"Computer Algebra Systems in Applied Mathematics Education:
Experiences and Future Directions"
Peder Thusgaard Ruhoff(*)
The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute for Production Technology
Odense University, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
The development of sophisticated computer algebra systems such as
DERIVE, MAPLE and MATHEMATICA has definitely changed the way many
scientists and engineers are working. Therefore, in 1995 we decided
to reform the applied mathematics curriculum at our institution and
introduce the students to the use of computer algebra systems as tools in
mathematical modeling, problem solving and research.
We will in this presentation describe how this intiative has changed
the way we teach applied mathematics and the way students
study and learn. Further, we will report on the mainly positive
experiences we have had during the first three years, e.g.\ students
that become adventurous and begin to explore mathematical problems on
their own. We will also present examples of specific student projects and
exams. Finally, we discuss plans for the future use of these systems and
present a list of features we would like to see in future computer
algebra systems, such as on-line tutors.