Electronic Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics

POSTER: 10-P11

An Advanced Mathematics Classroom/Laboratory

Larry E. Mansfield
Department of Mathematics
Queens College
Flushing, NY 11367
Phone: (718) 997-5797
Fax: (718) 997-5861
Email: mansf@qcvaxa.acc.qc.edu


About three years ago, I along with two colleagues received an NSF ILI grant for equipment and software to be used in a Macintosh classroom/laboratory. The laboratory was designed for advanced mathematics courses, not introductory or remedial classes. Problems in assessment and the design will be presented. This will include the student survey used, as well as a diagram of the laboratory.

Views of the screens used to manage the laboratory will be presented. These will show the ease with which faculty monitor students' work and share screens with the class. The method of converting mainframe class rosters to student accounts will be discussed. Problems in supervising the laboratory and future needs are considered.

All of the courses using the laboratory have been based on Mathematica. I meet with an instructor before the first use of the computers, often several times. Points discussed include: student preparedness, time spent in a non-traditional setting, the level of the first session, exploration verses simple solving of problems. An example of a Mathematica notebook for use in the first meeting of a senior level numerical analysis course will be examined. This will show that it is possible to begin with elementary material that is directly related to the course at hand.

A newsletter has been designed to report on activities in the laboratory. The first issue, including graphics from the spring semester, will be presented.