TweetFollow Us on Twitter

June 91 - Mathematics Computing at the University of Arizona

Mathematics Computing at the University of Arizona

Dale Curtis

INTRODUCING ACADEMIC DEVELOPERS

While developing educational software in a university setting, I found it difficult to discover what others were doing with object programming technologies, even at my own institution. I thought there might be other developers in a similar situation; so, I suggested to the MADA Board that we have an education column in FrameWorks, to allow developers at educational institutions who have object programming projects to find out what is happening elsewhere.

You know what happens to people who make suggestions: here I am! My hope is that those of us with similar interests will use the Academic Developers column to contact and assist each other, and find out about software targeted at the university level. I'll lead off with a synopsis of activities at my site.

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT

The Mathematics Department at the University of Arizona is involved with the education of over 14,000 students per semester. Of these, approximately 4,000 students per semester are in our two-year calculus sequence for science and engineering students: Calculus I, II, III, Ordinary Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra. We are in the process of remodelling this program so it will use computer technology for instructional purposes. The goal is to create an environment where the student:
  • Becomes comfortable using computers to explore, calculate, review, and to promote self learning.
  • Is challenged to think independently and to tackle a variety of problems which, because they are new to the student, do not have the artificial flavor of the overworked examples in present texts.

We've identified five non-traditional ways of using computers for instructional purposes:

  • To aid the instructor during class with slide shows, a collection of screen images of functions that are difficult to draw on the board; simulations, a collection of programs that simulate mathematical concepts that are otherwise difficult to perform in class; and demonstrations, which let the instructor present lengthy, but elementary, step-by-step calculations in class without the distraction of algebraic errors or loss of continuity due to time delay.
  • To aid students. The software can deal with complex calculations and aid in the development of mathematical intuition through support for graphical displays.
  • To encourage students to treat mathematics as an experimental subject. Students can change the values of variables and coefficients, alter equations, and see the effects numerically and graphically.
  • To capture the excitement of current developments in mathematics. For example, chaos in calculus, fractals in linear algebra, and modelling AIDS in ordinary differential equations.
  • To aid instructors and students during lectures and examinations. Since October 1989, our fully computerized classroom has drastically changed the way we teach, the problems we assign, and the way we test.

We have 35 packages to support these approaches. They were developed by students, working with faculty, within the context of a 3 credit hour semester course in math software development. The students were primarily math or engineering students who knew how to program in C.

Because the students had a time limitation, and were focusing on mathematics rather than programming, the packages were initially developed under MS-DOS. But in February, the mathematics department hired a full-time staff member (me) to-among other things-set up a development lab to include both IBM compatibles and Macintoshes.

INTRODUCING STUDENTS TO THE MACINTOSH

So, what is the best way to introduce students to developing on the Macintosh? We are working on that. For use by student and faculty developers, we have acquired the three Apple Developer University Self-Paced Training modules, plus AppMaker, MacApp, C++, and Think C. We have developed a prototype framework for several programs and are creating IBM-compatible display fonts so we can use the data files that drive the programs on both platforms.

Our experience in building this framework in Think C 2.0 using only Inside Macintosh Volumes I-III, without recourse to tools like MacApp, convinced us of the value of object programming! We anticipate using object programming technologies in rewriting the prototype and constructing another framework for a second set of programs, porting at least the C code that does the mathematics itself into Mac applications.

You might ask why we bother to develop on two platforms. The software we have developed is in the public domain so every student and educational institution can benefit from it, and availability on the two most popular platforms is important to widespread distribution. In the last six months, we have had requests for over 2,500 disks from universities and colleges throughout the country. The "Are You Ready" series of programs has generated requests from over 1000 academic institutions in Australia, Canada, Cyprus, England, France, Malta, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, and the United States. Anyone interested in the software can contact me at the address appearing at the start of this column.

CALL FOR GUEST COLUMNISTS

In future columns, I plan to report on personal experience with development tools, software or development efforts that you let me know about, and relevant meetings or training opportunities. (Anybody want to send me to MacWorld in Boston?) I definitely want to use Academic Developers to showcase projects from other academic sites, so articles by guest columnists are very welcome. Please let me know what you want to see. Don't be bashful-see you here next issue!

