Category: CAS

Navigating WolframAlpha Pro Features

Last week I had to do a workshop about WolframAlpha, and I noticed that there are three different feature sets: not logged in, logged in, logged in to Pro. I needed to know which login settings provided which features (especially for giving workshops and working with students), so I decided to be thorough about it.  You can download the PDF of this document, Guide to Wolfram Alpha Features, as well. Hope this makes the decision-making a little easier for you!   Possibly Related Posts: Elaborations for Creative Thinking in STEM Learning Math is Not a Spectator Sport Recorded Webinar:...

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Abandoning Ship on Wolfram Alpha?

I am really getting fed up tired of having to explain Wolfram Alpha graphs to students.  For some reason, the default in Wolfram Alpha is to graph everything with imaginary numbers.  This results in bizarre-looking graphs and makes it near-impossible to use Wolfram Alpha as a teaching tool for undergraduate mathematics, a real shame.  Now that Google has entered the online graphing fray, I have a wary hope that the programmers at Wolfram Alpha might finally (after two years of waiting) fix the problem. Here are a few examples.  I’ll show you the graph in Wolfram Alpha, on a...

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Shifting Assessment in a World with WolframAlpha

I let my students use Wolfram Alpha when they are in class and when they are doing their homework (um, how would I stop them?).  Because of this, I’ve had to shift how I assess on more formal assignments.  For the record, it’s the same adjustment you might make if you were using ANY kind of Computer Algebra System (CAS). The simplest shift is to stop asking for the answers to problems, and just give the students the answers.  After all, they live in a world where they CAN easily get the answers, so why pretend that it’s the answers that are important?  It’s the mathematical thinking that’s important, right?  Giving the students the answers turns problems into “proofs” where the evaluation (grade) is based on the thought-process to get from start to finish. It also eliminates the debate about whether to award points for a correct answer with no correct process. Here are two examples of problems from a recent Calculus exam (old and new wording). I wish I had thought to do this years ago, because students who insist on just doing the “shortcut” (and not learning what limits are all about) now have nothing to show for themselves (the answer, after all, is right THERE). Again, a student that knows the derivative rules might get the right answer, but the right answer is now worth zero...

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Math Technology to Engage, Delight, and Excite

This is the Plenary Address from MAA Michigan last week. Math Technology to Engage, Delight, and Excite View more presentations from Maria Andersen. Possibly Related Posts: Elaborations for Creative Thinking in STEM Learning Math is Not a Spectator Sport Recorded Webinar: Teaching Math in 2020 AMATYC Keynote Notes: Challenge and Curiosity AMATYC Keynote Notes: Interaction and...

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