Sultan Qaboos University

Learning Technologies and Mathematics Middle East Conference
Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman, 31 March - 2 April, 2007



Workshops




WeBWorK Workshop: WeBWorK is an online homework and grading delivery system originally developed at the University of Rochester. It is emerging as the premiere choice for online Mathematics education across the United States. WeBWorK is currently being used by over 100 colleges, universities and high schools in courses such as algebra, pre-calculus to vector calculus, differential equations, linear algebra and statistics. WeBWorK gives students instantaneous feedback on the correctness of their solution. Homework problems and exam questions can be tailored to each student and grading is automated. Grades are transportable to/from Excel. WeBWorK won the International Congress on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM) award for excellence and innovation with the use of technology in collegiate mathematics and was featured at a popular MAA mini-workshop at the annual mathematics meetings in New Orleans (2001), San Diego (2002), Baltimore (2003), Phoenix (2004) and Atlanta (2005). Its protagonists are Professors Michael Gage and Arnold Pizer, and Dean Vicki Roth.




Mathematics for Business Decisions Workshop: This e-course came into existence thanks to collaboration between the Mathematics Department and the Eller School of Management at the University of Arizona. It is currently used in 18 universities and colleges in the United States. In this completely electronic course, students use mathematics and computer tools (Excel, PowerPoint, and Word) to prepare oral and written reports on realistic business projects--currently Loan Work Outs, Stock Option Pricing, Managing ATM Queues, Marketing Computer Drives, and Bidding on Oil Leases. The mathematics of this course is basic probability and calculus. Hidden in the Excel simulations are stochastic differential equations, the Black-Scholes model, and game theory to which the students are not exposed. Developing IT and communication skills, as well as team work, are the key elements of this course. Mathematics is the vehicle. Mathematics for Business Decisions won the 2000 ICTCM Award for Excellence and Innovation with the Use of Technology in Collegiate Mathematics.



DoStat Workshop: DoStat offers online access to courseware and data analysis software bundled together in a seamless environment. It is used in many universities and colleges in the United States. The main goal of the system is to offer everything needed for an online course in statistics or any other field where data analysis plays a significant role. The term, courseware, refers to software for administering and managing a course. DoStat courseware currently offers the following features: Instructors can easily create courses that students can then register for online, by searching the DoStat exercise database or creating their own exercises, instructors can develop assignments for students to complete online, if data sets are attached to exercises, students have access to the data and the software to analyze it with a single click of the mouse, responses to most types of exercises are automatically graded, using the online gradebook, instructors can edit scores for individual students and view summaries of student responses, and instructors can provide exercise-specific or assignment-specific feedback to students.

DoStat uses a software package called WebStat for data analysis. WebStat runs as a Java applet within the context of a Web browser.The software offers many data analysis tools and is written with the novice in mind, the software is very easy to use. To learn more about DoStat you can logon to http://dl.stat.tamu.edu/dostat/.




Mathematica Workshops:

Programming in Mathematica

This course aims to present Mathematica's programming features in depth in a one-day course that enables attendees to develop their own programs to extend Mathematica's capabilities. This course emphasizes program structure as well as functional and rule-based programming, which is compared to more traditional procedural programming, to help attendees understand and use Mathematica's unique features to their advantage. In the course attendees learn how to solve particular problems more efficiently by choosing the appropriate programming paradigm. The course includes practical hands-on exercises to help attendees understand the material and to provide a focused and practical learning experience.


Mathematica for Beginners

The workshop is designed primarily for people who are interested in becoming expert Mathematica users but who currently have little or no experience with the system. This workshop can also be helpful for experienced users who would like to broaden their basic understanding of Mathematica and for those interested in learning exactly what the system can do. The main topic of the workshop will be:

Introduction
Step-by-step instruction on performing basic operations, building up computations, and navigating the user interface as well as a description of sources for additional information and a tour of the features of the system.

Notebooks and Typesetting
Introduction to the notebook interface, cells and cell styles, style sheets, typesetting, and formatting features

Mathematics
Tour of the mathematical features of the system with a focus on symbolic and numerical calculations : Solving equations, Working with Matrices, A brief introduction to Calculus

Graphics
Two- and three-dimensional plotting, plotting data, using options, labeling plots, and manipulating graphical expressions