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Re: Simple Integrations in Mathematica

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  • Subject: Re: Simple Integrations in Mathematica
  • From: winkel at
  • Date: Wed, 24 Mar 93 10:44:25 EST


Concerning Michael Ibrahim's question of  making Mathematica output  
look like the textbook solutions for trig integrals, I say, "Let us  
not worry about that!"  When the zero was introduced and the Roman  
numeral system was challenged, I doubt if the philosophy of those  
wanting to move ahead with a more capable system of counting always  
tried to get the new number writing system to look like Roman system.   
We need to move on.  I would not worry about it, but ask students for  
ways to confirm that the answers are the same.  An excellent way is  
to plot the two forms - the Mma answer and the textbook answer and  
see what they say.  And they will come out to be the same or be a  
vertical translate - and this will serve to support the fact that we  
are trying to teach them about the fact that antiderivatives differ  
by a constant.

I would suggest this, that instead of looking back all the time and  
longing for it, we look forward, cognizant of our past - approach  
given above - and see how we can truly take advantage of the  
technology to do new and exciting things, such as visualization,  
numerical work, modeling, data analysis, etc. and not the "form  
fitting"  (at least in the first course in mathematics) and study of  
pathologies we have bound ourselves to in the past.

Brian J. Winkel, Editor
PRIMUS, Cryptologia, Collegiate Microcomputer
Department of Mathematics
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Terre Haute IN 47803 USA
PHONE: 812-877-8412:  FAX 812-877-3198
email:  winkel at
(NeXT mail accepted too!)

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