Technology Enhanced Calculus
for Villanova Sci&Eng Students

People often forget that computers were originally invented to do math, especially since they have proved to be such a revolutionary tool reaching into all parts of our modern lives. It is important to remember that our current computer technology has evolved in various ways to help us learn and do mathematics on a much more sophisticated level.

In our Villanova Department of Mathematics and Statistics science and engineering sequence, there are two aspects of technology that you should be aware of.

1) e-textbook
For the best deal to get complete access to the full range of textbook learning tools, you should buy the looseleaf Stewart Calculus textbook from the bookstore with electronic access to the powerful e-book platform through Cengage WebAssign. If nothing else, you won't need to lug around a heavy book; you always have access to e-book website from your laptop through any WiFi connection anywhere. Most students now prefer the e-book, but an even better reason to like it is the fact that it comes with context sensitive tools to help you learn concepts you are having trouble with or hints on how to do homework problems. It is even more effective if your instructor assigns homework through its homework feature, with its Ask Your Professor tool that shows your instructor the problem you are getting wrong and your response to it to give you personalized attention. A message will be sent to you at the beginning of classes with the class key you need to connect to the textbook website. e-textbook pages and WebAssign exercises can be projected to the screen by your instructor to discuss any homework problem.

2) math software
Maple is a powerful software program to do calculus and much more in a much higher level environment than the graphing calculators you may be used to. It gives you the ability to create mathematics using palettes and then apply math operations with right click context sensitive menus, creating a worksheet record in standard mathematical notation of every calculation you perform, with numerics and amazing interactive graphics as well as report quality mathematical typesetting commentary should you wish to create reports containing mathematics. This three minute video gives you an idea of its power [click here] and you can download it here. The Math Learning and Resource Center can also help you with downloading and installing Maple if something goes wrong—typically this is an easy operation!—and can offer help on using Maple.