First presenter Co-presenter(s)
Name :  Karsten Schmidt * Name:   
E-mail: E-mail:  
Affiliation: Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences Name:   
Department: Faculty of Business and Economics  E-mail:    
City: Name:   
State/Province:   E-mail:    
Country: Germany Name:   
03-04  E-mail:    
Session: 3- Applications and Libraries development in Derive Schedule:
Friday, 9:30
Related website:  
Title of
Making Life in an Introductory Linear Algebra Course Easier with Derive

In teaching linear algebra we have to deal with the following problem: while the level of the mathematical skills which are required to work with examples is generally low (students only need to add, subtract and multiply), the number of calculations is usually large. Therefore, working with examples is time-consuming and error-prone if done by hand. Students get tired quickly and lose their interest in this increasingly important area of mathematics. The faculty therefore decided to move the introductory linear algebra course from the classroom to the PC lab, and acquired a special DERIVE license that allows its use on all the PCs the faculty owns, and also on the private PCs of the students.

A utility file was then developed to facilitate teaching by providing functions for the computation of zero matrices and vectors, matrices and vectors of ones, as well as idempotent and orthogonal matrices, “just-in-time” whenever they are needed during the course. The utility file also contains functions that test if a given matrix is symmetric, idempotent or orthogonal.