Next: About this document ...
Up: lab_template
Previous: lab_template
Subsections
The purpose of this lab is to introduce you to some of the Maple
commands that can be used to plot surfaces in three dimensions.
To assist you, there is a worksheet associated with this lab that
contains examples and even solutions to some of the exercises. You can
copy that worksheet to your home directory with the following command,
which must be run in a terminal window for example, not in Maple.
cp /math/calclab/MA1024/Surf_start_B08.mws My_Documents
You can copy the worksheet now, but you should read through the lab
before you load it into Maple. Once you have read to the exercises,
start up Maple, load
the worksheet Surf_start.mws, and go through it
carefully. Then you can start working on the exercises.
The graph of a function of a single real variable is a set of
points in the plane. Typically, the graph of such a function
is a curve. For functions of two variables in Cartesian
coordinates, the graph is a set of points in
threedimensional space. For this reason, visualizing
functions of two variables is usually more difficult.
One of the most valuable services provided by computer software such
as Maple is that it allows us to produce intricate graphs with a minimum
of effort on our part. This becomes especially apparent when it comes
to functions of two variables, because there are many more computations
required to produce one graph, yet Maple performs all these computations
with only a little guidance from the user.
The simplest way of describing a surface in Cartesian coordinates is
as the graph of a function over a domain, e.g. a set of
points in the plane. The domain can have any shape, but a
rectangular one is the easiest to deal with.
Another common, but more difficult way of describing a surface is as
the graph of an equation , where is a constant. In
this case, we say the surface is defined implicitly. A third way of
representing a surface is through the use of level
curves. The idea is that a plane intersects the
surface in a curve. The projection of this curve on the plane is
called a level curve. A collection of such curves for different values
of is a representation of the surface called a contour plot.
Similar to the idea of level curves is to look at cross sections of the surface to see what twodimensional shape is traced, not only in the plane by letting be constant, but also in the plane by holding constant and the plane by holding constant.
 Generate a surface plot and contour plot for the following function on the given domain:
 A
 Describe the difference between the contour lines in the regions where the surface plot has a steep incline compared to where the surface plot is almost flat?
 B
 What can you say about the surface plot in a region where the contour plot looks like a series of nested circles?
 For the given equations below, plot two dimensional level curves parallel to the plane and then plot two dimensional cross sections in the plane and the plane. Identify the type or shape of the quadric surface, ie. a sphere, cylinder, cone, elliptic cone, paraboloid, elliptic parabaloid, ellipsoid, hyperboloid of one sheet, hyperboloid of two sheets, elliptic hyperboloid of one or two sheets, or a hyperbolic parabaloid (saddle). Once you have determined the shape of the surface, supply a three dimensional plot to support your conclusion.
 A

 B

 Create a contour plot for the function
for the values
using two different methods; first using cross sections and then using Maple's contourplot command.
Next: About this document ...
Up: lab_template
Previous: lab_template
Dina J. SolitroRassias
20081103