Hello, and welcome to Math 600! The start date for the Fall 2017 semester is September 7, 2017, and the first assignment is due Sunday, September 17. Here is some introductory information about the class.

The lecturer for this course is Stephen Tosh (smtosh@uwaterloo.ca). Please feel free to e-mail us with your concerns at any time; include “MATH 600″ in the subject of your email.

We will spend 3 weeks on LaTeX, 1 week on GeoGebra, and 1 week on Maple.  In the final week, you can choose what you wish to pursue further.

  • LaTeX is a tool for mathematical typesetting and communication. By learning LaTeX, you will be able to produce professional-looking notes, assignments and solutions, replete with beautiful formulas. LaTeX is also a de facto standard for mathematical communication in websites such as mathoverflow.
  • GeoGebra is a program for interactive mathematics joining geometry, algebra, graphing and even calculus in one convenient package. You can define a compass-and-straightedge construction on your computer and then watch the derived points change as you move the initial points, or create variables to manipulate the transformations of a particular function. (It is somewhat similar to Geometer’s Sketchpad and Cabri Geometry.)
  • Maple is mathematical computation software. It can function as an enhanced calculator, a programming language, or as a tool to produce diagrams and graphs. It is able to solve many algebraic formulae both exactly and numerically, and perform symbolic manipulation. It also can interface with LaTeX. (It is somewhat similar to Matlab, Sage, and Mathematica.)

For the LaTeX part we’ll be asking you to typeset some mathematical documents of your own choosing. You may want to find any notes or handouts that you’d like to re-write in a more professional way, which will help to provide you with some specific goals in learning LaTeX. We’ll provide some suggestions if nothing comes to mind.

You will need to have a copy of the Maple software program in order to complete the course. The software code can be ordered online from the UW bookstore:
You could buy a copy directly from Maple’s website, but it is more than twice as expensive so we don’t recommend it.

The same software code works for all of Windows, Mac, and Linux. After ordering the code through the UW bookstore, you can expect an email within 1-2 days with your software code. If you already have an older version of Maple you are welcome to try using it, and while we don’t expect to use a lot of new features, we can’t promise that the older versions will work 100%.

All of the course notes will be located online. You should have the most recent version of either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox installed on your system (Internet Explorer and Opera are not as reliable). All of the software other than Maple is free. The (short) installation instructions for LaTeX and GeoGebra will be part of the course notes.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns. Good luck with the course!

– Stephen Tosh

These are course notes for the University of Waterloo's course Math 600: Mathematical Software.
© 2012—. Written and developed by David Pritchard and Stephen Tosh. Contact (goes to the CEMC)