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How could I plot my data? (which software)

  1. Jul 16, 2014 #1
    I am a UK iB student who has just finished year 12 (penultimate year) of secondary education.

    As part of the iB I have to do a 4000 word extended essay and I chose to do it on the coefficient of restitution of a metre ruler (I am aware this is slightly bizarre and unusual but I had reasons to pick a metre ruler) along the main axes of a tennis racket. I have collected data for the coefficient of restitution both along the vertical and horizontal axis. I have plotted each set of data individually but I'm now looking to plot both data sets on one set of axes.


    If you look at my attachment, (source: Tennis Warehouse University) you will see how I am planning to plot my data. Ideally I would subsequently introduce a "z" axis to show the coefficient of restitution as rising columns, with the "x" and "y" axes showing the distance along the vertical and horizontal axes of the face of the tennis racket.

    My question is, whether you can recommend me any software I could use to carry out such a plot? I am using Graphical Analysis 3.8.4. to plot my conventional x,y plots but I have no previous experience with any other software or types of plot. (I have tried the excel surface plot, it's not what I am looking for).

    Else, I could of course use the type of plot as shown in my attachment and plot the coefficient of restitution measured onto its position on the graph as percentages in blobs, but I would prefer a 3d x,y,z plot.

    Many thanks everybody!

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2014 #2


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    Gold Member

    Hello Sam,
    Welcome to PF and congratulations on nearly finishing your IB diploma. The numerical calculation package called Matlab is very widely used at universities and industry. It has powerful plotting capabilities, including 3D line plots, contour plots, and the 3D surface plots that I think you are after. The commands for these plots are plot3, contour, and mesh, respectively--you can google information about using them. In case your school does not have access to Matlab, I suggest talking to a sponsor or mentor at the closest university. I have heard that the free software Octave has similar commands and capabilities to Matlab, although I have never used it.
  4. Jul 17, 2014 #3
    Hi Marcus,

    I'm grateful for your response and thank you, but I still have a tough year ahead! I have stumbled across Matlab but as a solution it seemed slightly too complicated so I quickly looked past it. I am not aware that my school has access to Matlab but I have some contact to my local uni. I will try asking them if I was unsuccessful after attempting to use Octave, for now that seems like the more straightforward solution.

    Many thanks Marcus!

    -- To anybody else reading this, I'm still open to other suggestions! --
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