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SPIMSOW Home || Dept. of Maths. & Stats. || Swarthmore College _____________________________________

SPIMSOW is a rather weird acronym for the Summer Project for Implementing Mathematical Software on the Web. Since the World Wide Web is used by so many people and is relatively easy to use, it offers them a wonderful way to disseminate information and teach others new skills and ideas. Recently, two mathematical software companies, Wolfram Research Inc.(makers of Mathematica and Math Reader) and Waterloo Maple Inc.(makers of Maple and MathView™), released new "web-interactive" versions of their software applications. One of the features both companies advertised about the new software was the web capabilities they had. Since the Web is such a great way to teach others mathematics, especially if the tutoring could be interactive, Swarthmore College's Mathematics and Statistics Department and the Math Forum at Swarthmore College decided to initiate a project that would determine exactly how these mathematical software applications could be used for educational purposes on the Web.

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This summer we had two distinct goals to achieve with these mathematical software applications:

  • First, we had to explore the web capabilities of these programs. It was important that we explored the software and determined on our own what Mathematica, Maple, and MathView™ could accomplish.
  • Second, once we determined these programs were capable of, we put tutorials up on the web to teach people certain mathematical concepts and how to use the appropriate software application to incorporate mathematics on their own web pages and to introduce Mathematica, Maple, and MathView™ to people for educational purposes.

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Some other aims of the project included:

  • To produce tutorial web pages about making math web pages. By the end of the summer the project members hoped to publish tutorial web pages with simple instructions on how to use Mathematica, Maple and MathView™ -- concentrating on both teaching some mathematical concepts on the web using the software and showing other people how to do the same.
  • To come up with mathematics notebooks explaining mathematical concepts and showing what the three software programs are capable of doing.
  • To find examples of math web pages that had been authored using these programs. When writing up the web pages, we wanted to provide links to other information that may be useful to people who want to use mathematical software on the web.

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