ERCIM News No.27 - October 1996

Computer Algebra and Education

by Fritz Schwarz

Computer Algebra is going to change the mathematical education. During an international conference from 2-6 July 1996 at GMD in Sankt Augustin, experts presented and discussed new results in this field of research. It is the goal of the scientists, to utilize methods of Computer Algebra for education in mathematics.

The conference was organized by the International Council for Computer Algebra in Matheducation (IC-CAME). GMD, where the project Computer Algebra and Differential Equations pursues research in computer algebra, acted as co-organizer. In more than 80 talks, special topics were presented to the participants that could be taken home as stimulation for their own work. Among the speakers were David Stoutemyer, the developer of Derive, a small computer algebra system especially designed for educational purposes, and Bruno Buchberger, the well-known originator of the algorithm for computing Gröbner bases. The conference proceedings will appear in the near future.

This conference is organized annually by IC-CAME, next year it will be held in Baltimore, USA. The activities of IC-CAME contribute to fact that there is a similar change in the mathematical education as it occured about 20 years ago due to the appearance of pocket-calculators for performing numerical calculations. In many high schools in Germany is is common today to work with a computer algebra system like Derive. These methods are on the verge of fundamentally changing the curriculum for mathematical education. For the pupils this knowledge is a substantial advantage for a later college education.

Please contact:
Fritz Schwarz - GMD
Tel: +49 2241 14 2782

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