There are many different ways to display numerical results and these different ways depend on whether the data are discrete, are obtained from expressions, require logarithmic compression, are to be represented in 2D or 3D, or are specific to a given application area such as statistics (histograms, bar charts, and pie charts), computational geometry (Voronoi diagrams and convex hulls), wavelet analysis, or controls (Bode, Nichols, and root locus plots). To accommodate these wide-ranging needs, Mathematica provides a large set of high-level plotting commands that require little user involvement to generate a basic figure; that is, one with minimum annotation. However, for each plot command, one is given the means to control virtually all aspects of the graph, thereby providing a high degree of flexibility in enhancing a figure. We shall discuss a subset of these plot commands and introduce instructions that can be used to modify, enhance, and individualize the graph’s curves and the overall figure.
Mathematica also provides a set of straightforward commands for creating an interactive environment for the presentation of numbers, expressions, and graphics by using Manipulate. This command is introduced in Chapter 7.
The introduction and usage of the various 2D and 3D plotting commands and their enhancement are introduced, primarily, via tables. The usage of these enhancements is then illustrated by examples from engineering topics.