Using Free Mathematical Software in Engineering Classes

V. Gayoso Martínez, L. Hernández Encinas, A. Martín Muñoz and A. Queiruga Dios
Axioms, vol. 10, 253, pp. 1-18, 2021, ISSN: 2075-1680,

There are many computational applications and engines used in mathematics, with some of the best-known arguably being Maple, Mathematica, MATLAB, and Mathcad. However, although they are very complete and powerful, they demand the use of commercial licences, which can be a problem for some education institutions or in cases where students desire to use the software on an unlimited number of devices or to access it from several of them simultaneously. In this contribution, we show how GeoGebra, WolframAlpha, Python, and SageMath can be applied to the teaching of different mathematical courses in engineering studies, as they are some of the most interesting representatives of free (and mostly open source) mathematical software. As the best way to show a topic in mathematics is by providing examples, this article explains how to make calculations for some of the main topics associated with Calculus, Algebra, and Coding theories. In addition to this, we provide some results associated with the usage of Mathematica in different graded activities. Moreover, the comparison between the results from students that use Mathematica and students that participate in a “traditional” course, solving problems and attending to master classes, is shown.



Víctor Gayoso Martínez would like to thank CSIC Project CASP2/201850E114 for its support. Araceli Queiruga Dios would like to thank Universidad de Salamanca for its support.