1 May 04:43 2006

### Re: Maxima for numerical methods (v. Scilab)?

Daniel Lakeland <dlakelan <at> street-artists.org>

2006-05-01 02:43:43 GMT

2006-05-01 02:43:43 GMT

On Sun, Apr 30, 2006 at 08:33:17AM +1000, Alasdair McAndrew wrote: > I'd be happy if I > could produce something similar-ish to that, but based on free software. > Anyone interested in being a co-author? You tempt me sorely. I have been through both a degree in Mathematics with an emphasis on numerical and computational topics, as well as a degree in Civil Engineering, where I was appalled at the lack of integration of computer methods. In general the students in the CE program found computers to be essentially a big hammer that they could pound nails with (primarily via Excel). I think a CAS like maxima would be a very valuable tool to let students explore the analytical side of numerical methods without having to spend terrible amounts of time keeping track of equations. Combining it with R for statistics, and Octave or SciLab for numerical linear algebra, root finding, and soforth would give a very valuable foundation from which students could explore topics in their major field using computational tools. I would love to work on a project that integrated these ideas, and at the same time became a sort of tutorial on Maxima. As always, time is limited, but I could devote two or three hours a week. I would like to see such a thing be online, with hypertext links to help students see the relationships between various topics. I would be happy to hear suggestions of how such a book project could be organized, and how best to present it to the student. At first a wiki seems attractive but I suspect that it would be better to(Continue reading)