Participants - details

Brown Professor of Physics Wolfgang Christian

Davidson College

Contribution: Developing Open Source Programs for Upper Level Science and Mathematics

The switch from procedural to object-oriented (OO) programming has produced dramatic changes in professional software design. OO techniques have not, however, been widely adopted by science and mathematics teachers and curriculum authors. The continued use of procedural languages in education is partly due to the lack of up-to-date curricular development tools that implement science computation and numerical analysis techniques within an OO framework. This talk describes a new open-source development project that combines OO software development with science education research to produce such material. These OO tools include frameworks for two- and three-dimensional drawing, numerical analysis, and user interfaces. Examples are presented that show how these tools can be used to create curricular material for upper level science and mathematics course.

The Open Source Physics code library, documentation, and curricular material can be downloaded from the following site:

http://www.opensourcephysics.org/default.html

Partial funding for this work was obtained through National Science Foundation grant DUE-0126439.