## Mathematica and Writing-to-Learn in Linear Algebra and Differential
Equations

### P.G. LaRose

O.W. McClung

R.L. Vogt

Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Nebraska Wesleyan University

5000 St. Paul Ave., Lincoln, NE 68504-2796
glarose@NebrWesleyan.edu

mcclung@NebrWesleyan.edu

rlv@NebrWesleyan.edu

*Grant Number*: DUE: 9551794

Following receipt of an NSF/ILI grant in 1995, Nebraska Wesleyan
University has revised the course structure and content of both Linear
Algebra and Differential Equations to use a computer algebra system
(Mathematica) and writing-to-learn - thereby enhancing student
learning and exposure to problem solving and computer skills that are
essential in both mathematics and the real-world. This poster
describes the NSF/ILI funded lab and changes made to these courses at
NWU.

Both courses were changed from three "lectures" to two "lectures" and
a two hour computer lab per week. As both are strong service courses,
this preservation of the same number of credit hours was an important
consideration. The lab, funded by the NSF/ILI grant received by NWU,
consists of 17 210MHz networked PowerMac clones with a dedicated file
server and overhead projection system.

In the laboratory component of the classes, students primarily work on
formal labs developed through the NSF/ILI grant which take advantage
of the experimentation and visualization permitted by the use of
computer technology. Writing-to-learn is incorporated as reports on
the lab work are written by students in Mathematica notebooks.
Additional writing-to-learn is introduced through
applications-oriented projects used in differential equations.

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