1. An Overview . . .

Today's seminar will cover the following topics:
  • What is Mathematica?
  • Where is it available at ECC?
  • Where can I get a home use copy of Mathematica?
  • How do I start using Mathematica?
  • Topics for future Mathematica seminars.
  • Questions & Answers?

What is Mathematica?

Mathematica is the world's most powerful global computing environment. Ideal for use in engineering, mathematics, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, and a wide range of other fields, it makes possible a new level of automation in algorithmic computation, interactive manipulation, and dynamic presentation---as well as a whole new way of interacting with the world of data.

Where is it available at ECC?

Mathematica is installed in the following locations:
  • CFT 105, 111, 211, 212; Main 3404, 3404, 2117A, 2117B
  • Faculty/staff school-owned machines: Contact ECC's Help Desk and request to have Mathematica installed on your office PC.
  • Faculty/staff personally-owned machines: Installers (network/CD) are available here. You will need to register at this site. Be sure to use your Essex County College email address. Wolfram needs to verify that you're employed at ECC.
  • Students' personally-owned machines: Students can buy discounted licenses through Wolfram's Web store. Students can also download a 30-day trial by visiting http://www.wolfram.com/books/resources/ and entering L3262-2112 as the license number.

How do I start using Mathematica?

What are the best steps to start using Mathematica? That varies, but I do suggest that you launch the Mathematica application (home/office/lab) and take a careful look at the Welcome screen. Launching Mathematica is no different than opening Word or Excel, and once opened you'll be presented with a blank page and a Welcome screen. Read the Welcome screen to become familiar with what this very powerful application can do. Here's a video if you need help.

Once you've poke around a bit, I suggest you follow this list next:
  • Watch the Hands-On tutorial screencast.
  • You may, after watching the above screencast, want to take a more comprehensive tutorial on Mathematica to learn more about using the Mathematica application. [I once ran an online course at ECC on the use of Mathematica---you can visit ECC's M10 course website for updates.]
  • Explore the Learning Center for topics relevant to your interests.
  • Launch Mathematica, open the Classroom Assistant, and take a look at what's available to you and your students. Where do I find the Classroom Assistant?
  • Take other seminars relevant to your work.
  • Find some prebuilt examples and courseware from: Demonstrations Project, MathWorld, or Library Archive.
  • You're now ready to start thinking about projects to assign your students. That will be discussed later---mainly because students need motivation to know why using Mathematica is so important.
  • I know, on occasion, I can sound anti point-and-click. However I do know that many prefer point-and-click input, and Wolfram has an excellent screencast that illustrates the Mathematica point-and-click interface.

Topics for future Mathematica seminars.

I'll may give three more seminars. The next seminar will be on appropriate ways to stimulate student interest in using Mathematica. This will focus on what's appropriate at the calculus I and II level. So please stay tuned . . . I'll be updating everyone shortly.

Questions & Answers?

Feel free to ask questions. Even if you did not attend the live seminar, please feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to address your questions or concerns.


Ron Bannon said...

You can also stop by my office, room 2210, and have a one-on-one with me if you prefer. I know how difficult it can be to make time for a seminar.

Christian said...

Great Mathematica review. I'll defenitevly add Mathematica in my CV. This website is very helpfull and well organized. cgutierr@student.essex.edu

Ron Bannon said...

Here's an email that I recently received from Wolfram:

As a distinguished member of the academic community, you are personally invited to join the Wolfram Faculty Program. This free program was created to assist faculty members interested in teaching with Mathematica, no matter their level of experience. As a member, you'll receive updates on the latest trends for using Mathematica in your classes, plus exclusive benefits to support your Mathematica usage.

Central to this new program is our collaboration forum where members can discuss Mathematica as a resource for teaching in a variety of subjects. As your use of Mathematica grows, you'll also have the opportunity to receive one-on-one support from Wolfram experts to assist you in developing Mathematica-based courseware, individually scheduled tutorials to teach your students the basics of Mathematica, and a variety of other exclusive benefits.

To get started, please take a moment to fill out the following registration form. You'll receive access to the membership portal and forum right away.

We look forward to finding out more about your use of Mathematica and helping you share your experiences and classroom examples with other Mathematica users!

Best regards,

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