- 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.