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MathGroup Archive 2000

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Re: Resources for high school student?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg24025] Re: Resources for high school student?
  • From: "Kevin J. McCann" <Kevin.McCann at>
  • Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 03:07:38 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Laurel, MD, USA
  • References: <8ikc98$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I have used the latest TI calculators a bit, but am unimpressed with
programming them. There is, however, a penalty for not going along with the
crowd and that is that your son will likely need to learn both. There is a
good book by Colin Williams and Nancy Blachman on the basics of Mathematica:

There are others on calculus with Mathematica. Advantages: Mathematica has a real
programming language, and it is relatively easy to write your own stuff. The
graphics are far superior to the calculator's and can be incorporated in a
document (Mathematica's front end is really a fancy word processor) to
produce a professional report.

The downside is that there is a bit of a learning curve, but the students
that I teach (college) can master about 90% of the essentials in less than a
week. BTW, most of us (Roman Maeder and a few others excluded) never get to
100% of what Mathematica has to offer, but that is the beauty - always more

If you live near Columbia MD, I could give you a demo.


Craig H. Anderson <craigha at> wrote in message
news:8ikc98$qf9 at
> Greetings,
> My son will be in 10th grade this fall.  He will be
> taking physics and trig/geometry.  He is interested
> in astrophysics.  We are considering getting
> Mathematica student edition.  The teachers we
> have talked to make use of TI calculators, but
> not Mathematica.  What resources can you
> recommend in making the decision to get
> Mathematica, and in helping my son with
> Mathematica skills if we purchase it?
> Thanks

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