Re: What is Mathmatica

*Subject*: [mg3199] Re: What is Mathmatica*From*: bruck at pacificnet.net (Ronald Bruck)*Date*: 18 Feb 1996 02:59:53 -0600*Approved*: usenet@wri.com*Distribution*: local*Newsgroups*: wri.mathgroup*Organization*: University of Southern California*Sender*: daemon at wri.com

In article <4fpe0r$f9r at dragonfly.wolfram.com>, tom_bates at city-net.com (Thomas Bates) wrote: :Although I have a general idea what Mathematica is I still wonder: if I used :the program to learn calculus would I have learned the subject just as :well as if I learned it the old fashion way? I think you misunderstand what the role of computer algebra programs is in learning mathematics. They don't help you "learn" calculus, except in the same sense that your pencil or your calculator help you learn calculus; they are TOOLS, extremely powerful tools, which dramatically extend the range of what a human can do, and provide rapid and convenient ways of visualizing results. They don't (yet...) remove the need for thought. The human can try out many more possibilities than he could with pencil and paper, that's all. I added the "yet..." because of Kasparov's loss in his first game. With 256 parallel processors, just THINK of how a well-written symbolic algebra program could anticipate your next move and have already finished the calculation for you... Well, back to reality... --Ron Bruck Now 100% ISDN from this address