If you have Geomview set up on your system as a viewer you can see a tangent plane in action. Click and hold with the mouse to rotate the figure.

You can also look at a full demo of the lab and visualizaton abilities.


In earlier calculus classes, we learned that a tangent line (at point x) could be found by differentiating a function with respect to x (i.e. f(x)=3x^2, f'(x)=6x). In calculus III, tangent surfaces (points, lines, planes, surfaces) become a more vital part of the mathematics covered during the year. This lab has been written to help accelerate and deepen the understanding of tangents. In this lab we will examine the three main types of functions and their tangents: explicit, parametric, and implicit. To help ease your way, we have written three Maple programs: GraphTan, ParamTan, and ImplicitTan.


Next: Tangent Planes to a Graph