Points, Vectors, and Functions
Graphing Polar Functions
It's time to get friendly with our graphing calculators. First, we need to understand how to graph polar functions by hand.
This is one of the many instances in calculus where it's helpful to use a calculator as a tool, but it's important to know what it's output means.
When checking the graph on the graphing calculator it can be helpful to spot-check points, especially at the boundaries of θ and simple angles like 0, , and to make sure r has the right values. Then look at what r is doing between those points to see if it makes sense.
Calculator Tip: If the calculator graph looks like jagged lines instead of looking curvy, try making the θ step size smaller (this may be called Δ θ on the calculator). This affects how carefully the calculator draws the graph.