Mathematics

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Ever since implementing a policy in 1994 of issuing a laptop computer to every incoming student, Grove City College has also purchased a site license for Mathematica.   The following page and associated links provide a brief introduction to this remarkable software package.  (Note:  The following page represents an adaptation and modification of material provided to Grove City College by Wolfram).

What is Mathematica? | Getting Mathematica | What is Mathematica used for?
What faculty have created neat Mathematica examples? | What are the best steps to start using Mathematica?


What is Mathematica?

Mathematica is a powerful global computing environment that has been developed to manage both concrete and symbolic computations. Ideal for use in engineering, mathematics, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, and a wide range of other fields, it makes possible a new level of automation in algorithmic computation, interactive manipulation, and dynamic presentation--as well as a whole new way of interacting with the world of data.   Learning to use Mathematica is a marketable skill, particularly in applications that require extensive and sophisticated mathematical modeling. 

Getting Mathematica...

Mathematica is currently installed in the following locations:
  • Laptops: Faculty can download Mathematica after logging in to the secure GCC portal.

Mathematica can also be installed on:
  • Faculty/staff school-owned machines: Faculty can install Mathematica on office desktops in the same way as with laptops.
  • Faculty/staff personally-owned machines
  • Students' personally-owned machines: Students can log in to GCC's secure portal to download Mathematica on their laptops.

If you would like to install Mathematica, please contact Dr. Thompson (724-458-2039 or   glthompson@gcc.edu) or Mr. Dean (724-458-2028 or DADean@gcc.edu) or your current math professor for complete details.  Are you interested in putting Mathematica elsewhere? Please let IT or Andy Dorsett know.

What is Mathematica used for at Grove City?

Mathematica is introduced to our students in our three semester calculus sequence to illustrate ideas, test conjectures, look for patterns, and design various models.  The package is subsequently used in courses in differential equations, statistics, and numerical differential equations.  Many engineering and physics majors also use the program in courses in their majors.

What faculty have created neat Mathematica examples?

Some prolific Mathematica users on campus include Professor X and Professor Y, whose work is linked below.
  • (Work in progress)

What are the best steps to start using Mathematica?

If you are brand-new to Mathematica, below are some suggestions on the best ways to get started.

Students
  1. Watch the "Hands-On Start to Mathematica" tutorial screencast.
  2. Explore the Learning Center for topics relevant to your interests.
  3. Launch Mathematica, open the Classroom Assistant, and perform your first few computations.
  4. You're now ready for the projects that faculty will assign.

Teaching faculty
  1. Sign up for the "Overview of Mathematica for Education" seminar.
  2. Explore the Learning Center for topics relevant to your interests.
  3. Find some prebuilt examples and courseware from the Demonstrations Project, MathWorld, and the Library Archive.
  4. Assign the above steps in the student section to your classes as homework.

Research faculty
  1. Sign up for the "Overview of Mathematica for Education" seminar.
  2. Take other seminars relevant to your work.
  3. Explore the Learning Center for topics relevant to your interests.
  4. Go to the Demonstrations Project site to see what's possible.
  5. Go to the Library Archive for additional resources.

 

Last Updated: 03/15/2010

2006, Grove City College Department of Mathematics

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