Mathematical Software for Student Success - MnSCU CTE

Mathematical Software for
Student Success
Mark Thomas
Emerging Technology & Software Contracts
Minnesota State Colleges & Universities
Office of the Chancellor
Introduction & Background
• Briefly: Mark’s work on system-wide academic
software contracts for the MnSCU Office of
the Chancellor has enabled him to advance
technology access, in the realms of
mathematical software and GIS, for MnSCU
faculty and students. Along the way, Mark
found synergy by helping to provide access to
mathematical software for Minnesota High
School teachers and students.
MnSCU Software Contracts
• Microsoft Campus Agreement
• Novell, Inc. Academic License Agreement
• Symantec Enterprise Agreement
• Lumension "patch management & remediation"
• Adobe Systems, Inc. Adobe CLP
• Autodesk, Inc. License Agreement
• ESRI - GIS - site license
• LodeStar Learning
• Wolfram Research -Mathematica - site license
• Maplesoft - Maple - site license
Above are some of the software contracts on Mark’s plate
What is mathematical software
• Interactive software that brings math
concepts to life
• Intuitive user interface – drag & drop
• Sometimes called Computer Algebra Systems
because they perform symbolic computations
• Maple and Mathematica are used across
MnSCU in science, research and engineering.
• From Algebra to Quantum Mechanics
Clickable Math™ techniques
•Clickable Math is a Maplesoft trademark
•Smart, context-sensitive right-click menus for instant access to solvers and other
command-free operations
• Extensive range of palettes for visual editing of math expressions
• Interactive plotting and animation controlled by the mouse
• “Drag and drop” operations on plots, expressions, text, and more
• Built-in selection of interactive tutors that offer visual learning environments for many
important math topics in precalculus, calculus, linear algebra, and more
•Interactive assistants that provide easy mechanisms to solve and explore advanced
topics such as data analysis, optimization, and advanced visualization
• A Maple Portal for Students, which acts as a guide for hundreds of common tasks from
mathematics courses
•Handwriting recognition of math symbols and equations
•WYSIWYG document processing features
What does Maple look like in-action?
• Clickable Math video
Can mathematical software help in
achieving the high school math
learning objectives, as defined in the
Minnesota Academic Standards
Mathematics K-12
2007 version
MN Academic Standards in
• Beginning with the 8th grade algebra standards
and moving through the 12th grade the terms
graph, graphing, and graphical are used
twenty-one times. Fifteen of the thirty algebra
learning objectives include these terms.
• This means that at least half of all the learning
objectives expected of high school students
involve visual learning done with graphs.
Technology tools in the Math Stds.
• … know how to use spreadsheets and
calculators to explore geometric sequences and series
in various contexts
• … know how to use graphing technology to
graph these functions
• Use technology tools to examine theorems,
make and test conjectures, perform constructions and
develop mathematical reasoning skills in multi-step
problems. The tools may include compass & straight
edge, dynamic geometry software, design software or
Internet applets.
• (why not add mathematical software to the list?)
An offer to Minnesota high schools
from Maplesoft
• Provides 5 cost-free floating licenses of Maple for
Minnesota high schools
• Open-ended option to continue in future years basedon renewal of MnSCU system-wide site license
• The offer from Maplesoft, Inc. provides five cost-free
floating licenses of Maple 14 to any Minnesota state
high school interested in participating.
• The Maple 14 software will be delivered in the form of
a download link and include purchase code to unlock
the software.
Maple used across MnSCU
• Maple is an important tool for teachers and
students learning mathematics. It lets educators
and students explore, visualize, and solve
mathematical problems, thus providing greater
understanding of the mathematics.
• Maple is used extensively throughout Minnesota
State Colleges and Universities, so introducing
Maple to high school students will also give them
a head start on the next phase of their education.
Maple for Teaching & Learning
• Bring math concepts to life with interactive graphics and
animations, solvers, and interactive tutors in calculus, precalculus,
algebra, linear algebra, and more
• Save preparation time with Maple’s Smart Document interface,
which allows you to produce rich lesson documents that are fully
interactive and as professional looking as a text book
• Gain access to curriculum resources, with dozens of built-in tutors
and assistants, a math dictionary, and access to thousands of
classroom resources contributed by a community of educators.
• Increase understanding, faster… Students can check their answers,
modify problems and instantly see how the answers change, use
tutors to explore and practice fundamental concepts, and visualize
problems at a click of a button
How are instructors using Maple in the
Learn how real educators are using Maple in
their classrooms to provide an engaging,
effective learning experience for their
Video: How Are Instructors Using Maple in the
Free Mathematics Software for
Minnesota State High Schools
• Each school is entitled to a 5-user floating
license of Maple. This license can be
shared by more than 5 people at the
school, with a maximum of 5 people using
it at any one time.
