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M@th Desktop and Learning Tools for Mathematics (LTM): User Interface and Learning Resources for High School Students

Philip Ramsden
Organization: Imperial College
Department: Mathematics

International Mathematica User Conference 2008
Conference location

Champaign, IL

M@th Desktop (MD) is a bank of mathematical e-learning resources based on Mathematica, and running on Versions 4-6, developed at the University of Graz under the supervision of Reinhard Simonovits. It is aimed at high-school students in the final two years or so of their studies.

M@th Desktop's user interface is a modified and augmented version of Mathematica's, reflecting an innovative model of Mathematica use in the classroom, suitable for a "blended learning" approach. Customized menus and menu items are used to launch special palettes; using these palettes, students can navigate around the resource bank, create Mathematica input (supported by special packages) and carry out Front End operations. The aim throughout has been to minimize the period of initial training that students need before they can use Mathematica to solve problems. Mathematica's power has been used to support a focus on real world applications, many of which would be otherwise intractable at this level.

M@th Desktop may easily be used by Mathematica novices, who are free to focus on mathematics content only; at the other end of the spectrum, resources are provided to support customization by users who have acquired a little Mathematica expertise.

LTM is a European Union project, funded over three years, involving academics and teachers from: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The project has developed two multilingual MD modules, Functions and Graphs and Linear Algebra, which are freely available across Europe, and which we here demonstrate.

*Wolfram Technology

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M@thDesktopAndLTM_Abstract.nb (251.8 KB) - Mathematica Notebook
M@thDesktopAndLTM_Demo.nb (1.6 MB) - Mathematica Notebook
M@thDesktopAndLTM_Presentation.nb (305.1 KB) - Mathematica Notebook