## A Computer Classroom/Laboratory for Undergraduate
Mathematics Instruction

### David S. Gilliam,

Lawrence Schovanec

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX 79409
gilliam@texas.math.ttu.edu,

schov@math.ttu.edu

*Grant Number*: DUE: 9352676

Our poster presentation will focus on the use of the computer lab for
the course "Computational Techniques for
Mathematics and Science" (CTMS) during the Fall of 1997.
Enrollment in CTMS consists of post-calculus students who are mathematics and
engineering majors and students seeking secondary mathematics teacher
certification. In the Fall of 1997 the course was taught by professor
Gary Harris (Director of Undergraduate Studies).
As usual the presentation of the class was based on MAPLE worksheets containing
lessons and exercises which the students are expected to complete in a
cooperative learning environment. The worksheets
for this semester were written by professor Harris based on
motivation and some borrowed examples from earlier worksheets written for
CTMS by professors Gilliam and Schovanec.
Samples of these worksheets,
which reflect the continued efforts of the
department to refine and continually monitor the content and presentation of the
course, will be displayed in our poster presentation.

## About the Course:

*Prerequisites:*

Students must have three semesters of
calculus and linear algebra. In addition, students must have taken or currently
be taking differential equations.

*Content:*

Algebra with MAPLE, Calculus with MAPLE, Linear
Algebra with MAPLE, Differential Equations with MAPLE.

*Philosophy:*

This course is first and foremost a mathematics
course. It is driven by mathematics content. MAPLE is viewed as one example of
a computer algebra system (CAS) and the course focuses more on the general
capabilities of a CAS and how they relate to mathematics.

*Objectives:*

The students review and reinforce their
understanding of mathematical concepts from arithmetic through differential
equations. Students become familiar with the general capabilities of a CAS, and
obtain experience employing these capabilities to solve mathematical problems.
In order to communicate with MAPLE students must learn appropriate syntax;
however, learning syntax is not considered the primary objective.

*Justification:*

CAS are having profound impact on curriculum
and instruction of mathematics at all grade levels and some argue that the
very nature of mathematics is being altered by CAS.
Current and future students of mathematics
and science must be familiar with the capabilities of this technology and have
experience with its use.

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