In the past two decades, technology has been given a vital role in the teaching and learning of mathematics at Seattle University. We have developed collaborative lab projects using the software Mathematica for the calculus sequence (MATH 1334, MATH 1335, MATH 1336, and MATH 2330). In the linear algebra course (MATH 2320) and applied mathematics courses we use Mathematica or MATLAB for computer lab projects. Many other courses, ranging from the humanities mathematics courses (UCOR 1200) to geometry (MATH 3411) to abstract algebra (MATH 4421), periodically use the teaching labs or open labs to enhance learning using course-specific software. Student versions of both main software packages are available for purchase, but the open computer labs at Seattle University provide access to Mathematica and certain computer labs provide access to MATLAB.
For UCOR 1200 (Statistical Thinking) a calculator which performs basic algebraic operations (including square roots) is required, but a graphing calculator is not necessary. In all other first-year mathematics courses, with the exception of UCOR 1200 (Mathematical Reasoning and Its Applications), a graphing calculator is considered a necessary tool for understanding and completing the coursework. Not only will students use the graphing calculator for homework assignments and exams, but the instructor often will organize small group activities utilizing the calculator or will provide demonstrations of concepts using projection equipment for the calculator.
In most of our freshman and sophomore level courses, (MATH 1020, 1120, 1321, 1322, 1334, 1335, 1336, 2320, and 2330), we require that students possess a graphing calculator. These calculators will be supplemented with computer software programs, when needed. In the first year mathematics classes, any graphing calculator is permitted; however, since the instructor will be demonstrating on a TI-83 or TI-84 series calculator, it is recommended that any student who does not already own a graphing calculator should buy a TI-83 or TI-84 series calculator.