Microsoft Mathematics 4.0

I am not much of a math person, but this looked interesting: a free graphing calculator from Microsoft.  Would love to hear what you math folks out there think of it.  (It is for the Windows platform only.)

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2 responses to “Microsoft Mathematics 4.0

  1. It’s worth checking out. Lets you type in formulae the way they appear in a typeset math book. Set variables, apply them to an equation.

    Does some basic equation solving for you – that’s cool. Doesn’t just give you the answer – shows you the work the s/w did to solve the equation.

    For trig, lets you enter a few attributes of a triangle, like two sides and one angle, and will figure out the rest.

    Graphs functions. Move the mouse cursor alone a line to see XY values.

    Some integration with other MS apps.

    Would like to see more use of the tech, though. E.g., ability to scroll a constant (like slope in a linear equation) up and down, and watch the effect on the equation and the curve. That would be a good learning tool. We did that in Visual Statistics, with things like mean and SD. You can see the effect on statistical distributions.

    Disclosure – I’m not a math person either. Just used the s/w a little when helping my talented and beautiful daughter with her homework.

    Kieran

  2. I love this tool!! This is a game-changer for mathematics education. Long gone are the days when students are challenged by the procedural aspect of math – this has been replace with interpreting the results and putting things into context. For example:

    OLD STYLE: Compute the standard deviation of this dataset: {16, 19, 23, 51, 34, 12}

    NEW STYLE: Compute the standard deviation of this dataset: {16, 19, 23, 51, 34, 12} and compare it with the standard deviation for this dataset: {16, 19, 23, 30, 34, 12}.

    Since the technology improves efficiency in performing the procedures, students can spend more time on analyzing the results, which in this case would center around why the standard deviation of the first set is so much larger than the second set.

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