How to Draw Mario on the TI-Nspire

By Tech Powered Dad | January 4, 2017

Mario Nspire animated gif

A few months back I had some time on my hands and did a post on how to graph Mickey Mouse with the TI-Nspire. Today I found myself in the same situation and decided to try my hand with the classic Nintendo character Mario on the Nspire. I imposed the same rules on myself as before, the goal was to plot using only functions/equations/relations available on the Nspire’s graphing menu and restricted domains. This means I would have access to conic sections, functions (parabolas, lines, and other functions), but not the freehand drawing of points and lines that the Nspire offers, which is more limiting. ¬†However it is also more precise and teaches more about how the equations can be transformed if you ever try to do something similar with students.

Not every corner or cusp is a perfect intersection since I was just trying to make a rough sketch, but this should give you the idea. Here’s the general approach I took for plotting Mario:

I started by shifting the axes down by 2. Of course, this isn’t necessary, but I like to orient the center of the face on the origin, and Mario’s big hat makes this shift helpful.

Mario Nspire 01

Add the nose and outline of the eyes. These were created with the ellipse templates available in the equation templates, as were many of the conics that follow.

Mario Nspire 02

Next, I add the start of the Mario’s mustache and smile with parabolas. These were created with the standard function and using restricted domains.

Mario Nspire 03

Now I add a chin and jaw using more restricted domain functions, another parabola and lines and complete the mustache and mouth.

Mario Nspire 05

The ears and eyebrows are added via pairs of parabolas and ellipses.

Mario Nspire 06

A series of parabolas via restricted domains form the outline of Mario’s hat.

Mario Nspire 07

You can’t draw Mario without his distinctive M, a series of piecewise line segments inside a circle.

Mario Nspire 08

A few more line segments complete the hat and his hair.

Mario Nspire 09

A few additional ellipses and circles at the remaining details to Mario’s eyes.

Mario Nspire 10

Finally, hide the axes to get a good look at Mario.

Mario Nspire 11

Click here to get the .tns file to see Mario on your TI-Nspire.

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