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Creating environments for distributed education sessions is at the natural intersection of various research and teaching projects currently pursued at RISC-Linz and is an urgent necessity for these projects.
Buchberger's Groebner bases method [Buc85] is now one of the standard methods in computer algebra software systems with an estimated 2 million installations worldwide. Still, there is no interactive textbook available on this method. The author is working on such a book that computer-support both the proof parts (using results from the Theorema project) and the computational parts (using a Mathematica implementation of the method) of the textbook and make it accessible through the web.
The Theorema project aims at computer-support of mathematical proving. The distinctive features of this project are:
For more details see [Buc96a] [Buc96c] [Buc96b] [Buc96d] [Buc97a].
From the variety of courses given by RISC-Linz we take two examples that are prepared to profit from support by computer environment for distributed education.
This course is regularly given to the graduate (diploma, PhD) students of RISC-Linz and aims at training and improving the six basic working techniques of mathematicians and computer scientists: thinking, speaking, writing, listening, reading, cooperating (i.e. proving, giving talks and lectures, writing publications, analyzing problems, working with the literature, working in groups). For more details see [Buc97b].
This course series is taught by RISC-Linz faculty in the first four semesters for undergraduate computer science students at the University of Linz and for the students of the College for Software Engineering in Hagenberg (which was established by RISC-Linz three years ago). As a distinctive feature, it emphasizes those subjects of mathematics that are motivated by computer science and computer applications. In particular, it starts with an intensive training in the general problem solving techniques of mathematics (including formal reasoning) and emphasizes the interactive use of (symbolic) mathematical software systems. For more details see [BF81] [Buc93] [Win94] [Wal95].
Recently, RISC-Linz has established yet another college in Hagenberg, the College for Media Techniques and Design [BJ+95] [FHS96]. This college trains, in a four years curriculum, engineers in the new area of communication and media technology. The distinctive feature of this college is the balance between teaching both the technology as well as the arts and design aspect of the field. The expertise of the faculty of this college and the facilities built up there can be integrated into the development of the CONCERT framework in a natural way.