[Edu-sig] creating an interface vs. using one (Michel Paul)

derrick derrick at csociety.org
Sat Sep 23 17:48:06 CEST 2006

Arthur wrote:

>Andy Judkis wrote:
>>Let me reveal my ignorance (there's a lot of it!) and ask if Python has a 
>>way to plot a function that's as easy as on the TI.  Without that I think 
>>it's going to be a very tough sale, unfortunately.
>There are many ways to do that in Python, i.e. a good number of 
>available libraries supporting such functionality,  simply, elaborately 
>and inbetween.
> It does require that "import" move up the food chain a bit.

I've been thinking about plotting too, and found matplotlib/pylab 
(http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/) to be extremely helpful for my
plotting needs. if you've ever used matlab plotting, you'll be right at
i really appreciated the simplicity and functionality of this python
plotting package. I also appreciated the examples
(http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/screenshots.html) on their website i
could copy, paste and run on my computer and the ability to save in so
many different formats.

are there other plotting packages you all have used and liked?

keeping to the topic of this posting, TI calcs are nice, but all through
my undergraduate life, the professors and ta's kept asking why you would
want to use a calculator when you could use a computer. looking back, it
makes me think how much time some of my profs spent breaking incoming
freshman from using calculators and encouraging computers and
programming, even in excel and matlab because it was more powerful. and
after they finally got you to that point, they would again force you to
write out your programs so you would spend time thinking about what you
were doing instead of an immediate guess and check strategy. eventually
some of my classes said no calculators or computers on exams.

i wonder how many people still use their ti calc in their job. i lost
mine sophomore year, but i couldn't imagine pushing plot buttons on it,
i think it was much more enjoyable to use it like a gameboy or to play


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