Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Use Mathematica to Collaborate with High Schools
November 18, 2011 — Kelvin Mischo, Senior Academic Key Account Manager, Academic Sales
After a few meetings during the past few weeks with Mark Thomas, Software Contracts Specialist for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU), Wolfram and MnSCU have finalized a plan that will provide Mathematica to Minnesota public high schools through a new outreach program.
Any of the roughly 400 public high schools in Minnesota can request a license for Mathematica at MnSCUfirstname.lastname@example.org, and Wolfram will provide up to five local licenses per school for the duration of the 2011–2012 academic year. Wolfram and MnSCU intend to extend this partnership in the future.
I remember working with MnSCU to establish the statewide agreement for the colleges and universities. Although the campuses are all quite different in size and technical focus, Mathematica was so popular throughout the system that a statewide agreement was appealing to all of us, and it remains one of the few state-level software agreements in Minnesota. It was a nice way to establish an inter-campus collaboration, with each campus using one common software package for mathematics, science, business, and engineering.
This new partnership is an opportunity for teachers and students to take advantage of online resources to quickly learn how to use Mathematica for interesting course projects:
- First Ten Minutes with Mathematica 8 »
This screencast shows the most current features and tips for getting started with Mathematica 8, including free-form input.
- Hands-On Start to Mathematica »
Review this tutorial yourself and assign it to students as homework for
a more in-depth overview of Mathematica.
- Learning Center »
Search Wolfram’s large collection of materials for example calculations or tutorials in your field of interest.
It’s exciting that the high schools in Minnesota now have the ability to collaborate more with neighboring colleges and universities and better prepare their students for university studies by giving them experience with Mathematica in the high school setting.
The specific uses of Mathematica are far too diverse and extensive to touch upon in this blog. However, you can’t help noticing that there is geometry and mathematics in the MnSCU logo itself (take a look again at the logo above). In fact, it’s fairly easy to write a Mathematica application that could be used by students to create the next incarnation of the MnSCU logo—give it a try below. If you don’t have Mathematica, download the free Wolfram CDF Player to work with this application.