Internet Resources

Interactive Computer Simulations

• PhET (Physics Education Technology) is a program at the University of Colorado that is developing interactive simulations designed to help in the teaching of science and mathematics. We will use some of these simulations in this course.

Mathematics

• MathWorld. An online encyclopedia of mathematics created by Eric W. Weisstein and sponsored by Wolfram Research Inc, the makers of the Mathematica computer program. MathWorld covers a wide range of mathematical topics, from the basic to the very advanced.
• On-line calculus tools
The manipulations for differentiating and integrating (at least some) functions can be formalized in computer code, and there are computer programs that are remarkably effective at "doing calculus". One of the best, if most expensive, of these programs is Mathematica, a product of Wolfram Research, Inc. Portions of Mathematica are available as free online tools for determining derivatives and integrals:
Derivatives
Integrals
Using these tools can be a little bit tricky, since they require that you write things in a syntax that the program understands. In general, the arguments of functions should be enclosed in square brackets (like f[x]), and the standard functions (like logarithm, sine and cosine) should be written with the first letter capitalized and are often abbreviated, such as Log[x], Sin[x] and Cos[x]. Also, Log[x] represents the natural logarithm (base e), not the common logarithm (base 10).

Also, as with all powerful tools, caution is advised! The programs will probably produce the the correct solution for the problem you specify, but you should always make sure that the result makes sense. If the result doesn't make sense, first check to make sure that you correctly specified the function to be integrated or differentiated. If the result still doesn't make sense, consider the possibility that you have discovered a bug in the program!

Data Graphing Software

• SciDAVis (Scientific Data Analysis and Visualization) is an open-source (free) program for plotting and analyzing data. It has much of the functionality of commercial programs such as KaleidaGraph, if a somewhat more rudimentary interface. Although the development of this project seems to be rather slow, the current version is quite functional. The version that I recommend, 1.25, is available as pre-compiled binaries for both MacOS and Windows, which can be downloaded from
https://sourceforge.net/projects/scidavis/files/SciDAVis/1/1.25/.

Versions for different flavors of Linux are available at: