A Game Changer for Mathematics: Mathematica in the College Classroom

Bruce Torrence, Chair, Department of Mathematics, Randolph-Macon College

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"When you see a student say, 'Oh, I get it,' there's nothing more satisfying as a teacher, for me anyway, and Mathematica is instrumental in that."

Overview

Bruce Torrence, a professor of mathematics and chair of the Department of Mathematics at Randolph-Macon College, calls Mathematica's ability to help students understand and explore mathematical ideas a real game changer for the college classroom. He says, "The single command Manipulate, which allows you to build an interactive interface with sliders and buttons, and you can move things in real time, and you can explore mathematical space with these sliders. It's almost like a telescope into a world you couldn't see otherwise."

With Mathematica, Torrence can easily create compelling educational content, covering topics from algebra and calculus to geometry and biological mathematics. About Mathematica's ability to bring lessons to life, he says, "With Demonstrations and other interactive graphics, the students can adjust parameters and see how things change and it gives them the satisfaction of knowing they really understand the concepts."


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