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Home : Media : User Case Studies : Academic List
Maplesoft’s mathematics software, Maple, is being used at Bath University to provide a framework for the teaching of complex mathematics problem solving and for students to complete course work and assessment.
Modeling the varied shapes of seashells is an appealing application of several mathematical concepts that are introduced in multi-variable calculus. And despite the staggering variety of shell shapes found in nature, the growth of almost all seashells can be described in terms of three exponential functions and a closed curve that describes the shape of the shell’s aperture, or opening. The challenge in modeling the morphology of these seashells is that the process requires a tool that combines mathematical muscle, outstanding 3D graphics, and a powerful programming language. It’s in this combination of requirements that Maple truly excels.
Products supplied and supported by Adept Scientific are providing real teaching and research benefits at Bristol University. Use of a Quanser design control system is challenging students to look beyond the immediate project confines to find new solutions, whilst MapleSim modeling software is aiding postgraduate students in the development of robotic systems.
Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, is considered one of Sweden’s most distinguished technical universities. The university’s programs are focused on research and teaching within technology and natural science, and mathematics is foundational to all technical programs offered at Chalmers. When the faculty at Chalmers realized that new students were struggling with advanced mathematics, they took immediate action.
Dr. Stephen Lynch is a world class leader in the use of mathematical software in teaching and learning, and a renowned expert on dynamical systems and their applications. He teaches a range of courses at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, and has been nominated for a second time by MMU for a National Teaching Fellowship. Dr. Lynch has chosen to feature MapleSim in the second edition of his best-selling book, Dynamical Systems and Applications using Maple. The book introduces readers to the theory of dynamical systems through theoretical and practical examples, all illustrated with programs created with software tools from Maplesoft.
David Parker, an engineer with many years of experience working in electronics engineering and related fields, has always been interested in the topic of renewable energy, particularly solar energy. For a recent course on Laplace Transforms and Applications, Parker wrote a paper on the analysis in the s-domain of a series RLC circuit. In the paper, he predicts the response of a bandpass filter RLC circuit using theoretical Laplace transform techniques, and then compares his calculated results with simulated measurements from MapleSim and with the actual physical response of a breadboarded circuit. The resultant MapleSim simulations for frequency, impulse, step, and ramp responses matched the theoretical predictions extremely well.
“[My work] would have been much more difficult without Maple and MapleSim,” said Parker.
“Mathematics is not old or static; it is alive and students need to experience it,”exclaims Professor Laureano Gonzalez-Vega, describing his philosophy on math education. In his years of teaching, Prof. Gonzalez-Vega has realized that students spend a lot of time trying to understand the mathematic and scientific formulas that are the basis for concepts in scientific or engineering programs, often without much success. He introduced Maple in his courses and Prof. Gonzalez-Vega noticed positive changes in his students’ approach and in their results. With the new software, the students found it much easier and faster to solve problems and understand the mathematics.
Most educators agree that technology can have a beneficial impact on mathematics students, and ample anecdotal evidence from individual teachers and classes supports that position. What is less clear is the extent of the impact of emerging technology on student success, the types of tools that provide the most benefit, and the best practices to achieve these benefits. The University of Guelph, in partnership with Maplesoft, has launched a multi-year project to study these questions and to evolve the next generation of teaching techniques. In addition to Maple™, which has been used in many classrooms for years, the project employs newer technologies such as Maple T.A.™ (Maplesoft’s automated system for exercises and assignments), e-books, chat rooms, and blogging sites.