators).
- Creating a table of points.

- Changing the background color.
- Changing the width and color of your function.
- Adding a grid to your graph.
- Showing your equation on your graph.
- Changing fonts.

- Using the keypad to move around the plane.
- Specifying the corner points in the graph window.
- Specifying the center and width of the graph window.
- Other ways to change the graph window.

- Finding zeros of the function .
- Finding Xtreme value points on the function .
- Finding points of intersection between the functions and .
- Graphing where and

- Using the shading feature to graph the solution to the system of inequalities:

- Graphing the function .

- Importing the function from Video 6 into Word.
- Importing a number line into Word.

- Creating and manipulating the general linear equation .
- Creating and manipulating a malleable slope triangle.

- Graphing with
*meaningful*axis points. - Demonstrating the periodicity of .
- Graphing and manipulating the generic function .

- Reflections and rotations on the function .
- Creating a solid by rotating about the line the region enclosed by the line and the parabola .
- Viewing tangent lines to .
- Creating a derivative curve for .
- Viewing secant lines to .
- Viewing Taylor Polynomials centered at for the function .
- Creating funky periodic functions.

- Graphing the implicit equation .
- Graphing the parametric equations .
- Graphing slope-fields and approximation solution curves for the differential equation .
- Graphing the polar function on a polar grid.

- Illustrating Riemann Sum approximations for .
- Drawing antiderivatives of the function .

- Creating a file where your students can guess the constants in the curve . (There are other curve options – I just run you through setting up a cosine option.)

- Using the Polynomial tool.

- Calculation Options
- 3-dimensional graphing
- Recursive Sequences
- Diffy-Q Options
- Mapping