Re: Re: Mathematica and Education

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg64999] Re: [mg64957] Re: [mg64934] Mathematica and Education*From*: Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu>*Date*: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 05:15:34 -0500 (EST)*Organization*: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst*References*: <200603101014.FAA21867@smc.vnet.net>*Reply-to*: murray at math.umass.edu*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

I've interspersed two comments below. King, Peter R wrote: > > .... But how do I > know when the defaults don't suite my purpose, because I have spent many > years doing things by hand and gaining that experience to know what I > want. I am not convinced that if I had done all my mathematics within > Mathematica I would have gained the same experience. That's a very legitimate concern. to my mind it's the principal excuse for still doing complicated paper-and-pencil calculations when learning. (Simple paper-and-pencil calculations may be readily justified as needed to understand what's happening.) > In particular for practicing engineers they may be out in the field, > away from a computer and be required to do a back of the envelope > calculation by hand. If you have never done it before you will be stuck > and I don't think you could consider yourself a "real" engineer. But that seems to me to be essentially a "red herring". It's the old "What will you do if you're on a desert island and don't have access to a table of integrals?" question. Surely many "in the field" engineers now carry their laptops or tablet computers with them whenever they're on the job. And we may be only a short time away from the day that Mathematica will be available on a calculator/PDA-sized device that fits into a shirt pocket. -- Murray Eisenberg murray at math.umass.edu Mathematics & Statistics Dept. Lederle Graduate Research Tower phone 413 549-1020 (H) University of Massachusetts 413 545-2859 (W) 710 North Pleasant Street fax 413 545-1801 Amherst, MA 01003-9305