CAS in an Applied College Algebra Course

Robert Mayes
Department of Mathematics
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV 26506-6310, USA


Abstract. The Institute for Mathematics Learning (IML) was established at West Virginia University to address poor student success in before calculus courses. In 2001 the IML undertook restructuring six courses: Liberal Arts Mathematics, Applied College Algebra, College Algebra, College Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Applied Calculus. The courses were restructured to include a laboratory component in which students use computer technology to explore mathematical concepts and apply mathematics to solve real world problems. The software tools employed in this effort include Derive (CAS), Java based dynamic mathematics software, geometric construction software, and spreadsheets. The focus of the presentation will be on the restructuring of the Applied College Algebra course and the use of CAS in the laboratory component of the course. Research findings on the impact of the course will be presented.