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

How to become the ultimate robot warrior...
Chrono Strike is a delightfully immersive beat ‘em up with a sense of humor (any game with a good Sims reference gets points in my book). [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Snow Roll is a devilish endless runner very much in the vein of Flappy Bird. It revels in its dastardly level of difficulty, and doesn’t really care how angry you get at it as it knows you’ll keep coming back for more. [Read more] | Read more »
How to win big in Slots Deluxe
Cheating while gambling is illegal and morally wrong, and in some parts of the world it leads to men with names like Vinnie "Six Knuckles" Manchenzo beating you to a pulp in a dark alley. [Read more] | Read more »
How to take over the world in Dictator 2
Running a country isn't easy - especially when you're a dictator who wants to take over the world and crush everyone in your path while you do it. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Tank.iois - you guessed it! - another multiplayer arena battler likeAgar.io and Slither.io. It does differentiate itself by putting you in a tiny tank though, so it's not exactly the same. To help you get that all-important high score, we've got a... | Read more »
How to unlock characters in One Tap Tenn...
As the title suggests, One Tap Tennis requires only a single tap to play its particular brand of tennis, and rewards you with a ton of unlockable characters if you perform well. Fortunately for you, we at 148Apps have got a few tips and tricks to... | Read more »
Grab it now: Game Craft’s Legend of War...
The real time strategy game is now available for you to sink your teeth into, through the App Store and Google Play. Combining elements of skill, strategy and empire building, Legend of War is a real gamers’ game. [Read more] | Read more »
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka (Gam...
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Skateboard Party is back! This third edition of the popular sports franchise features professional skater... | Read more »
Cubious (Games)
Cubious 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubious – How smart are you? How high is your IQube? Solve the impossible puzzles to find out, and help a lost little cube find his... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Enterprise Workers Pick Technology Over Perks...
New Adobe study shows surprising attitudes about office jobs and where the future of work is heading. Adobe has released survey findings revealing that a surprising 70 percent of U.S. office workers... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sale: $50-$100 off 11-in...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs with 256GB SSDs on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple iMacs and M...
Take up to $150 off the price of a new iMac or Mac mini at the following Apple resellers this Memorial Day weekend: iMacs: B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP... Read more
Apple refurbished Retina MacBook Pros availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Goal Zero and OtterBox Partner to Expand iPh...
Goal Zero, specialists in portable power, have announced a partnership with OtterBox, brand smartphone case protection, to offer the Slide and Slide Plus Batteries as modules compatible with the new... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Project Engineer - Smart Source Inc...
SmartSource is in need of an Apple Project Engineer for a 12 month contract opportunity in Pittsburg, PA. Role: Apple Project Engineer Location: Pittsburg, PA Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
Service Assistant - *Apple* Chevrolet *App...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive, we Read more
Editor, *Apple* News - APPLE (United States...
Job Summary The Apple News team is looking for a passionate and knowledgeable editor with experience covering entertainment/pop culture and experience running social Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.