Online Mathematica-Based Courses the First of a New Generation
of Interactive Web Sites
The World Wide Web has long been considered a powerful
sharing information, providing individuals and organizations with a way of
distributing large amounts of information to a diverse and often widely
dispersed group of people. But web sites have often lacked the
interactivity that many required--that is until now.
Wolfram Research has recently developed webMathematica, a new
that enables Mathematica functionality over the web and is quickly
instrumental to those interested in creating interactive web sites. Using
webMathematica, researchers, scientists, and artists can use web
to showcase their work; companies can easily deploy calculators,
algorithms, and problem solvers over the web or their intranet; and
schools, universities, and other educational establishments can deliver
sophisticated courses over the web, including highly interactive
The Danish Ministry of Education is one of the first organizations to use
webMathematica technology for education, establishing a new pilot
in Denmark that may change the way future generations of high school
students are educated throughout the world. In an effort to investigate
new ways to utilize advanced math programs in teaching and learning at the
high school level, the Danish Ministry of Education has developed a program in
which 24 participating schools will implement Mathematica-based
courses that will be accessible via a specially designed intranet utilizing
The project is being spearheaded by UNI-C, the Danish Ministry's
information technology branch, with support from Wolfram Research. Wolfram
Research is working with UNI-C to provide training on the development of a
webMathematica-enabled site and to equip each school with a
Network Mathematica license. Network servers have also been donated
by Wolfram Research to make Mathematica available to students and
staff both at school and at home.
The courseware the schools will be using is "specifically designed to be
used in conjunction with Mathematica...[and] covers major parts of
the curriculum," explains Kurt Bøge, a Chief Consultant at UNI-C and the
appointed project leader for this study. Lessons in historical
mathematics, calculus, vector calculus, mathematical modeling, number theory,
mathematics and the economy, and 3D analytic geometry are being developed
and distributed as Mathematica notebooks that can be accessed along with
other materials and student projects via a specially designed web site.
The courseware is being integrated with webMathematica,
allowing students to complete each interactive lesson online and submit their
homework electronically upon completion.
To facilitate communication and interaction between those involved in the
study, an intranet has been created to link the 24 schools together.
Students and teachers will be provided with access to electronic
discussion forums in which they can offer support and share ideas.
Denmark has one of the leading educational systems in the world, with an
extensive information technology infrastructure already in place. "Our main
objective is to raise the quality of high school education to a higher
level," says Bøge. Should the pilot program prove successful, the Danish
Ministry of Education plans to implement it throughout the entire
educational system so that every high school--approximately 350 in
all--will use webMathematica and Mathematica as an
interactive learning tool.
For more information on using webMathematica to enhance your
web-based projects, visit the webMathematica
or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.