I am spending some time this summer playing around with Sagemath. The hope is that I can learn it well enough to use it in my differential equations course in the near future. In this post I list some resources that I am finding helpful. (The list is to be updated as I continue.)

Getting started

- I have decided to work primarily in the SageMathCloud (SMC) environment. One advantage of this is that I don’t have to worry about whether certain files are on my home or office machines. The other is that there seem to be some interesting options for assigning/grading/returning projects to students in that setting. I’ve opted for the “basic” $7 per month plan.
- Students will have the option of working in SMC, installing Sage on their personal machines, or using the SageMathCell. The SageMathCell seems very handy, as you can get right to the computing without a lot of fuss. (Of course, work there is not saved, etc.) Having students working on their own machines is fine… but there does not seem to be a graceful way to move work between SMC Worksheet and the Sage Notebook formats. Thus far, this is my biggest complaint with the Sage framework.
- I also downloaded Sagemath to my laptop and to my office machine.
- Actually getting started with SMC was more difficult than I had hoped. There is a lot of powerful functionality, but it is not so obvious where a beginner like me should begin. After thrashing around for a day or so, I ended up doing most of my work in Sage Worksheets, where I am able to write a lot of notes to myself about what I am doing. It is nice to be able to populate the notebook with markdown cells and to be able to use LaTeX when commenting on the code.

General resources

- I found the PREP tutorials to be very helpful, as well as the general Sagemath tutorial.
- Bard’s book seems to be a canonical reference.
- The Joyner – Hampton book about using Sage to study differential equations seems promising, even if the book is written for a course much different from the one I teach.
- The Ordinary Differential Equations Project also seems very useful.
- Vladimir Dobrushkin has a Sage tutorial for differential equations

Resources for teaching with Sage

- I found this post (and the follow-up post) by Beezer to be very useful.