A Graphical Tool for Analysis Courses

Jeffry L. Hirst

Department of Mathematical Sciences
Appalachian State University
Boone, North Carolina 28608

jlh@math.appstate.edu Phone:828-262-2861


Due to the reform movement, many universities use technology in their calculus courses. By using computer algebra systems in higher level courses, we can capitalize on skills students are learning in their introductory courses. This paper describes a Maple procedure that illustrates the mechanics of delta-epsilon proofs.


There are several factors which motivated the development of this software. First, many students have a difficult time writing their first few delta-epsilon proofs. While most introductory analysis texts have some very useful illustrations, such pictures are usually too general, too small in number, and lack interactivity. Since it would be inappropriate to overburden analysis texts with reams of illustrations, a special purpose software supplement seems desirable.

Our solution is a Maple procedure:
which accepts as input
and outputs an animation showing the graph of the function f with the appropriate lines drawn for various values of epsilon.

Sample frames from animations generated by edmap.

The Maple code for edmap in text form or as a Maple V release 4 worksheet.

Tips for distributing Maple code to students.

Tips for using the display command in Maple.