An Independent Study in the scientific word processing
capabilities and computer algebra of Scientific Workplace. This page contains
Description of Scientific Workplace
Scientific WorkPlace is a sophisticated scientific word processor that
produces typeset quality symbols and text. It also contains a Computer
Algebra System with graphing and exam building capabilities. Click here to download an .exe file containing a short
video I have prepared introducing Scientific Workplace.
- 4/500 level
mathematics (3450) course
- Credit hours: 3
- Instructor: Dr. Thomas
Permission of the instructor.
- Meeting time: Most
activity between the instructor and students will be done over the web
so there will only be a few class meetings. Any meeting times will be
- Course grade: Course
grades will be determined by students' performance on class projects.
Most projects will be submitted to the instructor over the web. Late
projects will not be accepted although all projects must be handed in to
successfully complete the course.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Will I be required
to purchase the Scientific Workplace program in order to take this
Answer: No. The mathematics department will have a site
license for the program that will be available over the VPN to those
students registered for the course. There will be an opportunity for
students to purchase the latest version of the package at the end of the
- How much time
will be required of me?
Answer: Normally, there will be two or three lesson files to view
per week. Each such file will take about 20-30 minutes to view. You may
need to occasionally review some of these files. Most lesson files will
contain a project to be completed and submitted. Each project will take
from 30 minutes to an hour to complete. I suspect that the average
weekly commitment will be from four to six hours.
- How will the lesson
files be distributed?
Answer: The instructor will use Camtasia Studio to produce
lecture files that can be viewed by the students on their or lab
computers and at their leisure, thus eliminating the need to schedule a
computer lab for three hours a week. The quality of these
"movies" is similar to making a presentation in a computer
lab. Because the lecture files can be downloaded, students have the
option of reviewing a particular lesson as often as desired. The introductory video mentioned above serves as an
example of the lecture files.
- Can students request
that certain topics be covered?
- Will students have
opportunities to design their own projects?
Answer: Yes. In fact, creating your own projects will be
encouraged. Consequently, any work completed for other classes such
as homework assignments, take home exams, and presentations may be
substituted for a particular project in this course provided the
substituted work is sufficiently similar to the assigned project. You
will need the approval of the instructor well before the due date of the
project to make such a substitution. Students in other areas may be able to submit projects
related to their field of study.
- Will groups of
students be allowed to work together on projects?
Answer: Yes, but doing so must be approved by the
instructor in advance of the project's due date. Groups must also
indicate why working in a group will enhance the stated purpose of the
- What kind of projects
will be required?
Answer: The projects will be designed to promote proficiency in
the use of Scientific Workplace in at least six key areas:
- The use of
Scientific Workplace as a scientific word processor and WYSIWYG Windows
front end to LATEX code.
mathematics into Scientific Workplace documents.
- Learning to
correctly typeset text and mathematics.
- Learning to use the
computer algebra system in Scientific Workplace. (This will involve
some mathematical content.)
- Learning the use of
style files and document class options to control the format of a
- Creating scientific
Testimonial (For additional comments click here.)
"Scientific Work Place has opened the door to a new world of
mathematics for me. In the two months since I began using the software, I
have come to realize the power of having a computer program that enables you
to do virtually anything you could with pencil and paper. Typing up
mathematics in its natural language is very easy, convenient, and efficient
with SWP. The learning curve has been steep and it wasn't long before I began
to do my homework assignments in SWP. Its computational capabilities have
taken the lackluster out of doing mundane, yet tedious calculations, such as
matrix multiplication, while writing mathematics. Readability and
presentation of logic, two of the most important ingredients to any
mathematical argument, are consequent from writing in SWP. In fact, my
maturity in writing mathematical arguments and proofs has drastically
increased since I've been using the software. Though I've learned much about
Scientific Work Place, I have only scratched the surface. I hope to learn its
full functionality and am excited to do so."
Undergraduate Mathematics Major
If you are interested in this course you should send an email to Dr. Price
containing the following information
- Your name
- Your email address
- Your student id
- A brief list of the
most recent mathematics courses you have taken
- Your level of interest
in taking this course. For example, "I would register for this
course if given permission."
- Do you mind if give
other students in this course your email address?
- Do you plan to use
this program on a computer other than a lab computer?
I will notify those students invited to participate in this course by