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MathGroup Archive 2000

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RE: Resources for high school student?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg24059] RE: Resources for high school student?
  • From: "Ersek, Ted R" <ErsekTR at navair.navy.mil>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 01:01:51 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

craigha at home.com  sent the following to the MathGroup:
---------------------------
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? 
--------------------------

Several months ago Lucci Ellis and I posted the web page at 
http://www.verbeia.com/mathematica/student_demo.html
which demonstrates what high school students and college freshmen can do
with Mathematica.

Nothing on the Wolfram Research web page will give you an idea how
Mathematica might be useful to your son.  On the contrary their web page
will give you the impression Mathematica is mostly used by scientists and
engineers.  While users at that level form a large portion of the
Mathematica user base, Mathematica can also be very useful to a student such
as your son.  If your son goes exploring to see what sort of features are in
Mathematica he will quickly get into things way over his head.  However, he
shouldn't have much trouble using the features he needs. As he learns
Calculus and other mathematics in college he will easily learn the related
features in Mathematica.

In December 1999 I sent a suggestion to Wolfram Research that they put
something like the web page I mention above at an easy to find location on
their web site. One of the lead employees in the Wolfram Research marketing
department replied that something like this is needed, and said they would
follow my suggestion.  Well it still hasn't happened, and I just can't
understand why. This wouldn't take very much time and should be an important
part of their marketing strategy. After all every scientist or engineer was
once a 10th grader with an interest in math. Wolfram Research should get
them interested in Mathematica before they begin to like a competing system!

Regards,
Ted Ersek

------------------------------
PS
One character on the above website is in a font size that is too small to be
legible. In that line I am trying to show 
that Mathematica knows the sum of  1/(j^2) where (j) goes from 1 to Infinity
is (Pi^2)/6.

Also where I say Mathematica would simplify an expression to 
   -2+3 Cos[Theta]+3 Sin[Theta]
Theta would be displayed as the corresponding Greek letter.
It seems there is an error in the HTML code or my web browser.



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