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Maplesoft Releases Calculus Teaching Kit

Maplesoft has launched a teaching kit to help instructors of first- and second-year calculus use its mathematics software. "Teaching Calculus with Maple: A Complete Kit," free to Maple and Maple T.A. customers, is available now. The kit leverages Maple and Maple T.A. software programs.

Maple includes more than 5,000 mathematical functions and a variety of options for high-performance computing. Maple 16 makes available new techniques and tools in the Clickable Math collection, such as "drag-to-solve" and "smart popups." Drag-to-solve allows users to tackle problems by dragging terms to the desired location and save each step in the calculation. Smart popups let users adjust a single part of a highlighted calculation and preview the answer. It also notifies the user which mathematical identities can be used, if a subexpression can be factored, and shows the plot.

The Web-based Maple T.A. helps teachers develop tests and assignments. It automatically evaluates results and supports "complex, free-form entry of mathematical equations and intelligent evaluation of responses."

"Teaching Calculus with Maple: A Complete Kit" was developed over five years by Jack Weiner, professor emeritus of mathematics at University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. The kit has been field- tested in classrooms with 15 to 600 students.

Calculus 1 topics include trigonometry, inequalities and absolute values, limits and continuity using rigorous definitions, and the derivative and various applications. Calculus 2 topics include inverse functions, inverse trigonometric functions, hyperbolic functions, and L'Hôpital's Rule.

Features of the kit include:

  • Interactive notes in Maple that can be modified with annotation;
  • Executing of commands in the classroom;
  • Sample mid-terms and final exams;
  • Notes for the teachers with annotation and demonstrations using Maple;
  • Automatically graded homework assignments for Maple T.A. users, including feedback and hints, as well as assignments for users who don't have access to Maple T.A.; and
  • Extra homework assignments from Stewart's Calculus.

"Using Maple as the foundation of each lecture has resulted in fun, extremely interactive classes. We're reaching more students now than ever before," said Weiner. "In addition, the use of Maple T.A. to reinforce learning by providing lots of practice and immediate feedback gives students more confidence, which ultimately leads to greater success."

"Teaching Calculus with Maple: A Complete Kit" is free for schools that use Maple or Maple T.A.

For more information, visit maplesoft.com.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.