WIT Press

The Impact Of Mathematica On Mathematical Education


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J. Gregor & A. Nemecek


The Impact of Mathematica on Mathematical Education J.Gregor & A.Nemecek Department of Mathematics, Czech Technical University, Fac- ulty of Electrical Eng., Zikova 4, 166 27 Prague 6, Czech Re- public The growing impact of software products for mathematical education is widely recognized [2], [4],[5]. Traditionally, students learn mathematics by doing it: a big part of engineering mathematics often consists of examples and tricks. This might be counterproductive, it rather prevents than helps mathematical thinking. Now, with program packages like Mathematica, the impact on education has to result in rethinking the philosophy of 'problems and exercises' in mathematical education. We give some guidelines and recommendations for teachers working now in an environment quite different of what has been common 30-50 years ago. 1 Early Literature and Mathematical Soft- ware At the beginning of this century textbooks had only a limited number of examples and they conc