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MathGroup Archive 1992

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calculus worksheets

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: calculus worksheets
  • From: Jack K. Cohen <jkc at>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Nov 92 14:47:13 -0700

At the Colorado School of Mines, we use Mathematica as a teaching
tool in all our Freshman Calculus sections.  I have written a series
of "worksheets" that gradually introduce the important Mathematica
primitives throughout the year.  The worksheets might be used to
select some homework assignments or might be used in cooperative
education mode.

So as not to fly under false colors, let me say that Mathematica
is an adjunct to, and not the driving force behind, our Calculus
course.  More important than the Mma materials is our desire to
restore true scientific training to the calculus.  For example, a
problem with numbers about a ball launched at 96 ft/s and descending
some paragraphs later at -96 ft/s is replaced with one about a ball
launched at v0 m/s and pointing out that at the end, vf = - v0.
Dimensional analysis is introduced.  F = -mg is *contrasted* with
the inverse square law.  We don't teach a physics course in calculus,
but we *do* try to say enough so that students can see that there
are real applications and not problems designed so the "numbers
come out nice".

The worksheets are keyed to Edwards and Penny, 3rd edition, but
are mostly independent of any specific text.  Likewise replacing
Mma by Maple or Derive etc. would not be a big deal.

At this time, I have available 5 chapters (through the Fundamental
Theorem and Numerical Integration).  I have draft materials for
the next 5 Chapters that I expect to be ready in about 4 weeks
(I'll be adding a Chapter at a time as I get through tweaking).

The bummer is that I know of no way to make my figures portable---and
making good figures is part of the problem solving technique I am
trying to instill.  So if PostScript and Latex make sense to you,
you can have my materials for free by ftp (see below).  Even with
PostScript, there may be some problems with my particular
implementation, but I feel pretty sure they can be solved one way
or the other.

If you don't have PostScript/LaTex, then you can ftp anyway and
look at my tex files enough to decide if you want hardcopy.  Then
I will mail hardcopy to you at cost.  I estimate it'll be about
$6.50 (for the first 5 chapters), but don't send money before
checking with me for the exact amount.

> login: anonymous
> passwd: ANY_THING
> cd pub/papers
> binary
> get Calculus.tar.Z
> quit

If this seems like deja vu all over again--yes, I did put out a
similar blurb a few months ago when there were just 3 chapters

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