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Wolfram|Alpha Activity - Topic, Sequences and Series - Intermediate Algebra Activity 10

Wolfram|Alpha Activity - Topic, Sequences and Series - Intermediate Algebra Activity 10

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Published by Pearson Math Stats
Technology is an important part of learning mathematics. For decades, graphing calculators were the primary tool used to accomplish this. Upon completion of college, however, students rarely use or see the need for these devices. A growing trend exists instead towards computers, smart phones and other devices running Internet software that has become extremely powerful, easy to use and low-cost or free of charge. Effective mathematics instruction should keep up with this trend by incorporating these types of programs. It will benefit students three ways: (1) introduce students to the latest tools of science and technology; (2) provide students with life skills that are more likely to apply to the real world; and (3) reinforce concepts of the mathematics involved in their coursework.

Wolfram|Alpha represents one of the most exciting, broadly applicable, powerful and easy to use of all the computational programs available. About one-third of the questions in these Intermediate Algebra activities teach input and command syntax; one-third emphasizes answer interpretation; and one-third reinforces the concepts and material of Intermediate Algebra. The projects are meant to be started after finishing the corresponding chapter(s) in the students' textbook.
Technology is an important part of learning mathematics. For decades, graphing calculators were the primary tool used to accomplish this. Upon completion of college, however, students rarely use or see the need for these devices. A growing trend exists instead towards computers, smart phones and other devices running Internet software that has become extremely powerful, easy to use and low-cost or free of charge. Effective mathematics instruction should keep up with this trend by incorporating these types of programs. It will benefit students three ways: (1) introduce students to the latest tools of science and technology; (2) provide students with life skills that are more likely to apply to the real world; and (3) reinforce concepts of the mathematics involved in their coursework.

Wolfram|Alpha represents one of the most exciting, broadly applicable, powerful and easy to use of all the computational programs available. About one-third of the questions in these Intermediate Algebra activities teach input and command syntax; one-third emphasizes answer interpretation; and one-third reinforces the concepts and material of Intermediate Algebra. The projects are meant to be started after finishing the corresponding chapter(s) in the students' textbook.

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Published by: Pearson Math Stats on Jan 25, 2010
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 Additional Topics 1 Intermediate Algebra Activities Using WA
 
WA
 
Activity
 
#
 
10
‐‐
Additional
 
Topics:
 
Sequences
 
and
 
Series
 
Type
 
"3,
 
6,
 
12,
 
24,
 
...”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
1.
 
Does
 
WA
 
recognize
 
this
 
as
 
a
 
possible
 
sequence?
 
2.
 
Is
 
this
 
an
 
arithmetic
 
sequence,
 
an
 
arithmetic
 
series,
 
a
 
geometric
 
sequence,
 
a
 
geometric
 
series,
 
or
 
none
 
of 
 
these?
 
Why?
 
3.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
formula
 
for
 
this
 
sequence?
 
Type
 
“5,
 
1,
3,
7,
 
...”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
4.
 
Does
 
WA
 
recognize
 
this
 
as
 
a
 
possible
 
sequence?
 
5.
 
Is
 
this
 
an
 
arithmetic
 
sequence,
 
an
 
arithmetic
 
series,
 
a
 
geometric
 
sequence,
 
a
 
geometric
 
series,
 
or
 
none
 
of 
 
these?
 
Why?
 
6.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
formula
 
for
 
this
 
sequence?
 
Type
 
“4,
 
20,
 
100,
 
500,
 
...”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
7.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
formula
 
for
 
this
 
sequence?
 
8.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
9
th
 
term
 
of 
 
this
 
sequence?
 
9.
 
Type
 
“4
 
+
 
20
 
+
 
100
 
+
 
500
 
+
 
 
+
 
1,562,500”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Is
 
this
 
an
 
arithmetic
 
sequence,
 
an
 
arithmetic
 
series,
 
a
 
geometric
 
sequence,
 
a
 
geometric
 
series,
 
or
 
none
 
of 
 
these?
 
Why?
 
10.
 
The
 
large
 
symbol
 
is
 
the
 
Greek
 
capital
 
letter
 
sigma
 
meaning
 
“sum”
 
in
 
mathematics.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
sum
 
of 
 
the
 
first
 
nine
 
terms
 
of 
 
this
 
sequence?
 
Type
 
“fibonacci
 
sequence”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
11.
 
What
 
are
 
the
 
first
 
eleven
 
terms
 
n
 
in
 
the
 
Fibonacci
 
sequence?
 
12.
 
Click
 
on
 
“use
 
as
 
a
 
word
 
instead.”
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
definition
 
of 
 
the
 
Fibonacci
 
sequence?
 
13.
 
Do
 
the
 
results
 
from
 
#11
 
above
 
match
 
the
 
definition
 
above?
 
 
 Additional Topics 2 Intermediate Algebra Activities Using WA
 
Type
 
“primes
 
<=
 
100”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
Use
 
the
 
results
 
to
 
answer
 
the
 
following
 
questions.
 
14.
 
How
 
many
 
prime
 
numbers
 
are
 
there
 
less
 
than
 
or
 
equal
 
to
 
100?
 
15.
 
Type
 
“130
th
 
prime”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
130
th
 
prime
 
number?
 
Write
 
down
 
a
 
couple
 
of 
 
the
 
interesting
 
properties
 
this
 
number
 
has.
 
Additional
 
Topics:
 
Complex
 
Numbers
 
To
 
help
 
us
 
find
 
the
 
square
 
root
 
of 
 
negative
 
numbers
 
the
 
imaginary
 
unit
 
 
=
 
is
 
used.
 
Pure
 
imaginary
 
numbers
 
and
 
complex
 
numbers
 
(part
 
real,
 
part
 
imaginary)
 
actually
 
have
 
an
 
application
 
in
 
real
 
life,
 
to
 
compare
 
the
 
timing
 
of 
 
electrical
 
voltage
 
peaks
 
with
 
current
 
peaks.
 
16.
 
Type
 
”i^2”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
17.
 
Type
 
“i^3”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
18.
 
Type
 
“i^4”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
19.
 
Type
 
“i^5”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
Do
 
you
 
see
 
the
 
pattern?
 
20.
 
Type
 
“i^43”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
21.
 
Type
 
“sqrt(
16)“
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
22.
 
Type
 
“sqrt(
18)“
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
How
 
did
 
WA
 
get
 
their
 
result?
 
Show
 
your
 
work.
 
23.
 
Type
 
“(4
sqrt(
12))
 
/
 
2”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
How
 
did
 
WA
 
get
 
their
 
result?
 
Show
 
your
 
work.
 
24.
 
Type
 
“(2
 
+
 
3)
 
(
3
 
 –
 
5)”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
How
 
did
 
WA
 
get
 
their
 
result?
 
Show
 
your
 
work.
 
25.
 
Type
 
“(3
 
 –
 
7)^4”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
What
 
is
 
the
 
result?
 
26.
 
Type
 
“(4
 
+
 
3
)
 
/
 
(1
 
 –
 
3
)”
 
into
 
the
 
WA
 
search
 
engine.
 
How
 
did
 
WA
 
get
 
their
 
result?
 
Show
 
your
 
work.
 
Additional
 
Topics:
 
Conic
 
Sections
 

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