1998 IMACS Conference on Applications of Computer Algebra

Special Session:
Education meets Computer Algebra: A Double Challenge

Session Organizer:

Bernhard Kutzler, , Hagenberg, Austria

Computer algebra is one of the greatest challenges mathematics education has seen in centuries. Now that computer algebra is available even on mass product pocket calculators such as the TI-92, teachers have to face the existence of "another expert" beside themselves in the classroom. 80% of what teachers teach today, this new expert can do at the push of a button. The consequence is joy with some teachers, frustration and fear with others, helplessness with most, and worldwide discussions on how this will effect the HOW and WHAT of teaching mathematics.

On the other hand, education is a big challenge for computer algebra, as this application is the (only) one that makes it a real mass product technology. Worldwide millions of students aged 12 or higher learn algebra and more advanced mathematical topics and, hence, are potential users of computer algebra. Teachers using computer algebra tools already demand new features such as explanations of the results or more student-friendly interfaces.

These millions of prospective "customers" are enough reason for educationalists and computer algebra researchers to join their efforts in developing today's computer algebra systems into powerful mathematics teaching and learning tools.

This session aims at starting a dialogue between the two research communities.

Emphasis should be on contributions aiming at
- presenting typical applications of specific computer algebra system features in education at all levels
- informing computer algebra researchers about the wishes educationalists have regarding computer algebra software
- informing educationalists about the algorithmic background of specific computer algebra system features as far as they seem relevant for educational applications

Special issue:

The best papers of this sesion will appear in a special issue of the "International Journal of Computer Algebra in Mathematics Education". Here is call for papers for this issue:
Dear presenter at the ACA "Education Meets Computer Algebra" session,

We plan to publish a representative selection of 6-8 papers from the session as a special issue of the "International Journal of Computer Algebra in Mathematics Education".

We invite you to submit a full paper of 12-15 pages published length to be sent to Tudor Jebelean no later than August 31, 1998. mail: Tudor Jebelean, "ACA Proceedings", RISC-Linz, A-4232 Hagenberg, Austria email:, Subject: "ACA Proceedings"

The paper should be written as a 'journal paper' embedded in the current literature. There is a difference between conference papers where the missing bits can be spoken about; for a journal paper the reader needs the whole story. Please observe this when submitting a paper.

We will not publish papers containing too much code in them. Also we are trying to avoid publishing papers which are just lab/class exercises unless there is a good discussion of the teaching/learning issues. You may want to look at the instructions for authors of the "International Journal for Computer Algebra in Mathematics Education" for the latest aims and objectives. (You will find them in the back of each issue.)

Looking forward to seeing you in Prague,

Tudor Jebelean, Bernhard Kutzler, Peter Schofield Editors

IMACS ACA'98 Electronic Proceedings