I’ve been polishing off the last sections of the last book. For these last sections I had to write a few more activities, and then I needed to do the error-check on them. To do this, I’ve found that the safest way is to open a CAS program and run the problems through a computer check (since I’m likely to make the same mistake twice).

On my new computer, the CAS that I have handy on my desktop is Mathematica, and one of my goals for the summer is to really learn how to use it and produce some Wolfram Demonstrations of my own. However, I have found that even when I go through the documentation in Mathematica, I quickly forget how the syntax works from one use to the next.

Mathematica is really built for upper-level mathematics, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be easy to open up and use to check problems on my activities or the problems on a math test I’ve written. So, for all of you out there who are like me, and still can’t quite get the hang of Mathematica, I’m going to record video tutorials as I learn new things.

And, like they say in the song, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…”

First up is solving an equation or inequality:

(larger version here)

Second is solving a system of equations:

(larger version here)

To keep track of all the videos, I’ve started a little Google page (check out Google Page Creator) to store the links (you can bookmark the Mathematica Video Tutorial page here). I’m also planning to learn how to use Dreamweaver this summer, so I may be doing a pretty extensive rebuild of my website … we’ll see. It didn’t seem worth it to rebuild the whole site just for an additional page.

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