If you are in a math class, you will eventually be made to graph things. Lines, curves, and eventually: three-dimensional shapes. You will have to make sense of these behaviors and although graphs do not unlock all the answers for these questions, it is still a very good conceptual tool to get a basic, fundamental idea about what is happening in a function.
Below are top 3 graphing sites that I found were quite useful for this exact purpose and I hope that it can prove useful to the rest of you.
Desmos is a simple graphing program that allows you to graph on a XY-Coordinate system.
It is simple and it allows you to group points, expressions, and other things to organize your data. You can also sign up for account to save your graphs, but it’s not necessary if you just need a quick graph.
The CPM 3D Plotter is a very simple 3D graphing site that can be used to easily observe three-dimensional objects.
However, if you are not used to handling 3D graphs and, instead, need a graph that only handles in the XY plane, just simply do these things in order to make this work for you:
- Rotate the graph until the Z-axis (+z and -z) are both lined up at the origin (The graph should at that point look just like an XY plane, 2-dimensional graph)
- When you add points with this perspective, it does not matter what you add to the coordinate corresponding to the Z-axis [e.g, (1,2,#)] because you will not be able to see any changes, so long as the Z-axis is not necessarily in view. I would make the Z component always 0 though, just so you know that you are not focusing on the Z-axis.
- If you want a line, make a plane but set the C-value to 0
Plot.ly is a pretty functional site that gives you plenty of different types of graph, if the need arises. With graphs from scatter graphs to 3D mesh charts, you almost have a free range of options to choose from, depending on what you need.
It is set up in a way that is very reminiscent with Excel: with a spreadsheet that will house all your data points. So, if dealing with spreadsheets is not your forte, you will definitely need to toy around with it in order to get the most functionality from it.
However, I think it is a very useful piece of graphing software and I definitely recommend trying it out and using it.
There you have it. I hope that at least one of these three meets your needs. If any of you find an even better website-based graphing program, please leave a comment and let me know and I will include it in an edit following this statement.