The technology assignments for M160 have changed for the fall 2000. We will try to balance work using a computer algebra system (CAS) and the graphing calculator. The goal of the technology portion of the course will be to show some of the capabilities (with respect to calculus) of one of the common computer algebra systems and the graphing calculators; and to use our technology work to illustrate some of the important concepts of calculus.
The computer algebra system portion of M160 will consist of one introductory lab and four labs that will try to give insight into limits, derivatives, Newton’s method and Riemann sums, respectively. The computer algebra system that will be featured is Maple. Maple is available at CSU in at least three different packages: the basic Maple package, Scientific Workplace and Matlab. Any of these packages can be used to complete the laboratory assignments. The Matlab package will be supported in your classes. Tutorials are available for both the Maple package and Scientific Workplace on the M160 website (go towww.math.colostate.edu, click on classes, click on M160).
Matlab was originally developed as a package to perform numerical operations with emphasis on matrix manipulations. Matlab has become widely used in upper division mathematics and engineering courses at Colorado State University. In recent years the Maple kernel of operations has been added to the Matlab package. We have chosen to support Matlab as a part of our calculus sequence because many students will be required to use the package later in their academic career and the Maple syntax in Matlab is better than that in the Maple package.
Lab 1 will be devoted to introducing students to the symbolic portion of Matlab. In this introduction we will try to give the students a broad introduction to the basics of symbolic Matlab. We will not review these commands in later labs. Students should keep a copy of Lab 1 for use later in the semester. We will introduce the students to the Matlab "help" command and will expect students to use the symbolic Matlab package somewhat independently.
Reports will be required for the laboratory assignments. The reports should include an introduction that briefly discusses the topic of the lab, a section that discusses what was done in the lab and a results/conclusions section. One difficulty with using the Matlab package is that it doesn't appear to include an editor that can be used to write the reports. We suggest that you use some usual word processor such as Word. There is not much complicated mathematics that you will have to type, but you should understand that there is an equations package and a symbols package as a part of Word . The Matlab worksheet should be included as a part of the report. In Matlab the plots appear in Figure windows. The figures can be include in a Word document by the following sequence: in the Figure window click on File and Export. Export the plot (save it) with the suggested .emf suffix. Then in Word, click on Insert, Picture and From File. If you then go to directory where the desired plot was saved, the plot can be imported into Word.
We hope that you will approach these laboratory assignments with a positive attitude, learn something about calculus and learn something about Matlab. Good luck.