An Interactive Experience: Teaching Mathematics with Mathematica

Eric Schulz, Walla Walla Community College

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The Mathematica Edge
  • Contains powerful graphics functions for creating insightful 3D models
  • Generates professional-looking documents that can include text, calculations, and interactive visualizations
  • Provides a development environment to build flexible, structured courseware
"There are other tools that on the surface appear equivalent to Mathematica, but I have yet to find anything that compares to Mathematica's breadth, depth, elegance, and consistency."

Overview

Teaching and Mathematica go hand in hand for Eric Schulz, a mathematics instructor at Walla Walla Community College. "Mathematica is more than it appears to be to the new user. It's not just a calculator. It's not just input/output. It's a tool where you can express yourself," says Schulz. "I use Mathematica to do all of my writing, in addition to lecture notes and handouts."

Schulz also creates dynamic interfaces in Mathematica to visually enhance every lesson he teaches. He says, "I regularly think about how I can explain concepts visually because I know in the classroom I have students for which that would make sense. And then I can follow up and teach in the analytical mode."


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