Presented in the 3rd Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics
August 24-28, 1998, Tsukuba, Japan

Education meets Computer Algebra: A Double Challenge

Bernhard KUTZLER
Kutzler@eunet.at
University of Linz
Austria

Abstract

Education meets Computer Algebra: A Double Challenge Computer algebra is one of the greatest challenges mathematics education has seen in centuries. Now that computer algebra is available even on mass product pocket calculators such as the TI-92, teachers have to face the existence of "another expert" beside themselves in the classroom. 80% of what teachers teach today, this new expert can do at the push of a button. The consequence is joy with some teachers, frustration and fear with others, helplessness with most, and worldwide discussions on how this will effect the HOW and WHAT of teaching mathematics.

On the other hand, education is a big challenge for computer algebra, as this application is the (only) one that makes it a real mass product technology. Worldwide millions of students aged 12 or higher learn algebra and more advanced mathematical topics and, hence, are potential users of computer algebra.

The lecture comprises three parts. In the first part we explain, what 'computer algebra' is and what it can do for us. In the second part we present a method of how to incorporate computer algebra into mathematics teaching. In the third part we describe what new features educationalists demand from future computer algebra tools.

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