# Computers and Computation

Research

I have several research projects in computational group theory using the Wildebeest cluster computer located here at CCNY. These projects involve distinguishing members of families of difficult one-relator groups.

Mathematica

I like use the computer algebra system Mathematica (from Wolfram Research). I have written a number of items as part of an effort to use Mathematica in calculus as well as upper division and graduate courses.

• Vector and Multivariate Calculus: Some Mathematica Explorations, Kennel Press, 1998, 120 pages.
A Mathematica workbook for multivariate calculus students, with topics ranging from partial differentiation to Stokes' theorem. Covers some introductory aspects of the functional programming of Mathematica. This text is for Math 77 third-semester multivariate and vector calculus course at CSUF.

• Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Fourier Series: Mathematica Workbook for Scientists and Engineers, Kennel Press, 1998, 108 pages.
A collection of Mathematica examples, explanations and exercises covering topics including Laplace transform, series solutions to differential equations, linear dynamical systems, Fourier series, and numerical techniques. This text is for Math 81 fourth-semester calculus course at CSUF, which includes differential equations, linear systems, Fourier series and other analysis tools useful to scientists and engineers.

• The Mathematica Mystery Tour (with Larry Cusick), Kennel Press, 1998, 80 pages.
An introductory book suitable for all calculus students interested in getting acquainted with symbolic algebra, calculus, plotting and programming in Mathematica.

• The CSUF Calculus Mathematica Competency Statement which summarizes departmental expectations of students facility with Mathematica in various courses as well as giving some examples.

Teaching and Outreach

• LEGO Mindstorm Robots are a great way to teach introductory programming. I developed and taught a summer course for talented high school students as part of the COSMOS program at UC-Davis.

• I taught a wide range of programming and structures courses at UCLA's Program in Computing which is the UCLA Mathematics Department's program to teach programming and computer science to a general audience.

• Organizing donations of older computers for schools is a great way of helping schools get much appreciated equipment. In Fresno, I worked to get unwanted or unused computers available for elementary, secondary and adult education programs. So far, there are more than 600 computers that have been made available as part of the program and there are plans for even more.
Apple Computers

I have been a longtime user of Apple Computers.

• Powerbook Duo Dock Page with a fix for the dreaded Tick of Death
I am a big fan of Apple's (now long discontinued) line of Duo Powerbooks. These Duos are very small notebooks which can be inserted (like a tape into into a VCR) into a desktop dock to become a desktop machine. They have the best of both the portable and desktop worlds, and are smaller than comparable vintage laptops. I have acquired a collection of Apple DuoDocks. These fine products are unfortunately susceptible to the Tick of Death failure in which the power supply starts ticking instead of supplying power. The fix for this failure is not too bad and involves soldering a replacement capacitor onto the power supply board- I describe this process on the Duo page above.

• MacBSD/NetBSD
This is a good free implementation of Unix for older (68k) Macs that runs well on IIcx's and IIci's, for example. One good way of having a constructive, productive semi-retirement for older Macs is to use MacBSD to run them as web servers.

• LinuxPPC
There was a very good implementation of Linux for most PCI PPC macs which is now been supplanted since Apple's OS X is a better implementation of a Unix-style environment. I worked to get the system set up for the Powerbook G3 Original, which can be set up as a dual-boot machine. A good source of information about LinuxPPC was the LinuxPPC FAQ-o-Matic to which I have contributed solutions about Powerbook G3 Original configuration problems as well as ways of using an external HD install on machines with both single and dual SCSI busses. I did highly reccommend Benjamin Herrenschmidt's page which contained BootX, a very useful tool which dramatically simplifies LinuxPPC installation and booting, for which I worked as a beta-tester.
Unix, NeXTs and mh

• The CSUF department had a 30 station lab of NeXTs which we had been very happy with and gotten great mileage from as instructional machines running Mathematica.

• I have been a longtime fan of mh an excellent mail handler for Unix. The old man page for mh had a subtitle something like "How to get 100 mail messages a day and still get work done" at a time (1989) when getting a 100 email messages a day seemed preposterous... The package mh is a scriptable collection of commands and if you want to compile it for the (somewhat nonstandard) Unix on NeXTs, send me mail for some benevolent wisdom.

• The various successes of networked Linux boxes in the Beowulf projects are exciting and our Wildebeest cluster is an implementation of a large number of commodity-grade, tested and simply configured Linux boxes.
Software Developed

I have written several commerically successful software packages, the most notable of which are the statistical software package by a company which I founded in 1981, and the least notable of which included numerous games, utilities, and encryption tools. Other Links