Re: Re: The audience for Mathematica (Was: Show doesn't

• To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
• Subject: [mg102169] Re: [mg102149] Re: The audience for Mathematica (Was: Show doesn't
• From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu>
• Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 05:56:04 -0400 (EDT)
• Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
• References: <h4m4ca\$ecg\$1@smc.vnet.net> <h4p3g1\$itm\$1@smc.vnet.net> <200907300946.FAA22634@smc.vnet.net>

```This situation is hardly new nor Mathematica-specific.  All one needs is
a modern hand-held scientific calculator to do any symbolic integral
that's likely to arise in a calculus course.  And for some of the
weirder integrals there, the form of the answer provided by the
calculator may be more like the "by-hand" answer than what Mathematica
provides (although at the moment I don't have such an example at hand).

Reverse engineering the steps from the answer is an entirely different
matter.

Of course the pecunious student can go to www.calc101.com, buy a \$25
password, and get up to 900 worked solutions, over a year's time, that
include the step-by-step work!  (Thanks to the webMathematica back end.)

Or, if the homework comes from a popular textbook, the student could go
to www.cramster.com to get many free step-by-step solutions to textbook
problems, and even more such solutions if he pays a membership fee.

Is this really any worse than the prior situation, where the students
might sit in the hallway before class copying homework solutions from
each other?

David Bailey wrote:
[snip]
>
> My only query is, how do you set homework problems where you want the
> student to solve the problem by hand - say an integral that requires a
> substitution. Some students will inevitably get the answer with
> Mathematica, and then fill in the intermediate steps!

--
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

```

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