Electronic Proceedings of the Seventh Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics

Orlando, Florida, November 17-20, 1994

Paper P003

MathCAD Plus 5.0 In an Introductory Linear Algebra Course

Przemyslaw Bogacki

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529
Phone: (757) 683-3262
Fax: (757) 683-3885

list of all papers by this author


The Introductory Linear Algebra course offered at Old Dominion University is designed to expose students (typically non-math majors) to fundamental concepts like matrix operations (including inverse, determinant), Gauss-Jordan reduction, finite-dimensional vector space, linear independence, basis, linear transformation and the eigenproblem. Although the focus is on problem-solving, the course is taught in a theoretically strict (Definition-Theorem) fashion. In the past, the author has taught the course in the 'traditional' mode.

Recently, the author added a computer component to the course. This poster presentation will include materials covering: basic matrix operations, solving linear systems and Gauss-Jordan reduction; and linear transformations in R2 and eigenvalues/eigenvectors of 2x2 matrices - an attempt to visualize (and relate to one another) these concepts. MathCAD Plus 5.0 was used for the purpose of this undertaking. This is because of its ease-of-learning and -use, combined with the presence of useful features like the 'rref' function and symbolic matrix operations.

Keyword(s): linear algebra, Mathcad