Scot Gould

Prof. Scot Gould

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7 years, 75 days
Dr. Scot Gould is a professor of physics in the W.M. Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, Scripps colleges - members of The Claremont Colleges in California. He was involved in the early development of the atomic force microscope. His research has included numerous applications of scanning problem microscopes, particularly those which involved natural and synthetic fibers such as spider silk. He has more than 60 papers and his publications have been sited more than four thousand times. He has more recently been involved in developing and sustaining non-traditional interdisciplinary undergraduate science educational programs that involve biology, chemistry, physics, mathematical and computer science. He teaches the use of Maple to assist students to model and visual biochemical systems from a physical approach.

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These are Posts that have been published by Scot Gould

The purpose of this document is:

a) to correct the physics that was used in the document "Minimal Road Radius for Highway Superelevation" recently submitted to the Maple Applications Center;

b) to confirm the values found in the manual for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) that engineers use to design and build these banked curves are physically sound. 

c) to highlight the pedagogical value inherent in the Maple language to distinguish between assignment ( := )  and equivalence (  =  );

d) but most importantly, to demonstrate the pedagogical value Maple has in thinking about solving a problem involving a physical process. Given Maple's symbolic mathematics capabilities, one can implement a top-down approach to the physics and the mathematics, working from the general principle to the specific example. This allows one to avoid the types of errors that occur when translating the problem into a bottom up approach, from specific values of the example to the general principle, an approach that is required by most other computational systems.

I hope that others are willing to continue to engage in discussions related to the pedagogical value of Maple beyond mathematics.

I was asked to post this document to both here and the Maple Applications Center

[Document edited for typos.]

I'm an educator (physicist) who has migrated to Maple because of the lower "activation barrier" to get something of interest produced by the student. The students in my courses are exposed to several language (Python, C++, Java) and mathematical systems (Mathematica, Maple, MATLAB.) Many claim that unless forced to used a particular language or system, their first choice is Python and Maple for the reason I cite. 

As a consequence, it is my experience that students truly perfer the math-like appearance of the 2-D Math notation as opposed to the Maple notation. They see it as more natural - again with a lower activation barrier. Hence I see no reason to change. However, I would be interested in reasons why it might be beneficial.

My ultimate question is: do I start them with worksheet mode or documents mode? I'm use to worksheet mode and have found the call and response method easy for them to understand. But document mode has many valuable benefits. Is it worth the increase in learning (and frustration) for the benefits if the students use the software only a few times per semester? Or for some, every week?

I would be interested in hearing about the experiences of other educators.


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