Finite Math for Windows is a software package that enables students to easily solve problems and/or check their work in Finite Mathematics. It consists of 17 modules that correspond to the chapters in most Finite Mathematics books. Use of the software is intended to move the students from the calculator world into the more business-like world of software to help prepare them for their careers.
Type of Material:
PC Software (modeling and calculator). The 30-day demo is free. Registration fee of $10.00 necessary after the trial period expires.
Classroom demonstration, self study.
IBM PC compatible Pentium machine with at least 16 MB RAM and operating Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows ME, or Windows XP. Apple systems require Windows emulator.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The software is designed to enhance understanding of various finite mathematics models by step-by-step explanation and graphical representation.
Target Student Population:
Students in finite mathematics courses or general mathematics courses.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
College Algebra, basic Statistical knowledge helpful.
A broad variety of modules, most of which are applicable in any finite math or general mathematics course. Each module corresponds to a chapter in a standard finite mathematics book and many examples from popular textbooks are worked out in separate files that should come with a full version of software. The content of the modules is consistent with appropriate topics and all function correctly. At the same time the package is more than just a calculator/number cruncher type of software. It enables students to see not only the answers but the intermediate calculations for problems.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The graphical interface can be used in classroom explanation with the right hardware. The modules allow for manual entry of numbers (from, by example, the class textbook) and a visual understanding of the solution. Thus the modules are open-ended allowing for input from most any question. The annotation feature allows for additional comments to be placed on a saved file which may enhance class presentation. This software can provide more or better visual displays for those topics that are graphical in nature and can be used for a certain level of data analysis.
This is stand-alone software requiring a registration fee. Therefore, only classrooms with pre-installed and registered versions, on projection-system computers are effective.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The interface allows for a click and try method of learning the program with no glitches found in the program code during this review. The modules are consistent in their operation and presentation. The modules open quickly and switching between modules is easily done. Data and results, including graphs, can be copied and pasted between this application and other Windows applications.
A software website has a downloadable manual and a support link.
The interface, while somewhat intuitive, still takes some time to pick up.
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