2008 January 2 / E-Mail Me

Starting Mathematica

Carleton College Math 111, Winter 2008, Prof. Joshua R. Davis

Mathematica is available on all computers in all Carleton computer labs. For example, you can use it in the computer labs CMC 301 and CMC 201, which are open until 1 AM. We will use version 6 of the software.

Installing Mathematica On Your Own Computer

If you're satisfied using Mathematica on a lab computer, then skip this section. On the other hand, if you have your own computer (running Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows) then you can install Mathematica on it and work from there. The official instructions are on this page. The instructions involve several steps, any one of which might hit a snag. Remember that you can always resort to a lab computer, or talk to the SCIC for help with installation.

Starting A Tutorial

Once you're sitting at a computer that has Mathematica installed, here's what you do. Log in, open a web browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer, and go to the class web page at http://people.carleton.edu/~jdavis/2008w111/. There you will see a file called "Tutorial 1: Introduction To Mathematica". The actual name of the file is "111.tutorial1.nb". The ".nb" at the end stands for "notebook" — it indicates that the file is a Mathematica file.

If you click on this file in your web browser, it will probably look like garbage, because your browser doesn't know the Mathematica language. Instead, save the file to your computer, by right-clicking on it (on Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows) or control-clicking on it (on Mac OS X with a one-button mouse). (If you are using Safari on Mac OS X, then the file may have been saved with a ".txt" appended to the end of its name. If so, rename the file to get rid of the ".txt".)

You should be able to open the notebook file just by double-clicking it. If this doesn't work, then open the Mathematica program itself, go to the File menu, and open the file from there. At that point, you should be viewing the notebook file. Follow the instructions there. I strongly encourage you to work with a friend.

Getting Help

For help with installing the software on your own computer, talk to SCIC.

For help with using the software, go to CMC 301; a schedule of friendly helpers is posted in that room. I am also happy to help you in office hours.