Scientific computation: The integration of symbolic, numeric and graphic computation
It is a commonplace, that the use of mathematical software is in the process of influencing, if not shaping, the working style of the mathematician, physicist and engineer. Considerable effort has been put into the creation of integrated systems by various groups. On the other hand, relatively small progress has been seen in making a telling impact on the larger scientific community with respect to widespread use of such systems. The computer workplace for the scientist has not quite happened yet.
We feel, that this is a question foremost of education. It is imperative that we give the advanced student of the exact sciences and engineering a memorable experience of success with using mathematical software. Obviously the attainment of such an aim depends crucially on a very carefully thought-out collection of representative, well motivated projects originating in physics, pure and applied mathematics, electrical engineering, computer science etc.. And, of course, on the easy access to mathematical software, documentation and expert counselling.
At ETH we have been working for some years to provide and enhance such an environment. We think that we have succeeded with this pilot project. The present report gives an overview of the concept of our mathematical laboratory and provides some details of the projects that are presently provided for our students. Since there are more than a hundred students that take the laboratory course during a given term, we also describe some of the software support for the administration of the lab.
KeywordsGain Function Mathematical Software Advanced Student Exact Science Programmable Logic Array
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