Desmos Math Art w/ Functions


To be honest, I went into this without knowing anything about functions. The first decision I made was to go through every function provided and see what kind of shapes they can make and I recorded my findings into the function package we were given. Once I had identified the uses of each function, I merely looked at the kind of line I needed to draw and used the corresponding function to make that line. For example, I used linear equations for the straight parts of the monkey, exponential functions for the more slightly rounded parts and circle equations for any distorted or cut off circles.

When I moved and distorted the different graphs I didn’t do anything special. All I did was do what I was taught within the booklet. I translated, reflected, and stretched equations using the y=a(x-q)+p format. I did not use rotations or any other fancy tricks that we were not taught.

I had a lot of challenges with the drawing of my monkey. Especially since this sort of task does not come easy to me at all and is very hard for me to visualize. In fact, this project took me over 13 hours of focus time to finish. I understand all the concepts and ideas, but I am just very slow with using computers as well as implementing graphs. Art and technology are my absolute worst subjects so the two combining together has had me in a bit of a pinch.

I did have an ‘aha’ moment when Mr. Salisbury gave me approval to use x=a(sin(b(x-q)))+p and x=a(y-q)^2+p equations. Although these are not the proper functions we were supposed to use, they helped me a lot considering I was having a lot of trouble with slightly rotated curves that the exponential functions could not fit into.

I received lots of help from Mr. Salisbury who helped me find good equations. Edward also taught me the absolute value equation which helped me create a sharp ‘v’ shape. Another friend outside of school also coached me a bit on how to do the activity because I had a lot of trouble.

I did not have any distinct strategy but merely organized all the equations I knew by the kind of shape they made and chose a equation I thought would build the line I needed. I took a very direct approach to the assignment.

The main idea I took away from the task was that I now know many of the shapes of different equations. I know the shapes of every equation I used in my monkey as well as some equations I tested but never used. Another concept I learned was about the translation and distortion of the functions. I never realized that y=a(x-q)+p could have so many variations and change graphs in so many ways. In the end, with the time I spent on this project, it was impossible for me to not accidentally memorize the shapes of many graphs as well as the effect of changing variables and adding negatives to the equations.




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