Overview of Software in the Department of Mathematics

Overview of Software in the Department of Mathematics

Last revised 3/14/11


The Department of Mathematics employs several different software packages in its instruction that do not interface directly with the College’s one-click logon system (SLAS password). These notes are a guide to the various systems. If something is missing or unclear, please alert a department member with suggestions for improvement.



Online homework systems used in CSI math courses:  MyMathLab, WebAssign, WeBWorK

All three internet-based systems provide individualized homework problems, give students immediate feedback allowing them to correct mistakes, and provide instructors with real-time statistics about student progress as well as a grade spreadsheet that can be downloaded.  Instructors can encourage students to work together on homework because the individualized problems discourage simply copying answers.  Instructors typically make the online homework part of the total grade.  Instructors can also use these systems to communicate with students.


Courses using online homework:

·         MyMathLab:  MTH 020, 030.

·         WebAssign:   MTH 101, 121, 123, 130, 221.

·         WeBWorK:  MTH 230, 231, 232, 233, 311, 330, 334, 338.


MyMathLab and WebAssign are professional websites run by the publishers, and both have an ebook version of the textbook that students can access.  The two systems provide varying levels of help for certain problems, such as hints, relevant snippets from the textbook, and sometimes video explanations.  Instructors can allow students to receive extensions on the homework for a preset penalty.  WeBWorK does not have any of these features.  All three systems offer students detailed solutions to the homework problems after the due date.


Cost:   In bookstore:  $153 for new Textbook (softcover) and access code package: or Access code alone for $87 ;  or Purchase access code on-line with a credit card  for $78.

Access:  Students can buy a CD wrapped with the textbook at the bookstore, or as a separate purchase online at www.coursecompass.com.  Students need their individual access code plus the “CourseID” for their section, which is provided by their instructor. Each developmental mathematics section has a specific CourseID.


Registration:  www.coursecompass.com  Students must click on “Register: Students.”  Instructors must click on “Register: Educators,” and create a personalized login name and password.


Setup:  Instructors must obtain and give to students a “CourseID” for each section, which is generated by the Coordinator of Remedial Mathematics.





Cost:  Students can purchase a CD with the textbook at the bookstore, or can purchase an ebook with WebAssign for about a third of the cost online at webassign.com.  Students need their individual access code plus the “class key” for their section.

Registration:   http://www.webassign.net/login.html  (institution = csi.cuny)

Setup:  Instructors must obtain a “class key” for each section from the publisher to give to students.

Note:  Students need to buy access to WebAssign once for MTH 121-221 or for MTH 123-130.  We have made a special arrangement with Cengage for a free transfer for students taking MTH 123-221.


Cost:  Free.

Registration:  http://www.math.csi.cuny.edu/webwork2 (select section).  The default student username and password for Jane Smith whose student ID ends in 1234 is jsmith1234.  The password should be changed at the first login.  For details see http://www.math.csi.cuny.edu/Courses/WebWork_Instructions

Setup:  Instructors must ask Lewis Carbonaro to import their rosters into WeBWorK.



MATLAB software and online component for MTH 229


MTH 229 teaches how to solve Calculus problems using the MATLAB software. The course has 10 online projects. The MATLAB software is provided in the college’s computer labs, but otherwise is a commercial product. It need not be purchased to do the class, but is not provided by the college for home use. (There is also a student version of Matlab that students may purchase if they wish to work from home (www.mathworks.com). The University has software licensing arrangements for Mathematica and Maple.)


The online component requires one to logon to a departmental website.

Cost:  Free

Registration:   Students are given a login and password at the beginning of the term. Instructors must contact Lewis Carbonaro for their login information.

There is no registration, students simply login at http://www.math.csi.cuny.edu

Note: The projects may be downloaded as a pdf from http://www.lulu.com/CSImath.


Software used for Statistics Courses

The department uses various software for its Statistics offerings. Among these are:

R. R is an open source software project that is employed by various instructors. The software is on the standard math image, so is on all the departmental lab computers. It is also found throughout the campus labs. Students may download their own version (http://www.r-project.org).


SPSS. This software is used by colleagues in other departments, but is not used in the curriculum in the Department of Mathematics. It is on the lab computers. An older version is also available for instructors.


Computer Algebra Systems


Mathematica. Some instructors in the department use Mathematica to supplement their assignments. This is a Computer Algebra System, and can do symbolic computations. Mathematica can by used by all CUNY faculty and students through CUNY wide licensing arrangements. It is installed on the math image for the labs.


Maple. Maple, like Mathematica is a  CAS that is available to faculty and students through a CUNY wide licensing arrangement.


Sage. Sage is an open-source CAS. It is available at http://www.sagemath.org.