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was Re: More /.{I->-1} craziness. Schools are conservative. So are

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  • Subject: [mg106608] was Re: More /.{I->-1} craziness. Schools are conservative. So are
  • From: Richard Fateman <fateman at cs.berkeley.edu>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Jan 2010 02:35:28 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <200912300915.EAA17299@smc.vnet.net> <hhhmn8$o9t$1@smc.vnet.net> <hhpl28$9lf$1@smc.vnet.net> <hip8gf$t4d$1@smc.vnet.net> <8304354.1263643340634.JavaMail.root@n11> <hiuur1$919$1@smc.vnet.net>

David Park wrote:
>(teaching of Mathematica....) It will
> happen because as a tool for studying, developing and communicating
> technical material Mathematica is orders of magnitude better than existing
> practice.

I am unaware of any objective evidence that the introduction of any 
computer algebra system in any traditional mathematics course results in 
a substantial net increase in student achievement.

(Note:  anecdotes don't count. I am reminded of)

Should Mathematica or something like it be used as the basis for storing 
and retrieving technical material (rather than printing ink on paper),
sure.

But telling professors that Mathematica version 7.0 should be taught 
instead of (say) quantum mechanics, won't work.  And to tell them that 
it should be taught as an EXTRA course won't work.  And to tell them 
that it will be more useful than some other programming language in 
which most of their colleagues' work is written, won't work.  And to 
tell them that they should write their papers (at some additional 
effort) in this new way, and then present them to journals that will 
just flatten them out into static page images, probably won't work.

So you might start by trying to reform the publication system. 
Convincing a journal to publish papers that can only be fully viewed by 
readers who have a computer running Mathematica [which version?] is
a tough sell.

Providing a program disk with a free program to use to view the journal,
(or a free download) might have a better chance.  See if you can 
convince math societies, or places like NIST (USA), with their DLMF 
library.   This is tough, and I wish you luck.


RJF




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