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Using Maple To Learn Mathematica

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Enhancing Engineering Math with Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1261.1 - 7.1261.11



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Shirley Pomeranz

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Session 1465

Using Maple to Learn Mathematica

Shirley Pomeranz

Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences The University of Tulsa

1. Introduction

This paper describes the use of the Computer Algebra System (CAS), Maple (Waterloo Maple, Inc.), to assist in the learning of CAS, Mathematica (Wolfram Research, Inc.) in a numerical methods course. What is novel here is that Maple was not used in a standard way. Instead, it was used in the following context. The students had (almost) all used Mathematica in previous courses, although the degree of skill in its use varied considerably. Numerical methods were taught as part of this course. Students had done previous numerical methods assignments in which a relatively simple problem was given and solved (or a formula derived) with Mathematica. Their assignments had been to use the given problem and Mathematica code as a template for using Mathematica to solve a related problem, which was more complicated.

For the final Mathematica assignment, the students were given a numerical methods problem that was coded and solved with Maple (see Figures I, II, and III). The students had no previous familiarity with Maple. They were instructed to use the given Maple code and solution as a template—to whatever extent they found helpful—in order to code and solve the same problem with Mathematica. They were also instructed to write brief reports describing their experiences with this use of Maple.

My purpose in giving this assignment was to see if students found the Maple template helpful. If they did find it helpful, then in what ways did it assist them? If they did not find it helpful, then what was problematic or confusing?

2. Background and motivation

During the previous year, I had been working on a Mathematica project, transcribing given Maple code into corresponding Mathematica code. I was part of a faculty team at The University of Tulsa (TU) that was working with the text, Advanced Engineering Mathematics, Robert J. Lopez 1. Maple solutions to the computer problems in this text had already been written, and hard copies were provided to us. We did not have Maple running at TU, nor were Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Pomeranz, S. (2002, June), Using Maple To Learn Mathematica Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11054

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