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Mathematical interactions: Algebraic Modelling

Kissane, B. and Harradine, A. (2000) Mathematical interactions: Algebraic Modelling. Shriro Australia Pty Limited, Chatswood, N.S.W.

Abstract

Calculators are too often regarded as devices to produce answers to numerical questions. However, a graphics calculator like the Casio CFX-9850GB PLUS is much more than a tool for producing answers. It is a tool for exploring mathematical ideas, and we have written this book to offer some suggestions of how to make good use it when exploring ideas related to algebra.

We assume that you will read this book with the calculator by your side, and use it as you read. Unlike some mathematics books, in which there are many exercises of various kinds to complete, this one contains only a few ‘interactions’ and even less ‘investigations’. The learning journey that we have in mind for this book assumes that you will complete all the interactions, rather than only some. The investigations will give you a chance to do some exploring of your own.

We also assume that you will work through this book with a companion: someone to compare your observations and thoughts with; someone to help you if you get stuck; someone to talk to about your mathematical journey. Learning mathematics is not meant to be a lonely affair; we expect you to interact with mathematics, your calculator and other people on your journey.

Throughout the book, there are some calculator instructions, written in a different font (like this). These will help you to get started, but we do not regard them as a complete manual, and expect that you will already be a little familiar with the calculator and will also use our Getting Started book, the User’s Guide and other sources to develop your calculator skills.

Algebraic Modelling is one of the topics in General Mathematics, mainly because it is a fundamental idea in mathematics and in the applications of mathematics to the real world. Using algebra, we can build models of everyday situations and then use the models to help answer questions we may have. Producing tables of values, graphs and solving equations are all useful to this end. You will experience how the graphics calculator is a useful tool to aid us in these processes.

Although we have sampled some of the possible ways of using a graphics calculator to learn about this topic, we have certainly not dealt with all of them.

Publication Type: Book
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Shriro Australia Pty Limited
Copyright: 2000 The Authors
Notes: NSW General Mathematics: Preliminary Course
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/6313
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