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Experiments with Matrices and Vectors in Calculus and Linear Algebra

Charles A. Sulewski, Gerald C. Kobylski and Frank Wattenberg


This paper describes a Flash-based OSSLET (Open Source Shareable mathLET) that we have used at the United States Military Academy (USMA) with first year calculus students as a vehicle for motivating vectors, matrices, and linear and affine transformations and as an example of their power. Students use this OSSLET together with their knowledge of vectors and matrices to produce the kinds of computer-generated animations they see in movies like Superman, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. The paper includes all necessary files and instructions for students, instructors, and content developers along with a discussion of our experience with an earlier version of the OSSLET at USMA. As with all OSSLETs , the source code is included for those who are interested, although no programming is needed to use the OSSLET. The OSSLET may be freely used or modified without restriction.

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  • calculus
  • linear algebra
  • linear transformation
  • Flash applet

Publication data

  • Published December, 2007; article ID 1677
  • Copyright © 2007, by Charles A. Sulewski, Gerald C. Kobylski, and Frank Wattenberg

Article Link


Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications