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MathGroup Archive 1992

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Calculus.m

  • To: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu
  • Subject: Calculus.m
  • From: jkc at keller.mines.colorado.edu (Jack K. Cohen)
  • Date: Fri, 17 Apr 92 17:09:00 MDT

Boy, has there been lots of interest shown!
And I am delighted, but I'm afraid that
some may have misunderstood what Calculus.m was.
In particular, it doesn't really represent what
we are doing with mma in the calculus course at the
Colorado School of Mines.  It is just a group of
codes that might form the basis for computer projects.

We are taking a "gradual" approach to using mma.  We just
started this year.  ALL our freshman take the same
course--so this isn't a little pilot program and
we have to be careful.  We have given 7 major mma
projects over the first year.

They are not everything we could wish, compromises had
to be made with faculty coming up to speed, etc.  But,
still, we are proud of our accomplishment and expect to
do even better next year--we plasn to use part of the coming
summer to absorb the materials from the real hotbeds
like St. Olaf and Illinois.  But our theme will remain
Calc with Mma and not the other way round.  Our Projects
are in NeXT notebooks, and I'm pretty sure our group
leader, Frank Hagin, would be willing to share with you
if you happen to be using NeXT.  Frank was the lead PI
in getting NSF to give us $ for 26 NeXTs that are now
housed in a special lab/classroom.

Aside from this, I am beginning to use the "cooperative
learning" paradigm in my section.  I started that this
semester with Calculus 2, and have been making LaTeX
"worksheets" and "answer sheets".  I hope to refine
these and also make sheets for the first semester this
coming summer.  These would have to be sent by mail and
I will collect a list of those who want to see them, but
I don't promise to actually mail them any time soon.

My goals are all the things you'd expect: avoiding the
"numbers come out nice" syndrome in favor of doing
problems with letter parameters, extending mma skills,
more emphasis on physical probs, untying problems from
specific sections of the text, apple pie & motherhood.





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