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Subject:   RE: DE Software
Author: scruff
Date: Aug 14 2005
On Aug 13 2005, Mathman wrote:
> What is it that you can no longer find useful in the program you
> have used for so long?  ODEs are still ODEs of the same form and
> structure.

I am not being facetious, nor mean-spirited, but you
> mentioned that your students for over 15 years had trouble with
> Maple.  Is that perhaps because you did not pursue it diligently
> yourself to some point of mastery, and so passed that along?  Many
> *have* used Maple very successfully.  Mathematica may be termed even
> more dificult to operate, but will also do the job.  However, there
> is also Mupad, already mentioned, or Derive.  All are multi-purpose
> awesome symbolic math programs which should surely suit your
> purpose... and much more.  The spreadsheet is similar in that
> respect, and is effective as it is used.  Yes, it would be nice to
> have some dedicated single-purpose math program such as you seem to
> require, but I don't know if you will be satisfied.

I can and likely will use the same software.
Reasons for considering switching
1)The program reuires os 9 on the MAC
and we teach our technology heavy courses in a MAC  lab with OS X
Our IT people would like me to find software that does not require
os 9 to run beneath osX

2) (As mentioned previously)
The program is old and has some "annoying" features
(As mentioned) You must type 2*x instead of 2x
In some cases you must type 3.14.....
instead of pi
Several more like this

3)The software sometimes (but not often) has troubles with de's that you think
it could handle

4)I'm not sure if you are a mathematician or an editor but if ODE's were just
still ODE's
Then all the conferences and papers etc concerning ODE's and the teaching of
them would not be taking place
Just like Maple is now on version 10 ,HG's software improved from the late
when I first used it to 1996 when I purchased what I think is the latest
If HG continued upgrading I would not be here
I have emailed him several reply
My very simple question is does someone know of SIMILAR SOFTWARE
The answer may be no

5)The students I refered to were using Maple with someone else
I have not used it in class (but might soon since we just purchased a site

But I taught Cal this summer and 2 students had used Maple at another
and mentioned the problems that Mr Devlin mentioned 15 years ago
Maybe I will have better luck
But the comments Devlin so clearly stated so long ago are still consistently
raised by students (who are here in summer or transfer)
Maple is so powerful that you must invest a serious amount of time to use ir for
even simple tasks.
I have heard people swear by it since approx 1987
and I have heard students swear about it since the same time

I feel it is each to their own
My personal preference (as stated) is for small, inexpensive , and most
important easy to use packages

When I have them open DE systems they take off on their own!
Changing DE's
Changing IC's
Changing windows
Adding in slope fields (with or without arrows)
Changing parameters
Using "traditional" de's (pred-prey.etc) that are in the menu
No student can do this with Maple
Probably very few (if any ) teachers can

By that I mean just open it up and you are all set

Hope this is clearer

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