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Interactive Demonstrations Using Stagetools


Davide Cervone

May 17, 2001
1:30 pm
Bailey Hall 201

Refreshments in the common room at 1:15


Software such as Mathematica and Maple make excellent research tools, but are less successful in the classroom, as students often find learning the details of the programming language cumbersome and error prone. They end up spending more time learning the software than learning the mathematics. Even after a graphic image is generated, it is difficult to manipulate the results, particularly in Mathematica.

The StageTools package that I've been developing is designed to remove some of these difficulties, allowing the instructor to develop interactive experiments that the student can control via sliders, checkboxes, type-in areas, and so on, rather than requiring them to type commands. When a student changes a value, the geometry is updated automatically. The student can concentrate on the effects of his changes, rather than on how to make the changes.

In this presentation, I will describe the StageTools package in more detail, demonstrate how simple experiments can be created using it, and show some more complicated examples that I have used in my own classes.

For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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