Odd bug with 'solve'

04272021, 06:25 PM
Post: #15




RE: Odd bug with 'solve'
@jonmoore: apart from Mathematica that has its own strange native syntax, learning one CAS syntax will be useful for all other CAS. It's fairly easy to adapt from Xcas/HP Prime CAS to Maxima, Maple, or Derive/TI92/Nspire. I do not consider that learning how to enter a valid commandline in a CAS is computer science, I strongly believe it is part of maths. Entering a 1d commandline will help understand the priority rules of operations and this is fundamental to understand math notation. Writing explicit multiplication will help some students understand some implicit rules.
2d input or "rich" interfaces will perhaps ease the initial use, but it will make the learning curve harder, and it will make the tool much more a blackbox, and that's bad. As for calculators: I don't know for other countries, but here in France, the Prime is too expensive for most highschool students. Only those who know that they will learn advanced math/science after highschool might buy a calc with a price > 100 euros. The vast majority of highschool students buy a 50 to 80 euros calculator, and that's the reason why I ported KhiCAS to the Casio and Numworks, despite the fact that these platforms have very limited RAM available. I know that many math teachers do not share my view on teaching math with calculators. My opinion is that a calculator should not be like a textbook designed for a course, with some apps designed for some courses, and when the curriculum changes then you must change the calculator (or the manufacturer must provide new apps, but of course manufacturers prefer to sell a new device): that's exactly what happened when someone here decided that Python was the only language for programming in French highschool. I believe that a student should learn a little bit how to use a calculator, which means how to enter a commandline and find help on commands [and not which fields you must fill in an app] and then be able to solve one particular problem himself. And for those that like it, the calculator should help them discover things that are not in the curriculum, in maths and also by providing a diversity of programming languages and leave the user decide which one he likes more. 

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