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

DiskCatalogMaker 7.2.7 - Catalog your di...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast Finder-like intuitive look and feel Super-fast search algorithm Can compress catalog data for... Read more
Iridient Developer 3.2.1 - Powerful imag...
Iridient Developer (was RAW Developer) is a powerful image-conversion application designed specifically for OS X. Iridient Developer gives advanced photographers total control over every aspect of... Read more
BusyContacts 1.2.7 - Fast, efficient con...
BusyContacts is a contact manager for OS X that makes creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient. It brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing... Read more
MegaSeg 6.0.5 - Professional DJ and radi...
MegaSeg is a complete solution for pro audio/video DJ mixing, radio automation, and music scheduling with rock-solid performance and an easy-to-use design. Mix with visual waveforms and Magic... Read more
BusyContacts 1.2.7 - Fast, efficient con...
BusyContacts is a contact manager for OS X that makes creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient. It brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing... Read more
MegaSeg 6.0.5 - Professional DJ and radi...
MegaSeg is a complete solution for pro audio/video DJ mixing, radio automation, and music scheduling with rock-solid performance and an easy-to-use design. Mix with visual waveforms and Magic... Read more
Iridient Developer 3.2.1 - Powerful imag...
Iridient Developer (was RAW Developer) is a powerful image-conversion application designed specifically for OS X. Iridient Developer gives advanced photographers total control over every aspect of... Read more
iFFmpeg 6.6.1 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a comprehensive media tool to convert movie, audio and media files between formats. The FFmpeg command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does all the hard... Read more
Tor Browser Bundle 7.0.11 - Anonymize We...
The Tor Browser Bundle is an easy-to-use portable package of Tor, Vidalia, Torbutton, and a Firefox fork preconfigured to work together out of the box. It contains a modified copy of Firefox that... Read more
iShowU Instant 1.2.4 - Full-featured scr...
iShowU Instant gives you real-time screen recording like you've never seen before! It is the fastest, most feature-filled real-time screen capture tool from shinywhitebox yet. All of the features you... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Reigns: Her Majesty guide - how to use e...
Ruling a kingdom isn't easy--doubly so for a queen whose every decision is questioned by the other factions seeking a slice of power. Reigns: Her Majesty builds on the original game's swipey tactics, adding items that you can use to move the story... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
Friday has crept up on us once again, so it's time to honor the best new games we've played over the past few days. This past week was a pretty exciting one, with the debut of lots of beautiful new indies and some familiar faces returning to the... | Read more »
Portal Knights guide- beginner tips and...
Portal Knights is finally making the jump to iOS and Android, and it's already climbing the ranks to become the next big MMO experience on mobile. This sprawling sandbox game will let you pursue any adventure you wish, whether you want to sling... | Read more »
Reigns: Her Majesty guide - how to swipe...
Reigns: Her Majesty is storming the App Store this week, bringing more tinder-esque kingdom building to eager players everywhere. If you've played the original Reigns, you'll know that leading a kingdom is never easy. It's a careful balancing act... | Read more »
Getting Over It (Games)
Getting Over It 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A game I madeFor a certain kind of person To hurt them. • Climb up an enormous mountain with nothing but a hammer and a pot.•... | Read more »
Reigns: Her Majesty (Games)
Reigns: Her Majesty 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Pocket Legends Adventures guide - how to...
Pocket Legends Adventures is a fun action adventure RPG that takes control when you want it to, but also opens itself for player input, too, if you're looking to tkae a more active role in combat. Regardless of play style, the game can be quite... | Read more »
Portal Knights (Games)
Portal Knights 1.2.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.2.4 (iTunes) Description: Craft your adventure. Forge your hero. Become the ultimate Portal Knight! | Read more »
Ashworld (Games)
Ashworld 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
Another week means another roundup of quality bargain games. This week's list features a few games we haven't featured before in our weekly roundups. If you're on the prowl for new games, now's an optimal time to try something completely new for... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Beats by Dr. Dre – BeatsX Earphones on sale f...
Best Buy has BeatsX Earphones on sale for $109, $40 off, on their online store. Sale price for online orders only. Choose free store pickup, if available, or choose free shipping. Read more
10″ 64GB WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for $59...
MacMall has 10.5″ 64GB Apple iPad Pros on sale for $599 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP and among the lowest prices available for these iPads from any Apple reseller. Read more
15″ 2.2GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $200-$300...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.2GHz MacBook Pro available for $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 15″ 2.2GHz MacBook Pro (MJLQ2LL/A): $1799 $200 off MSRP Apple has... Read more
Holiday sale: 15″ MacBook Pros for $200-$420...
MacMall has 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for $220-$300 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $2179, $220 off MSRP – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Silver (... Read more
Holiday sale: 13″ MacBook Airs for up to $150...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook... Read more
The best Holiday sale prices on 13″ MacBook P...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale this weekend, with models available for $100-$150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz... Read more
Holiday sale: 27″ Apple iMacs for $150-$200 o...
MacMall has 27″ iMacs on sale for $150-$200 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale, each including free shipping: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2099 $200 off MSRP – 27″ 3.5GHz iMac (MNEA2LL/A): $... Read more
Save on clearance 2016 15″ MacBook Pros, up t...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 15″ MacBook Pros available for up to $700 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished 9.7″ iPads...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9.7″ WiFi iPads available for $50-$70 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each iPad, and shipping is free: – 9″ 32GB WiFi iPad: $... Read more
Save $200-$240 on a 12″ Apple MacBook with Ce...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Information Security - Security Data...
# Apple Information Security - Security Data Analyst Job Number: 113119545 Austin, Texas, United States Posted: 10-Nov-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** This Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.