In 2001 Brock University (Canada) launched
Mathematics Integrated with Computers and Applications (MICA), a core
undergraduate mathematics program developed under such guiding
principles as: (1) encouraging student creativity and intellectual
independence, and (2) developing mathematical concepts hand in hand with
computers and applications. All traditional courses (e.g. Analysis,
Algebra, etc.) were revised, and as a result, a synchronization of
technology use throughout the program was carefully established. In
addition, three unique project-based courses, MICA I, II, and III, were
developed as a concrete implementation of the two principles above. In
these courses, students learn to design, program, and use interactive
computer environments (VB.net, Maple, C++) with interface in order to
investigate a self-stated conjecture, concept, theorem, or real-world
situation. (Examples of original students' MICA projects can be seen at
www.brocku.ca/mathematics/studentprojects)
In this presentation, I will discuss the integration of CAS in the
MICA program. I will exemplify how CAS is being used in a variety of
courses, including in MICA II-III courses. I will conclude with a
reflection on students' efficiency in using technology as a tool for
learning and doing mathematics as they graduate from our program. |