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Re: if using Mathematica to solve an algebraic problem

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg108969] Re: if using Mathematica to solve an algebraic problem
  • From: David Bailey <dave at removedbailey.co.uk>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2010 08:03:58 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <hpf5jk$os7$1@smc.vnet.net>

Richard Fateman wrote:
> Yet.  There is of course the possibility that something really useful 
> will be developed that will make it
> possible to teach all students everything they need to know.  
> Experiments in "computer aided instruction"
> have not been all that successful, although there are a few (e.g. there 
> is a statistics course at Berkeley
> with computer technology in learning and testing;  there are many ways 
> of making computer programming
> "more automated" that help teach the subject.)

It is many years since I was doing calculus courses myself - all we had 
then were "scientific calculators", which were amazingly accurate 
compared to slide rules, but I must say, I would have hated the idea of 
"computer aided instruction". Learning - at least for me - had to be a 
somewhat disorganised process punctuated with the occasional "Aha!".

I also think that if Mathematica had been available to me back then, I 
would have felt it was a bit like an addictive substance - very 
interesting in small doses, but also terribly dangerous. There would 
have always been the possibility of becoming skilled in answering 
questions through Mathematica, rather than actually learning the subject!

David Bailey
http://www.dbaileyconsultancy.co.uk


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