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Showing posts from September, 2008

And they find another one...

Well, we've been graphing now pretty successfully.... when we get to this simple little example:
d = 230t
d = 200t+170.
Plot the first, drag the second on to the grid, no problem. Then, we try to zoom/translate to approximate the intersection's location.
Well, Maple decides that we aren't going to get it. When you don't use x/y as your independent/dependent variables, then even when you specify an implicit plot of t/d, as soon as you do any manipulation Maple reverts the graph to d/t. In fact, regardless of your initial setting of independent/dependent variables as soon as you use the zoom or translate tool Maple resets the variables in alphabetical order.
So... I was warned through research that using a CAS system would require better understanding of mathematical expressions and their equality. I just didn't expect to have to deal with Maple's idiosyncracies (or is it errors?). In the future, I guess my variables will be in the correct order... I wonder if the stu…

2nd foray

Having done graphing with Maple the other day, we worked a little bit with solving systems of equations by substitution. One of the students mentioned that instead of assigning names by typing "L1:=y=3x+2" you could avoid the first equal sign and just use a colon.
Well, that was okay for graphing, since you just right-clicked and chose plot. However, it doesn't work because the assignment to L1 isn't made, so when you tried to do a substitution into L1, it didn't exist.
Some of the students in the 2nd section had a challenge with the 2nd line they dropped on to the graph only had domain -10 to 10... wasn't sure why that was happening.
The second section does algebra on Friday ... and we'll do more algebra with it next week!

Dipping a toe in...

Okay... well we made an attempt at Maple 12 today... just a brief introduction to graphing. I deliberately did it by assigning names to the equations
L1:=y=3x+2
Then I chose to have them graph it implicitly. I'm trying to plan ahead here, so that I can use the names of the equations when they start to solve algebraically by elimination.

Unfortunately, Sharepoint requires them to download and save the file and THEN open it ... it won't open directly :(

So it starts...

It begins tomorrow. Well, actually, it doesn't because the students don't have their laptops tomorrow so we will just do a "welcome back to school, I'm your teacher, here's a little activity" without involving any technology.
So it will actually start on Tuesday. I'm hoping to get the permission forms approved by admin by then so they can get home, signed & returned by next Monday. Then I can formally start recording observations! In the meantime we'll introduce Maple 12 and see how it goes. More, much more, to come.

Out to the students

We've distributed out to the students instructions on how to install Maple on their laptop before they arrive in class. Normally (and in the future, one hopes) this will be part of the tablet image that goes on to the computer before the student receives it or gets repaired but the IT department has been swamped. The process is easy (agree to everything, basically) but it does take about 20 minutes.
One of the big concerns with Maple is that it is a huge program; it takes about 30 seconds to get up and running. One wishes that there was some kind of staged loading, so that it would pop up immediately and then bring in things over time. The context menu pops up rather slowly, too, but much faster than previous version. If we're going to make the change so that this is the mathematical scratchpad then the faster things are, the less chance the tech gets in the way of student problem solving.