UMass Lowell - CyberEd
92.419 Introduction to Mathematica
Kenneth M. Levasseur
Department of Mathematical Sciences
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Lowell, MA 01854

Projects for
Introduction to Mathematica

Prof. Kenneth Levasseur
Department of Mathematical Sciences
University of Massachusetts Lowell



I believe that in order to really start learning anything as complex as Mathematica , you've got to work toward a significant goal. This is why a project is such a major part of this course.

Required Elements of Projects

On occasion I've had as student do a wonderful project that used very little Mathematica . To avoid this, all projects now have to contain the items on the following short list. If you find it impossible to include any of these, let me know and we can substitute some other feature.
  1. Your name and email address - This isn't a feature of Mathematica, but it's something that a surprising number of people forget to put on their work.
  2. At least one initialization cell that contains expressions that must be evaluated to use your project.
  3. A function with at least one option. You will learn how to do this in Week 5.
  4. At least one hyperlink either to a part of your project or to the Web.

Sources of Project Ideas


So far, the best source of project Ideas that I've been able to come up with are mathematics journals. The Journals of the Mathematical Association of America are particularly good sources since they have many articles that are accessible to students. Some of the articles are prepared using a computer algebra system (usually Mathematica or Maple) and occasionally you can find one that can be extended. Note: A project shouldn't be just a matter of replicating a calculation or a graphic - I'm looking for you to make use of Mathematica to explore new ground or clarify difficult concepts. Sometimes, articles written by authors who didn't use a computer algebra systems are also a good choice.

Employment-Related Projects

You are welcome to do a project that is related to your job. It doesn't have to be mathematics, but then again, it you listen to Tom Lehrer, everything is mathematics!

More ideas

Evaluation of Projects

I've put together some comments on how I evaluate projects .

Sample Projects from past semesters

Project Name Author Semester
Encryption Henry Drew Spring 1996
Math-termind Jill Garland Fall 1998
Wheels on Wheels... Mike Pawlechek Fall 1996
The Phi Number System Sue Robinson Fall 1995
Set, the Game Tracey Smith Spring 1998

When you're done.....

You might want to present your work or have it published. Some options are If you have questions about whether these options are for you, contact me and we can discuss it.

Click here to ask a general question about projects