Spring Semester 2016
Last modified on January 11, 2016
(Statement required by the University)
A course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary.
Course: EMAT 4680/6680 Technology and Secondary School Mathematics
James W. Wilson
110F Aderhold Hall
Telephone (706) 542-4552
FAX (706) 542-4551
Office hours: I maintain an open door policy for office hours. I come to the office early each morning (usually 7:30 to 8:00) and if I am not tied up in a meeting or talking to another student I am available to you.
Prerequisites for EMAT 4680/6680: MATH 2210 or 2260. If you have not studied differential and inferential calculus, discuss the situation with me.
- To become familiar with and operational with using technology tools in doing mathematics.
- To solve mathematics problems using application software.
- To create mathematics demonstrations using application software.
- To construct new ideas of mathematics for yourself using application software.
- To engage in mathematical investigations using software applications.
- To engage in some independent investigations of mathematics topics from the secondary school curriculum or appropriate for that level.
- To communicate mathematics ideas that arise from applications software.
- To communicate mathematics ideas using various techology tools.
- To facilitate mathematics investigations and communication about mathematics investigations using general tools such as word processing, paint and draw programs, spreadsheets, and the Internet.
Look carefully at the objectives: the course is about doing mathematics. Technology is a goal only insofar as it supports doing mathematics. This is a course about mathematics and technolgy is a lens for extending what mathematics we can do and how we approach our mathematics.
This course will concentrate on using various software applications to solve mathematics problems, to organize pedagogical demonstrations, and to set up problem explorations. Students on campus will use application software owned by the Department of Mathematics and Science Education and will carry out the course using primarily MacIntosh computers. All materials for the course are maintained by an Internet Web page site and students will create and use web documents in the course. Students off campus who have access to their own server have an option put their web productions on their own server and link to the course page.
The emphasis is on exploration of various mathematics contexts to learn mathematics, to pose problems and problem extensions, to solve problems, and to communicate mathematical demonstrations.
The following software will be used:
Graphing Calculator 3.5
Graphing Calculator 4.0
Graphing Calculator Lite
Graphing Calculator 3.5 is an older version of a computer program, Graphing Calculator, that for many years was bundled with Macintosh computers. It is still available on some older machines. Version 3.5 will graph relations (implicit functions) as well as functions, and can be used for parametric equations, polar equations, 3D graphs, and more. See http://www.pacifict.com.
Graphing Calculator 4.0 is the same version as Graphing Calculator except it is written to run only on computers with Intel Processors. Most newer machines have Intel processors. All the machines in Rm 111/113 have Intel processors but only a few have Graphing Calculator 4.0 because of the expense of a site license.
Graphing Calculator Lite is a version of Graphing Calculator 4.0 that can be downloaded from the Apple APP Store for a cost of $14.99. It will install only on the machine to which you download but it is fully functional on Intel Processor MacIntosh computers and has all of the capabilities that we use in this course, except parametric equations.
A Windows version of Graphing Calculator 4.0 is also available. GC 4.0 is available for purchase from the web site for either Macintosh computers or Windows computers. See also Http://www.pacifict.com for information on purchasing this product as a student. (Scan your student ID to get $40 price)
Click here to open a sample Graphing Calculator 3.5 file (.gcf)
GeoGebra 5.0. This software is available for free via the internet. It has gained lots of popularity because in has capabilities for both geometric constructions and formula driven (algebraic) graphing. It is worth learning to use.
Desmos. This software is also available on the internet and versions of it will download to an i-phone or tablets
GSP is a dynamic geometric construction package with features that include construction tools, measurement tools, transformation tools, and animation tools. Geometer's Sketchpad is published by Key Curriculum Press at <http://www.keypress.com>. We have version 4.07 AND version 5.06 on the computers in Room 111/113. GSP is available for both Macintosh and Windows and files transfer from one platform to the other. See the web site for information on purchase of a student version for approximately $40. It is also available at the UGa Bookstore.
The recommendation is that you use GSP5. There is a setting within GSP5 that allows you to save files in the GSP4 format. For our purposes, either version of GSP can be used but GSP5 files should be saved in the GSP4 format for use in our web pages. The reason is that many potential readers of your web files will have GSP 4.0x on their computers. If you create your GSP files with GSP5 but save as GSP4 format, then readers with either GSP5 or GSP4 can read them.
A very recent development is the Geometers Explorer. This is an APP that downloads to the iPad or iPhone for reading GSP sketches such as we may embed in web pages in this course.
Java GSP is a tool within Geometers Sketchpad for creating Applets to insert in web pages. Not all GSP5 functions are implemented in Java GSP.
To see a GSP example click here. Then double-click on "Animate."
For a GSP with a Script Tool example click here. When the script screen opens in GSP, open a new sketch and select two points, as instructed, to "play" the script.
Patterns formed by concentric pentagons rotating in opposite ways are shown in Pentamotion.
Excel is a second generation spreadsheet program that allows creation and manipulation of a data array and the immediate graphing of selected subsets of the array. It is a part of MicroSoft Office that is widely used on both Windows and MacIntosh platforms.
