Function Art Tutorial

Start Function Art

First things first: Start Function Art by clicking the button below.


Getting Started

When you first start Function Art, the screen will look like this.

Graphing Functions

The Function Art program allows you to plot functions, as you can with your graphing calculator.  To graph a function, enter it in the box beside "f(x) =" and click the New Function button. 

Try it out.  Plot the following functions.  (Note: If you have trouble, carefully examine the screenshots below to ensure you entered the function properly.)

Quirks about the Program

The Function Art program requires that you enter functions in the same way as for spreadsheets:

The following table shows functions in the form you would normally write them, and in the form that you must use with the Function Art program.

Normal
Function Art
x - 2
x - 2
2x + 4.5
2*x + 4.5
3x2 - 5x + 17
3*x^2 - 5*x + 17
1.5(x+2)2 - 3
1.5*(x+2)^2 - 3

Changing your Window Settings

As with graphing calculators, the Function Art program has "window settings".  The window settings can be changed in any of the following ways:

Changing the Domain

Unlike many graphing calculators, the Function Art program allows you to easily specify the domain to be plotted.  This is done by either moving the Domain Min and Domain Max scrollbars, or by entering numbers for "Domain Min" and "Domain Max".

Try it with the function f(x) = sin(x).  Notice how changing Domain Min changes the smallest x value for which the function is plotted, and changing the Domain Max changes the largest x value for which the function is plotted.

Plotting More than One Function

Up until now we've just been plotting one function.  Once you have decided which functions you would like to plot and the domain for each of these functions, you can enter this information in the multiple functions box.  The format for this box is:

function ; DomainMin ; DomainMax

For example, the following functions can be used to create an interesting design:

Function
Domain Minimum
Domain Maximum
f(x)=-10/1*x + 10
0
1
f(x)=-9/2*x + 9
0
2
f(x)=-8/3*x + 8
0
3
f(x)=-7/4*x + 7
0
4
f(x)=-6/5*x + 6
0
5
f(x)=-5/6*x + 5
0
6
f(x)=-4/7*x + 4
0
7
f(x)=-3/8*x + 3
0
8
f(x)=-2/9*x + 2
0
9
f(x)=-1/10*x + 1
0
10

These would be entered in the Multiple Functions box in this format:

-10/1*x + 10 ; 0 ; 1
-9/2*x + 9 ; 0 ; 2
-8/3*x + 8 ; 0 ; 3
-7/4*x + 7 ; 0 ; 4
-6/5*x + 6 ; 0 ; 5
-5/6*x + 5 ; 0 ; 6
-4/7*x + 4 ; 0 ; 7
-3/8*x + 3 ; 0 ; 8
-2/9*x + 2 ; 0 ; 9
-1/10*x + 1 ; 0 ; 10

When you finish, click the Load button.

Saving your Functions

The Function Art program currently does not have the ability to save your list of functions directly--you must use copy and paste instead.  To save your functions, perform the following steps:

Loading your Functions

Perform the following steps to load a list of functions you saved earlier:

Printing Your Art

When you are happy with your art work (and you have remembered to save the list of functions!) you can create a screenshot by performing the following steps: