Computational Mathematics and Statistics
Interactive Mathematics is a series of multimedia lessons in the concepts of basic mathematics and pre-, elementary, intermediate, and college algebra. The modular curriculum of 26 topics and 88 lessons can be customized to fit specific course requirements, making it possible for mathematics faculty to assemble lessons to suit their preferences and the instructional needs of their students. The program can also be used for distance learning applications. Contact: Academic Systems, Mountain View, CA; (800) 236-4078; www.academic.com.
This software answers plain English mathematics questions with MathTips, allowing users to solve many types of math problems without needing to learn command names or syntax. Features of Macsyma 2.4 include online help and over 1,400 demos and examples, scientific notebooks with special functions, 2D and 3D graphics and graph theory capabilities, and new math capabilities in linear algebra and calculus. New utilities help users manipulate lists, graph data, and perform other operations. The program is available for Windows 95, 98, and NT. Contact: Macsyma Inc., Arlington, MA; (800) 622-7962; www.macsyma.com.
The new Maple 6 software provides scientific and engineering users with an integrated suite of symbolic and numerical solvers for complex, technical computation projects. It allows users to perform end-to-end technical computations for projects that formerly required the use of several separate packages or libraries. Previous Maple users should notice performance improvements in the areas of signal and image processing, dynamic simulation, and mathematical modeling. Additional improvements can be found in the programming language, large-scale floating-point data handling, and user interface. Data can be shared between Maple 6 and third-party productivity tools. Contact: Waterloo Maple, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; (800) 267-6583; www.maplesoft.com.
Released in September 1999, Mathcad 2000 offers a complete range of capabilities to support engineers, academics, and scientists throughout the technical design process, from concept to analysis to visual modeling. Mathcad unites and streamlines the design process by combining the power of advanced calculation, computer-aided design, and graphical analysis tools with the ability to document, share, and publish calculations easily with colleagues. Together, these enhanced capabilities make a complete technical design solution for supporting engineering design process and increasing productivity. Mathcad 2000 comes in Standard, Professional, and Premium versions. Contact: MathSoft Inc., Cambridge, MA; (800) 628-4223; www.mathsoft.com.
Mathematica 4’s computing, visualization, and document generation abilities support users from initial idea to final results. New features include increased speed and efficiency in numerical calculations, increased simulations capabilities, enhanced HTML and TeX output capabilities, new import and export capabilities for data, graphics, and sound files, new mathematical functions and options, and cross-platform network license architecture. Contact: Wolfram Research Inc., Champaign, IL; (217) 398-0700; www.wolfram.com.
MathXpert Calculus Assistant
MathXpert Calculus Assistant is designed to help first-year calculus students grasp concepts, such as limits, differentiation, and integration by solving problems and displaying every step of the solution. Students can choose from over 2,100 problems to solve at their own pace. The program also solves problems that users type in. For each problem, MathXpert carries out a step, identifies the step in red, and records it to the right, repeating the process until the correct solution is achieved. A system of operation menus, hints, automatic assistance, and written justification assures that students do not get stuck in any step. Contact: Recognix, Inc., Santa Clara, CA; (800) 361-1001; www.mathpert.com.
MATLAB Student Version
Students in the U.S. and Canada can purchase a discounted, full-featured version of MATLAB, a software program that integrates computation, graphics, and programming. MATLAB offers students an intuitive language for expressing problems and solutions both mathematically and visually. Typical uses include numeric computation and algorithm development, symbolic computation; modeling, simulation, and prototyping; data analysis and signal processing; engineering graphics and scientific visualization; and application development, including graphical user interface building. The Student Version is available on the Windows and Linux platforms. Contact: The MathWorks, Natick, MA; (508) 647-7000; www.mathworks.com.
Data Analysis and Statistics
ActivStats is a multimedia presentation that can be used to teach or supplement introductory statistics course materials. Video, simulation, animation, narration, text, interactive experiments, Web access, and Data Desk (a data analysis tool) are used to help students understand, visualize, and apply concepts. Contact: Data Description, Ithaca, NY; (800) 573-5121; www.datadesk.com.
Data Desk 6.0
Data Desk 6.0 provides interactive tools for data analysis and display based on the concepts and philosophy of exploratory data analysis. Users can run alternative analyses and linking capabilities to develop a better understanding of patterns, relationships, and exceptions in data. The program also includes tools for data exploration that simplify intuitive examination of data without requiring users to have special statistics training. Contact: Data Description, Ithaca, NY; (800) 573-5121; www.datadesk.com.
IDL Student Version
This low-cost, single-user version of Interactive Data Language software was developed to allow students to use IDL in highly technical curriculums. IDL combines a flexible structured programming language with math libraries, statistical routines, and graphics, and it is ideal for data analysis, visualization, and cross-platform application development. Some IDL features are disabled, such as IDL Insight and IDL Save, support for scientific data formats such as CDF and HDF, support for external programs, and technical support from RSI. Contact: Research Systems Inc., Boulder, CO; (888) 786-0530; www.rsinc.com.
Mathematica Link for Excel
This Mathematica add-on provides an interface to allow Microsoft Excel to communicate with Mathematica, thereby extending Mathematica’s abilities and embedding Mathematica in Excel. Excel users receive more computational power and an alternative to the Excel macro language. This add-on requires Mathematica 3 or later. Contact: Wolfram Research Inc., Champaign, IL; (800) 965-3726; www.wolfram.com.
This software analyzes data and presents the results in easy-to-understand formats. Features include the abilities to store multiple worksheets and graphs, save graphs in multiple formats, and export graphics to other applications. There are versions of MINITAB for every major platform, including Windows, Macintosh, mainframes, and workstations. A student version is accompanied by a companion text, which can be used in introductory statistics courses. Contact: Minitab Inc., State College, PA; (800) 448-3555; www.minitab.com.
SPSS Graduate Pack 9.0
Students can purchase a full version of SPSS, a data analysis program designed to help explain events and determine why they occurred. Features and capabilities of this version include more in-depth analysis with more statistics, better file management and data access, more flexible output, the ability to format output into visually compelling information, and interactive graph types. Students also receive documentation to help them understand what statistics mean and how the different statistics relate to each other. Contact: SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL; (800) 543-2185
This desktop statistics software has been updated to include SAS, ODBC, HTML file capabilities and fast graph creation capabilities. The software still features extensive graphing capabilities and statistical algorithms, an intuitive Windows interface, and a flexible command language. Users can automate analysis through the creation of menus and dialogs. Contact: SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL; (800) 543-2185; www.spss.com.