Mathematica Journal
Volume 10, Issue 3


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Interactive Learning
Oliver Rübenkönig
Jan G. Korvink

Mathematica provides a unique capability for interactive learning. The possibility to combine program code and explanations in an interactive environment is well suited for teaching. The Chair of Microsystem Simulation at the University of Freiburg has developed a wide range of interactive simulation tutorials that have been distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License (FDL). The tutorials cover finite difference, finite volume and finite element methods, and multigrid and iterative solvers. Topics such as sparse matrices and derivatives recovery are also explained. Students are led through the topics assuming little or no prior knowledge. We found that the students gained a good understanding by experimenting with available parameters. In a subsequent step the tutorials are used for verifying other program code.



About the Authors
Oliver Rübenkönig is a Ph.D. student at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Rübenkönig received his Diploma in Microsystem Engineering in 2001. He uses Mathematica extensively in research and teaching and has developed many student exercises and some courses.

Jan G. Korvink obtained his M.Sc. in computational mechanics from the University of Cape Town in 1987 and his Ph.D. in applied computer science from the ETH Zurich in 1993. After his graduate studies, Korvink joined the Physical Electronics Laboratory of the ETH Zurich, where he established and led the Modeling Group. He then moved to the Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg, Germany, where he holds a Chair position in microsystem technology and runs the Laboratory for Microsystem Simulation. Currently, Korvink is dean of the Faculty of Applied Science. He has written more than 130 journal and conference papers in the area of microsystem technology and co-edits the review journal Applied Micro and Nanosystems. His research interests include the modeling, simulation, and low-cost fabrication of microsystems.

Oliver Rübenkönig
Jan G. Korvink

Lab for Simulation, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK)
University of Freiburg

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