I was a little absent on the forums in the past weeks since the semester started. I am currently in my last year of a math postdoc at University of Virginia: teaching and applications are overwhelming.
At UVA we have a weekly or fortnightly meeting for students interested in math called Math Club.
I volunteered to do several workshops to introduce students to mathematical tools in computers
Some things I will talk about are
I already use GeoGebra when teaching multivariable calculus and it is a fantastic tool for quick exploration of Euclidean geometry.
Jupyter and Mathematica
I will also mention Jupyter/Ipython and Mathematica/Wolfram Cloud as convenient CAS. I am not happy about advertising Wolfram Cloud, but I must admit to its convenience and ease of entry
** LaTeX and Tikz**
The usual suspects
I really want to suggest to students to get acquainted with TeXmacs.
I must admit that while I am fully supportive of TeXmacs I feel a little self-conscious about talking about a tool that is not “mainstream” in academia. This is made more of an issue because of me being a more junior and non-permanent member of faculty.
For this reason, I wanted to ask for advice and moral support here. Have any of you had experience introducing students (especially lower-level undergrads considering math as a major) to TeXmacs?
I have seen multiple discussions about adoption of TeXmacs in journals/academic publishing. I fully agree with opinions about shortcomings of (La)TeX. However, has anyone ever encountered pushback and managed to find common ground? Any advice?
Finally, I wanted to make a comment about CAS. I believe Wolfram Mathematica has two very large advantages over Jupyter.
For beginners, its syntax is strangely close to how one writes math. You can quickly start using Wolfram Mathematica like a calculator on steroids and then, once you encounter more complex problems you expand your knowledge and adapt to Mathematica’s syntax. This is not the case in Jupyter. For basic things in Mathematica you are writing math, in Jupyter you are programming python. Mathematica even has a rudimentary WYSIWYG editing mode. It is ridiculously bad w.r.t TeXmacs but it is better than Jupyter’s python input.
Mathematica has LOADS of examples. You start typing, you see a familiar name (e.g.
Plot), you click
F1and you have a popup with so many worked through examples that you can learn very quickly.
A question and a suggestion: (related to point 1)
What is the current state of TeXmacs as CAS with WYSIWYG input? Is there a way to write a WYSIWYG integral and make some plugin compute it for you? What about solve a linear system of equations? I will try to investigate further but if anyone has links to resources, I would be grateful.
Thank you all once again for the support in my journey to learn TeXmacs! Any words of encouragement or helpful resource links are appreciated. I am now hoping to pass on this knowledge to students.