Department of Mathematics

IDEA: Internet Differential Equations Activities

IDEA is Internet Differential Equations Activities, an interdisciplinary effort to provide students and teachers around the world with computer based activities for differential equations in a wide variety of disciplines. IDEA is sponsored by the National Science Foundation with a grant from the Division of Undergraduate Education.

The Idea behind IDEA

As with every site on the Web, IDEA is evolving. IDEA contains a database of computer activities illustrating both mathematical concepts and the application of these concepts in a wide variety of disciplines. The aim is to show differential equations where they live, rather than in a purely mathematical setting.

In addition to the exercises, it provides a variety of software for solving and describing differential equations. These packages include DynaSys, a package for Microsoft operating system that can be used in a very flexible way to create displays of solutions of differential equations; Java software that may be used over the Web to develop your own activities, or to work on the ones presented here; and Flash components that again may be used to develop differential equations activities.

With the advent of HTML5, Javascript is now ready for prime time for mathematical applications. There are two new Javascript demos illustrating how we might use interactive web objects to help students learn Calculus.

Department of Mathematics, PO Box 643113, Neill Hall 103, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-3113, 509-335-3926, Contact Us
This project is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the Foundation.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Thomas LoFaro and Kevin Cooper