Mathematics for Chemistry with Symbolic Computation

Teach and learn mathematics with a computer!

The Centre for Experimental and Constructive Mathematics in Simon Fraser University is pleased to announce the release of edition 4.0 of this interactive electronic textbook that operates with Maple software. This edition revises Part I Mathematics of Chemistry and adds new chapters on Chemical Equilibrium, Group Theory and Graph Theory to Part II. It also supplements Part II with introductions to Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Spectrometry that will in future editions become expanded to full chapters.

The first edition, released in October 2005, was marketed by Maplesoft Inc. For the second edition a thorough revision with a major extension and expansion has been undertaken, and this electronic textbook is available for download gratis from this CECM site on internet. Version 3.0, released in December 2010, and version 3.1, released in July 2011, and were updates for Maple 14 and Maple 15, respectively.

The objective of this book is to teach the concepts and principles of all mathematics that a professor of chemistry would expect or hope that his or her students would learn in courses typically instructed by a professor of mathematics, with implementation with software for symbolic computation or computer algebra. From an emphasis on the concepts and principles arises an expectation that a student might derive a more profound understanding of the mathematics than in traditional courses in which emphasis is placed on a student's capability to solve exercises; the implementation of the mathematical operations with powerful mathematical software means that the exercises are not restricted to trivial cases but are extensible to real applications. On such a basis a student is prepared and equipped to treat significant chemical problems.

Although the title specifies Mathematics for Chemistry, in fact most content of chapters 0 to 9 involve pure mathematics, but some examples and exercises are based on chemical data. For this reason this book is equally useful for students of science and engineering in any branch, with the proviso that further examples and exercises should be devised to illuminate those fields. Because of the interactive nature of the content of this electronic textbook, it provides an effective tool for self study, but typical courses in almost a traditional format can be based on this textbook; supplementing with traditional textbooks as desired, an instructor can explain and discuss the mathematical concepts and principles in a lecture setting accompanied by intensive demonstrations with this software, complemented with a supervised practice session in a computer laboratory; likely two hours per week of each component, supplemented by as much further independent practice and study as each student requires, would enable an optimal coverage of all topics from arithmetic to optimization with about 500 hours of total duration of formal classes, corresponding to three semesters or 1.5 years.

The operation of this software is optimum with Maple (releases 11 -- 15) in its 'classic' interface, although use of the standard or Java interface would be feasible with an appropriate processor and extent of accessible memory. Only few and minor sections rely on Maple functionality subsequent to release 11.

Much further information is available about the content and how it operates is presented in a document MathChem.pdf. The actual pedagogical content of this interactive electronic textbook is divided into fourteen Maple worksheets, MathChm_.mws, in which _ implies 0, 1, 2 ...., 11, 12a, 13a. A further document MthChemEd.pdf contains material from an article published in Journal of Chemical Education, 2007 April, that describes the philosophy of this approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics by students of chemistry, including allied fields and other subjects as mentioned above.

Download Mathematics for Chemistry with Symbolic Computation
  version 4.0, February 12th, 2013, for Maple 16   as a 6.7 MB zip file.