Does your graphing software real-ly work?

R. J. Marchand, Slippery Rock University
T. J. Mc Devitt, Elizabethtown College
Michael J. Bossé, East Carolina University
N. R. Nandakumar, Delaware State University


Many popular mathematical software products including Maple, Mathematica, Derive, Mathcad, Matlab, and some of the TI calculators produce incorrect graphs because they use complex arithmetic instead of real arithmetic. This article expounds on this issue, provides possible remedies for instructors to share with their students, and demonstrates that using complex arithmetic has some important advantages. © 2007 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.