Thomas Wangler

Publication Date



Modeling; Writing; Projects; Software


Historically, a first course in Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs) has been taught as a “methods course.” Namely, different types of differential equations are trotted out and the method of solution for each class of ODEs is presented. The student is then left to “master the method” by way of lengthy algebraic manipulations, a good dose of differential calculus, and of course, getting all the pieces of the new method done in the right order. All in all, it can be a daunting task for students and it usually does little to pique the interest or curiosity of most students. This is the old paradigm. In an attempt to make the course more interesting and less daunting, a new paradigm was adopted – a paradigm that incorporates technology as a core component of the course, rather than just an “add on.” This article examines various issues related to implementing this new paradigm as well as some lessons learned along the way.



Lab1 Constant Harvesting of Biomass (Student Version).mw (884 kB)
Lab 1 Constant Harvesting Maple Worksheet

Lab2 Slope Fields and Skydiving (Student Version).mw (871 kB)
Lab 2 Slope Fields Maple Worksheet



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.