Jonathan Rogness (UMN) has a great collection of mathematical visualizations for multivariable calculus that run on Java. I don’t teach multivariable calculus (and hope never to have this experience), but I always love looking at the 3-D surfaces.

You may remember Rogness from the Mobius Transformations video I blogged about a while ago.

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Why are you averse to teaching multivariable calc? I don’t teach that course currently, but it was one of my favorites back when I was teaching it. Lots of visuals.

Let’s just say that when I took Multivariable Calculus my freshman year of College, I had one of those professors that was at least 10 years past when he should have retired.

He would walk into class with a lit cigarette in his hand, put it out on the windowsill, begin waving his arms and drawing strange curves with chalk on the chalkboard, and then, at the end of class, pick up the cigarette, relight it, and walk out the door. I don’t have fond memories of it and I’m not entirely sure I learned anything about multivariable calculus. I did just fine in my differential equations and applied math classes later on, but I think there is this gap in my knowledge centered on multivariable calculus.

I know, I know… that shouldn’t stop me, but I imagine the prep would be HORRIBLE the first time, and I don’t have time in my schedule for

anothertime-consuming prep any time in the near future.