Date: Sep 5, 2003 10:19 AM
Author: Terence Gaffney
Subject: vector calculus, linear algebra

This Fall, Northeastern University is switching to the semester system, so
for the first time we have a chance to teach vector calculus in our
multivariable calculus course for engineers. I'm curious about computer
exercises out there to help students get some intuition about what the
concepts mean, and how they are used. If you have links to some please
forward them to me. (I know about the materials on the Duke server.)

I am curious about points in this material that are trouble spots for the
students, so if you know of any please let me know. (For example, when I
introduce the gradient to the students, they have a lot of trouble
integrating the properties of the gradient into their thinking to the
level that permits them to solve simple word problems like, given the
elevation function of a hill at a given point on the hill, in which
direction is the hill level.)

I am also teaching a linear algebra course in the Spring to high school
math teachers who are still working to complete their math certifications.
Is there a text out there that supports the method in which the students
develop most of the material themselves through investigations?

Best,
Terry Gaffney


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