Mathematica Lab Project:

Modern computer algebra systems like Mathematica are incredibly powerful and are an important computational and visualization tool. To encourage you to become familiar with these systems, we have the following lab assignment in addition to the regular homework. This is not meant to be too time-intensive but will constitute 5% of your course grade.

Mathematica Lab Gallery

Here is a gallery of some of your answers to Problem 7 on the Mathematica lab. Some of your answers involved playing with familiar commands like ParametricPlot3D and ContourPlot. Others played with new commands like SphericalPlot3D or with built-in structures of Mathematica. Below you'll find only a small sampling of the interesting responses.

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Getting Started With Mathematica

Finding Mathematica

To use Mathematica, you need to either install it on your own computer or find a computer that has it installed. Both these options are fairly straightforward here at Harvard: FAS Information Technology has Mathematica for download and also numerous computer labs on campus. If you choose to install Mathematica, you'll need the Harvard License number (from the download page) and then during the installation you'll have to email Wolfram to obtain a password. Here are some screenshots from the Mathematica 5 days: OS X or Windows XP. Your experience should be similar, although the version will be either Mathematica 6 or the new Mathematica 7.0.

Learning Mathematica

While the lab itself has a brief introduction, it wouldn't hurt to learn more about the software. Here are some resources that will help you do this:

The Assignment

Here is the lab: Mathematica-lab-Math21a-Spring2009.nb. You should save it to your computer and make a copy before working on it, as working in Mathematica will change the notebook. There are seven problems for a total of 100 points. Warning! Some people are reporting that when they download the file the extension is .nb.txt. Mathematica won't like this file extension, and so you must ensure that the file extension is .nb before opening the Mathematica notebook.

The lab must be printed out and turned in by Monday, May 11th at 3:30 PM (the start of the second review session for the final exam). You may turn it at SC 422 (Peter Garfield's office); starting Monday May 4th there will be a box for this purpose outside the office door. Electronic copies will not be accepted.