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!

 
AAPL
$100.96
Apple Inc.
-0.83
MSFT
$47.52
Microsoft Corpora
+0.84
GOOG
$596.08
Google Inc.
+6.81

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Airfoil 4.8.9 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
WhatRoute 1.13.0 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the... Read more
Chromium 37.0.2062.122 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. FreeSMUG-Free OpenSource Mac User Group build is... Read more
Attachment Tamer 3.1.14b9 - Take control...
Attachment Tamer gives you control over attachment handling in Apple Mail. It fixes the most annoying Apple Mail flaws, ensures compatibility with other email software, and allows you to set up how... Read more
Duplicate Annihilator 5.0 - Find and del...
Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time-consuming task of comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicate escapes. Duplicate Annihilator detects... Read more
jAlbum Pro 12.2 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code!... Read more
jAlbum 12.2 - Create custom photo galler...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
Quicken 2015 2.0.4 - Complete personal f...
Quicken 2015 helps you manage all your personal finances in one place, so you can see where you're spending and where you can save. Quicken automatically categorizes your financial transactions,... Read more
iMazing 1.0 - Complete iOS device manage...
iMazing (formerly DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and... Read more
Xcode 6.0.1 - Integrated development env...
Apple Xcode is Apple Computer's integrated development environment (IDE) for OS X. The full Xcode package is free to ADC members and includes all the tools you need to create, debug, and optimize... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

View Source – HTML, JavaScript and CSS...
View Source – HTML, JavaScript and CSS 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: View Source is an app plus an iOS 8 Safari extension that makes it easy to do one key web developer... | Read more »
Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King: De...
Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King: Deathbat is Coming to iOS on October 16th Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Just in time for Halloween, on October 16 Avenged Sevenfold will be launching | Read more »
Talisman Has Gone Universal – Can Now be...
Talisman Has Gone Universal – Can Now be Played on the iPhone Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Tap Army Review
Tap Army Review By Jennifer Allen on September 19th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SHOOT EM ALLUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mindless but fun, Tap Army is a lane-based shooter that should help you relieve some stress.   | Read more »
Monsters! Volcanoes! Loot! Epic Island f...
Monsters! Volcanoes! Loot! | Read more »
Plunder Pirates: Tips, Tricks, Strategie...
Ahoy There, Seadogs: Interested in knowing our thoughts on all this plundering and pirating? Check out our Plunder Pirates Review! Have you just downloaded the rather enjoyable pirate-em-up Plunder Pirates and are in need of some assistance? Never... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Review
Goat Simulator Review By Lee Hamlet on September 19th, 2014 Our Rating: :: THE GRUFFEST OF BILLY GOATSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Unleash chaos as a grumpy goat in this humorous but short-lived casual game.   | Read more »
A New and Improved Wunderlist is Here fo...
A New and Improved Wunderlist is Here for iOS 8 Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Evernote Update for iOS 8 Adds Web Clipp...
Evernote Update for iOS 8 Adds Web Clipping, Quick Notes, and More Posted by Ellis Spice on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Apple Names Ultimate Productivity Bundl...
Apple Names Ultimate Productivity Bundle by Readdle as the Essential Bundle on the App Store Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Updated Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
Mac Pros available for up to $260 off MSRP
Adorama has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: - 4-core Mac Pro: $2839.99, $160 off MSRP - 6-core Mac Pro: $3739.99, $260... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pros avai...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1379 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. Read more
Previous-generation 15-inch 2.0GHz Retina Mac...
B&H Photo has leftover previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros now available for $1599 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $400 off original MSRP. B&H... Read more
21″ 2.7GHz iMac available for $1179, save $12...
Adorama has 21″ 2.7GHz Hawell iMacs on sale for $1179.99 including free shipping. Their price is $120 off MSRP. NY and NJ sales tax only. Read more
iOS 8 Adoption Rate Slower than iOS 7, 6, Hit...
Apple began pushing out iOS 8 updates to eligible devices around 1pm ET on September 17, 2014. However, unlike with iOS 7, which boasted a wide variety of differences from its predecessor iOS 6, in... Read more
LIkely Final Definitive OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks...
Apple has released what will almost certainly be the last incremental version number update of OS X 10.9 Mavericks (save for futire security updates) before OS X 10.10 Yosemite is released next month... Read more
Fingerprints, Apple Pay and Identity Theft Wa...
On Sep 9th, CEO Tim Cook unveiled Apple Pay, along with the new iPhone 6 and iWatch. Apple Pay is a newly developed technology that utilizes a near field communication (NFC) to enable customer... Read more
Amazon Introduces Two All-New Kindles
Amazon on Thursday introduced the 7th generation of its Kindle dedicated e-reader device: Kindle Voyage, its top-of-the-line e-reader, and the new $79 Kindle, with a 20% faster processor, twice the... Read more
Save up to $300 on the price of a new Mac wit...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.