A Classroom for the Integration of Computer
Explorations into the Calculus Sequence

Sherry Gale
Leigh Atkinson

Department of Mathematics
University of North Carolina at Asheville
Asheville, NC 28804

sgale@unca.edu
atkinson@unca.edu

Grant Number: DUE: 9450849

With financial assistance in the form of an NSF-ILI grant, the Department of Mathematics of the University of North Carolina at Asheville has established a computer classroom in which our calculus classes are taught.

The room contains 18 Power Macintoshes running Maple IV the macs are connected to a file server. Seventeen of the computers are positioned along three of the walls of the classroom. The other computer is in the front of the class on the instructor's desk, and is connected to a projection system. Student desks, for group work and lectures, are in the middle of the classroom. This arrangement enables smooth transitions between lecture or discussion and computer explorations, and provides an optimal setting for either activity. During discussions students are removed from the distraction of the computers. When students are working at the computers the instructor is able to see all the computer screens at one time. This setting, which among other things enables students to do realistic applications and to visualize curves and surfaces, enhances students' understanding of fundamental concepts of calculus. The classroom is open for student use in the evening, with a student assistant to answer questions.

Our poster will include pictures of the classroom, sample assignments (more are available at our web site), and information concerning the way we integrate computer explorations into class discussion.


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