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New to Wolframalpha, need to teach with it

Posted 3 years ago
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I am a new college professor, teaching Differential Equations this fall for the first time, and I am finding myself needing to learn to use WolframAlpha and Mathematica by myself--as I was not taught DiffEq with the software. How can i get caught up to speed, at least with applications appropriate for Differential Equations, as quickly as possible?

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First, I would get comfortable and understand the basics of Wolfram|Alpha. Most students will have used it and will try to use it in your course. Here are the example pages for Differential equations and integral transforms:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/DifferentialEquations.html http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/IntegralTransforms.html

Some of your students might subscribe to the pro version, which gives step-by-step instructions on how to solve problems. You probably want to subscribe yourself so you can see what they are seeing when they look at the step-by-step solutions.

Mathematica can be used in many ways to produce educational material for a class. Here's a video with a short introduction for teachers: https://www.wolfram.com/training/courses/edu001.html

One good example, done here in Mathematica, is the simple harmonic oscillator, using F = m a, where F = - k x

In[1]:= DSolve[m * x''[t] == -k  * x[t], x[t], t]

Out[1]= {{x[t] -> 
   C[1] Cos[(Sqrt[k] t)/Sqrt[m]] + C[2] Sin[(Sqrt[k] t)/Sqrt[m]]}}
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