ODE Solvers for the Classroom

ODE Solvers for the Classroom

Author(s): Andrew Flint and Ron Wood

The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 25, No. 5 (Nov., 1994), pp. 458-461.

Published By: Mathematical Association of America.

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2687514

Tags: Software for differential equations and dynamical systems

Abstract. This research article looks at Ordinary Differential Equation (ODE) solvers for classrooms and technical use and gives an unbiased review about how advanced each program is. The authors look at 3 different platforms that run these solvers which include Macintosh, PC, and Workstations or devices that are multi-platformed. They examine the different price points of each of the solvers they look at as well as basic and more complicated tasks each one can perform. Although this paper is dated as far as technology is concerned (1994), some of the solvers included are still in use today and are continually updated. In the paper, they review Mathematica v2.2 and Matlab v4.1. These products have now reached versions 11 and 9.2 respectively and are very popular among teaching environments as well as the workforce. When this article was released, it was uncommon for the free programs to be able to plot in 3D and, even with the paid programs, be able to compute higher order differential equations. With the extreme advancement of technology and the internet over the last two decades, programs that people would pay top dollar for are now free all over the internet. Even though most of the solvers mentioned in the paper are obsolete, it shows that technology is rapidly evolving in the world of differential equations to where there are programs accessible to everyone. Aaron Simpson, Stephen F. Austin State University, May 3, 2017.

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