Tool programs for word processing and drawing.
It is useful to be able to go from any application program to present output within a discussion and to print that discussion on the printed page. Microsoft Word is one of several word processing programs available. Various "paint" programs provide useful drawing capabilities.
Dreamweaver is a utility program for creating and editing web pages. It is one of the most versitile web editors available and the choice of many web developers. A verson is on our computers in Rm 111/113.
Firefox or Safari
Browser software for reading internet files. Internet Explorer has not been supported for the Macintosh platform since 2002 but there are still copies of it around. Some students have used Google Chrome as their prefered browser.
Project InterMath is a National Science Foundation supported (1999 - 2004) project to introduce mathematics technology to middle school mathematics teachers and help them improve their mathematics background. It implements a similar instructional philosophy to this course but at the middle school level. Visit this website to see a huge selection of mathematics investigations in algebra, number, geometry, and statistics. See also the Interactive Mathematics Dictionary.
A note on EMAT 4690/6690.
EMAT 4690/6690 is a follow-up course to EMAT 4680/6680 but the faculty has chosen not to offer it any more. The number could be available as an independent study if there was a particular interest.
There is no textbook. All course materials are on the EMAT 6680 web site at
The class will use wireless networked computers in Room 111/113. Sign on to computers in Room 111/113 using your own UGaID and Password. All assignments will be given and turned in via the Web Site at <http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu> or placed on the student's own web server and linked to this Web Site. We will have access to and learn to use various network tools.
Time on computers
You can not expect to accomplish what you should from this course without time on the computers that is in addition to the time we have in class. The usual expectation of 2 hours study outside of class for every hour in class is probably a minimum. There are several MacIntosh laboratories available in this building and across campus.
A note on computers
We are scheduled to hold this class in Room 111/113 with a laboratory of Macintosh iMac G5 computers. There are some additional Macintosh computers in Room 105m (Begle Library), Room 228, Room 615, and in the EMAT office area.
In general, the application programs we will use in this class will run on any of the Macintosh computers except the oldest machines. There are distinctions such as operating systems and hard disk drives that have to be accounted for. If you have your own Mac, or access to one, I will help you get set up to run these programs on it (if it is possible).
Most Macs today run with operating system Mac OS 10.11.2 El Capitan. Mac OS 10.6.8 may be the last System software to run on some of the oldest machines. In general, as operating systems have improved over time, most people move to the newest system. Our machines in Room 111/113 use System Mac OS 10.11.2. All of the machines in the Rm 111/113 Laboratory are Intel Processor.
Most of our software is also available for Windows machines. The functionality of some other Windows software is similar to what we use. Certainly the Windows environment could be used for implementing this course. Students can work at home on a Windows computer and transport to these Rm 111/113 machines via removable media (e.g. CD disks or USB thumb drives) or the network. It is also possible to set up FTP access to the server so that your web productions can be implemented from a remote site. Expect to experience a few hang-ups but it will work. Further, software or hardware with similar functionality is available on many hand-held devices. You would need Windows versions of GSP and Graphing Calculator 4.0 on your computer to fully implement this course.
Grades and Requirements
Grading is a necessary part of what we do and it is my intention to base grades on performance in meeting the requirements of the course. This performance includes the following:
on the computer
working with others
4. Final Projects
I think # 1 and # 2 are rather obvious. We will have repeated opportunities to discuss #3 and # 4. But for the terminally anxious. . .
A. There will be 13 Explorations. These are guides or suggestions for explorations and participation arranged around a variety of topics. There will be a "Write-up" for each set of explorations except Explorations 0.
No. You do not need to "hand in" each assignment, other than the items you do for a Write-up. You do not even have to do the assignment items that are not for your Write-up. It is hard to imagine how you could benefit from the class if you avoid them. . . .
B. Each person will develop a personal Web Page for the course.
C. There will be a set of "Write-up" projects. These are the "homework" for the course. The Write-ups will be prepared as an HTML documents (i.e. a Web Page document) and linked to your personal web page. I will review any write-up draft if asked. All of them are due in the best form you can do them on the final day of the class. The set of write-ups is an electronic portfolio of your work for the course and should represent your "best work." That means you may want to revisit and revise drafts of your write-ups as the course progresses.
D. The Final Projects are in lieu of a final examination, will take considerably longer than an examination, and is due on the day of our scheduled final examination.
E. What is a WRITE-UP?
The University of Georgia seeks to promote and ensure academic honesty and personal integrity among students and other members of the University community. In keeping with the University Honor Code and Academic Honesty Policy, each student is expected to do his/her academic work and to acknowledge fully and assistance and academic resources. All academic work must meet the standards contained in "A Culture of Honesty." All students are responsible to inform themselves about those standards before performing any academic work. Terms of this policy, resolution procedures, and consequences of violation are available at: http://www.uga.edu/honesty/ahpd/culture_honesty.htm
The content and opinions expressed on this Web page do not necessarily reflect the views or nor are they endorsed by the University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia.