Computer Algebra Systems as Tools for Chemical Education
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In recent years a number of exciting developments have emerged in the area of scientific computational tools for classroom use. Computer Algebra Systems (CASs), for example, Maple, are at the forefront of this arena. Such tools have been long sought by teachers of physical chemistry, inherently a mathematics intensive subject. With a CAS at hand, students can look forward to taking college science courses, like physical chemistry, without the usual mathematics anxiety. These tools can be used to do numerical and symbolic mathematics including calculus and linear algebra. In addition, they have wonderful graphics capabilities that include three-dimensional plots, contour plots, and animations. This paper describes the implementation of Maple in two junior-level physical chemistry courses. The materials used for beginning workshops are presented here and additional examples of Maple’s graphic and algebraic capabilities are described.
KeywordsPhysical Chemistry Contour Plot Linear Algebra College Science Computational Tool
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