Education Technology

Logistic Growth, Differential Equations, Slope Fields

Activity Overview

In this Computer Algebra System (CAS) activity, students investigate differential equations analytically, graphically and numerically and see relationships between the three approaches.

Before the Activity

  • Install TI Connect™ using the TI connectivity cable
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 1 - 2 from the attached PDF file for the class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Use the random number generator to generate logistic data to simulate the spread of disease
  • Use the data analyzing features of the calculator to create a scatter plot
  • Find a logistic regression curve to fit the data
  • Use analytic methods to find the solution to the differential equation for logistic growth
  • Graph the solution along with the original scatter plot
  • Use the differential equation graphing mode to see numerical and visual solutions without finding the analytical solution
  • Note that the visual solution includes a slope field and the numerical solution includes tables
  • After the Activity

    Students' answer questions on the Activity sheet.

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary