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MathGroup Archive 2004

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RE: Mathematica for Macintosh questions.

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg45652] RE: Mathematica for Macintosh questions.
  • From: "David Park" <djmp at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 19:58:24 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Rachel,

I think the critical question is: Are you planning to pursue a career that
rquires a facility in doing mathematics? (Or, perhaps, are you just
interested enough in mathematics to spend some time at it?) If your answer
is yes, then I strongly recommend Mathematica. Otherwise, the time overhead
in learning Mathematica might not be worth it.

Mathematica can be used at almost any level. Sometimes it automatically does
things where the beginner would like to see the steps. But there are usually
ways around that. For example Solve will solve many equations, but it just
gives you the answer and doesn't show the steps. But on my web site I have a
high school notebook, StepByStepEquations, that shows how to solve equations
one step at a time.

If you are going to use mathematics in your future studies, then learning
Mathematica now will be a great help. Learning it on simple problems is the
best way! There is nothing worse than getting to a more advanced course
where the instructor says: "Now we are going to attack the following problem
with Mathematica." It is very hard to learn difficult math AND Mathematica
at the same time.

And you can get lots of help with Mathematica on MathGroup!

You should contact Wolfram Research for the licensing information. Student
Mathematica isn't too expensive and you might want the latest version.

David Park
djmp at earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~djmp/

-----Original Message-----
From: Rachel [mailto:tic at toc.com]
To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
Subject: [mg45652] [mg4560] Mathematica for Macintosh questions.


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!



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