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Re: Octsympy question

From: Colin Macdonald
Subject: Re: Octsympy question
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:26:32 +0000
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On 25/11/14 10:35, Andrés Prieto wrote:
> My colleagues and me are planning to use the Octave package
> "octsympy" to teach some lab computer sessions devoted to Calculus
> (Differentiation, Ordinary Differential Equations, etc) in the next
> semester.


Some further thoughts.  I'd be thrilled to see it used in this way so
please keep in touch.

1.  Be careful of "dsolve": it does not support initial conditions
(which is probably bad for an ODEs course!)


Would you like to help with this?  We can do it together.  I think a
quick-and-dirty fix involving "solve" to determine the constants of
integration is possible, at least for simpler things like linear
second-order constant coefficient BVPs.  Conditions on derivatives
($y'(0) = 1$) might be harder.  (Longer term, this should/will be fixed
in SymPy.)

2.  Please point out to your students that this is beta.  Ideally they
should file issues they encounter.

3.  Please file issues that *you* encounter, even if they are just notes
of things that do not work yet, or otherwise seem trivial.

4.  Would you have scope to consider incorporating an optional exercise
(for strong students) to encourage contribution?  A tractable thing
would be have them construct a simple test case (say a particular
derivative/integral/ODE and its solution).

Filing a bug with a bit of code that should work but does not is nice

Or they could go further and submit a "pull request" of their test to
OctSymPy on github.  Another student could review the code and give it a
"+1" or suggest revisions.  Then you or I consider it and merge.  They
get some bonus points, learn Git, and the thrill of working on
community-developed software.  Great for their CV.

In general there are lots of "low hanging fruit" here: I've started
labeling "easy to fix" bugs that would be appropriate for an interested
student to hack on.


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