Incorporating Technology into Today's Mathematical Curriculum
Dr. Belinda Wendt
June 11, 1999
To adequately prepare students for advanced scientific and engineering courses and applications, PSEs (Problem-Solving Environments) such as MAPLE, MATLAB, and advanced scientific calculators have become essential to a scientific curriculum. Within these environments, students can better visualize mathematical problems and approaches. They can tackle more complicated problems that would be very tedious without such a automated tool, opening the door for more creativity and a more thorough understanding of mathematics. Furthermore, the implementation of software code enhances the theoretical understanding of mathematical approaches. The logical process of software development forces the student to completely understand the procedures being implemented. This can result in increased confidence, which is typically a stumbling block for teaching mathematics. Moreover, the experience the students derive from the PSEs is essential since industrial companies, government agencies, and academic institutions now commonly use these and other similar tools.
An overview of MAPLE and MATLAB will be presented. A method for integrating PSEs within a calculus curriculum will be discussed. Samples will be provided that elicit the benefits listed above.
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