Teaching a Mathematica-Based Introductory Physics Lab
University of Cincinnati
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I will discuss a Mathematica-based introductory physics pilot lab that is being
taught at the University of Cincinnati. This lab is taught to randomly selected sections
of the calculus-based introductory physics course. After the students have been introduced
to Mathematica, we use Mathematica as a tool to analyze experimental data.
Experiments include measuring and using digital video, exploring diffraction with a CCD
camera, and using digital audio to measure the Doppler shift. The pilot lab requires that
the students do substantially more work than is required in the regular labs, but student
surveys indicate a high level of student satisfaction with the lab.