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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 1 Issue 2 (1996), S1430-4171(96)02019-5

Computer Algebra Systems as Tools for Chemical Education: A New Dimension in Problem Solving Techniques

Bhairav D. Joshi

State University College at Geneseo, Geneseo, NY 14454, USA

Published online: 25 May 1996

Abstract. In recent years a number of exciting developments have emerged in the area of scientific computational tools for classroom use. Computer Algebra Systems (CASs), for example, Maple, are at the forefront of this arena. Such tools have been long sought by teachers of physical chemistry, inherently a mathematics intensive subject. With a CAS at hand, students can look forward to taking college science courses, like physical chemistry, without the usual mathematics anxiety. These tools can be used to do numerical and symbolic mathematics including calculus and linear algebra. In addition, they have wonderful graphics capabilities that include three-dimensional plots, contour plots, and animations. This paper describes the implementation of Maple in two of our junior-level physical chemistry courses. The materials used for beginning workshops are presented here and additional examples of Maple s graphical and algebraic capabilities are described.

Key Words:  Computers in Chemistry; computer algebra systems, CAS; animations; Maple; computational chemistry; physical chemistry; van der Waals; gasses; symbolic algebra

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (341 KB)

Supporting Materials: (582 KB) 10.1007/s00897960019b; (615 KB) 10.1007/s00897960019c; (contains sheet1-5.pdf and (104 KB) 10.1007/s00897960019d

Issue date: May 25, 1996

The Chemical Educator 1996-2018