• Details on how to Obtain Maple @
Community & Technical College
Math software Success Stories
My name is Francois Nguyen, I’ve taught Mathematics at Saint Paul College for
over twenty-five years. Saint Paul College is an urban technical and community
college located in the Saint Paul. The college has a diverse student population,
with 52 percent of the students coming from ethnic and racial backgrounds, most
of them are the first generation in college.
Many minority student chose Saint Paul college for their Liberal arts courses as
PSO ( Post Secondary Option) since they can enroll for free though Power of You
program. These high school students have limited technology and Math skills. The
number of high school students enrolled at college through PSO program has
increased significantly during the last couple years. We have provided over 30
classes, ranging from math Fundamentals to calculus.
To motivate student learning, I’ve worked incorporated Maple 14 and
Mathematical 7 into my math classes. When using this software , I find that
students are more engaged and enjoy learning Math.
The student work together through projects and spend more time in developing
critical reasoning skills without worrying too much on the calculation. Students can
view demonstration models on-line which help with the broad concept of problem
solving and develop confidence and appreciation in mathematics.
Francois Nguyen, Math Instructor , Saint Paul College
Math software Success Stories
• Century College
I’ve used the packages in my lecture to help illustrate
concepts, especially finding areas and volumes in Calc II by
rotating curves around an axis.
• The 3-D graphing capabilities make it easier to
demonstrate what it looks like when you form a solid of
revolution. It also helps to explain how to slice the object
to find its volume.
• * Maple is user friendly.
* Faculty need Mathematica.
• The feedback from students was positive, compared with
trying to draw the objects by hand.
- Becky Campbell, Math Faculty
Math software Success Stories
• Lake Superior College
I am using Mathematica 6 for my Calculus I and II.
This is a perfect tool for more advanced math,
science classes. In my opinion, teaching this type
of classes with Mathematica or Maple makes
tremendous difference.
Thanks for the campus wide license, and now this
new student licensing option is great. I know that
students will appreciate this option very much.
- Zbigniew Wdowiak,
Math software Success Stories
Minneapolis Community & TC
I’ve found that the use of Mathematica for
Multivariable Calculus and for Linear Algebra and
Differential Equations has made it very easy to
illustrate and demonstrate mathematical ideas
that previously were hard for students to
- Janis Hollenbeck, Dean of Math, Science &
Math software Success Stories
Normandale Community College
Six faculty members have built Mathematica into the structure of
courses they teach. I have built an extensive set of Mathematica
notebooks for use by students in my Multivariable Calculus course.
These include interactive tutorials for most of the topics in the
course, as well as student projects, which are collected and graded.
I also use it regularly for classroom presentations in this and
several other courses. Most students generally like it, and I hear
comments that it really helps with their understanding of the
- Christopher Ennis, Department Chairperson Mathematics/
Computer Science
Math software Success Stories
North Hennepin Community College
In all of the Calculus courses, I like to do relatively difficult real-world
applications from other fields (physics, chemistry, biology, finance...) after
we've mastered the skills 'by hand' in class. We still have to translate the
statement of the problem into a mathematical equation (which is usually
the most challenging part), but the tedious work of solving can be
completed in just a few minutes using a few Maple commands. Without
Maple, we'd maybe have time for one or two applications in a 50-minute
class; whereas we can finish 5 or 6 applications if we use Maple to help
us solve the problem.
I want to stress that by the time we use Maple, we've already covered
solving problems 'by hand', so Maple is not replacing 'by hand' skills.
- Elaina Bleifield, Ph.D., Dean of Science, Math and Health Careers
Minnesota Center for Engineering and
Manufacturing Excellence
Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Center for Engineering and Manufacturing
leads a consortium of ten two-year colleges located throughout Minnesota. The
Center is a first contact resource for K-16 students and industry partners for
continuing education, emerging technology and the development of future
workers by promoting opportunities for students to pursue science, technology,
engineering and math as career fields. A key element of that goal is a national
middle and high school curriculum intended to spark interest in STEM called
Project Lead the Way (PLTW). As the Minnesota Co-Affiliate University for PLTW,
Minnesota State Mankato’s Center sponsors and administers PLTW which is a
hands-on, project-driven curriculum that includes the practical application of
mathematics. The program has grown in schools throughout Minnesota by 140%
in the past four years -- from 92 to 216 schools. This growth now gives even more
students early exposure to mathematics and mathematical software in a learning
environment that promotes student success at the two-year college level.
Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Potential collaboration
• I’ve been working to provide mathematical software
for MnSCU institutions, for over five years. Along the
way I’ve found synergy in helping to provide access to
mathematical software for Minnesota high schools.
• Hopefully high schools across Minnesota will find
Maple 14 to be useful in enhancing math education.
• Vision: Collaboration with high schools to renew and
expand the existing Perkins grant for mathematical
software to provide high school and college teacher
training and support.
Thank you
Mark Thomas
Emerging Technology Architect & Software
Minnesota State Colleges & Universities
Office of the Chancellor
Feel free to contact me by email or phone.
[email protected]

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