Grant Number: DUE: 9351380
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UMASS-Amherst now offers two mainstream calculus courses. One is a traditional course requiring the use of graphing calculators, and the other is a course designed by former UMASS Professor Frank Wattenberg that engages students in active learning by focusing on examples of the application of calculus. These applications are "serious" in that the computer is used to get answers that would be very difficult to carry out by hand calculation.
Wattenberg's textbook Calculus in a Real and Complex World is the required text. The course meets four times a week. In addition to attending three lectures each week, students in the course also meet in our ILI-funded computer laboratory once a week. Using the Mathematica software, students see demonstrations of concepts learned in class, experiment, make observations on their own, and learn how to solve calculus problems on a computer.
Our poster session will feature photographs of students using the lab, sample term projects, local newspaper clippings, and sample lab exercises in the form of Mathematica notebooks. We will also demonstrate POLYA, a program designed to collect and collate student grades from a variety of sources. POLYA, which is now in use in our lab, is designed to run on a computer lab server and collect and collate student grades entered by both lecturers and lab instructors.
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