Re: Mathematica for Macintosh questions.

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg45653] Re: Mathematica for Macintosh questions.*From*: carlos at colorado.edu (Carlos Felippa)*Date*: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 19:58:28 -0500 (EST)*References*: <bu8i4g$apa$1@smc.vnet.net>*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Rachel <tic at toc.com> wrote in message news:<bu8i4g$apa$1 at smc.vnet.net>... > Hello, > > I recently purchased a used Macintosh G4 which came with > Mathematica. I am a college student, and one of the classes I'm > taking this symester is Prepatory Mathematics. Next symester I'll > be taking College Algebra. > > What I'm wondering is: is Mathematica a suitable program for > these rather low-level courses, or is it much too advanced? I > *really* want to absorb Algebra, but I'm simply not sure if this > is the right tool for the stage I'm at. My professor recommended > the website http://www.interactmath.com/, but unfortunately it > appears to be Windows-only. > > Also, how does the licensing work? Will I have to contact the > person I purchased the computer from, or will I have to > re-register? I know there is a student discount available, but I > don't know if I'd have to buy that or not. > > Sorry for the neophyte questions, hopefully someone can help. > > Thanks! In my school (UC-Boulder) Mathematica is used in service Applied-Math courses offered at the sophomore (4th semester) level. Those 4-credit courses (covering ODEs + linear algebra) are taken by all engineering students (2200 of them) after 3 Calculus courses. Mathematica, along with 2 other packages with a campus license, can be optionally used in *lab projects* involving analytical (as opposed to numeric) work. It is not used in homeworks or recitations. How do students learn those packages? By taking an optional hands-on, 1-credit lab course taught by Math graduate students, offered concurrently. Aside from those service courses Mathematica is not used in undergraduate level engineering courses because it is deemed to be unsuitable for programming by undergraduates (that means, going beyond the "symbolic calculator" phase). I use it in 3 graduate courses, but I am the only instructor in my department who does so.