Technology for Mathematics textbook information
Back in the fall of 2000 I decided to teach a new course for our students about the use of different kinds of technology in math. The course proposal covered a pretty wide range of topics – the use of the internet for searches (which was just becoming widespread at the time), graphing calculators, Geometer’s Sketchpad, the statistical package JMP, and the computer algebra system Mathematica (covering pre-caclulus topics and graphing). Getting a book for each one of those would have been very expensive for our students (especially since at least some of them would also need to get a graphing calculator) so over the Christmas break from 2000-2001 I sat down and wrote my own book. The first version of the text (imaginatively titled “Technology for Mathematics”) ran about 150 pages or so and was available to students first as a printed text and then later in PDF form. A few years later I expanded the text to cover more Mathematica topics, including how to use it for calculus-related topics and and introduction to programming, bringing it to 278 pages.
As the years passed the focus of the technology course changed – students were much more familiar with internet searches, graphing calculators were used in many schools, and fewer students needed to learn to use the JMP software. So those chapters were removed and the Sketchpad and Mathematica topics were redone and expanded, bringing the total to 342 pages even after removing three of the chapters. And the text continues to evolve – in 2014 Chapters 2-5 were rewritten for the new release of Mathematica 10 (bringing the text to 438 pages), and small changes were made in the summer and winter breaks of 2017 to update items to be compliant with Mathematica 11.2. In the In the years ahead I hope to add chapters for abstract algebra, statistics & probability, and other areas of higher mathematics.
The textbook is currently available for free for everyone, and is available as a PDF document under a Creative Commons license. You can download the textbook here.
If you have any comments or ideas for future versions of the textbook, drop me a line. I always like to hear if the textbook is being used elsewhere (either by an individual or in a classroom setting).