In almost all mathematics courses you can do at the Open University there is software involved. They either deliver a standard package, or ship custom software especially developed for the course ( i.e. MT365 ). The house-package of the Mathematics Department of the Open University is MathCad, version 2001. I have argued that MathCad alone is a reason -not- to choose for the Open University. What a disgrace...
( Calming down. )
They do however recognize that software, computers, tools are relevant in mathematics. Especially in Number Theory computers are used in active research. Another area where they use software in active research is: mathematical logic. Stronger: research in Number Theory is impossible without computers.
These facts are not even mentioned in M381. There are many open source tools available for Number Theory, even more for Mathematical Logic. Not a word about it in M381. One, if not -the- reason is the fact that course development in the Open University is done in a project organization. A project is created with the objective to create course X which will then be used for the next 10 or so years. It is exactly the opposite of what one would expect of a university education. It is not reasonable to expect the Open University to be at the forefront of mathematical research. Simply because other universities in the UK have that role. But it is reasonable to expect more than a static expose of 19th century Gauss number theory and early 20th century logic from Church, Turing and Goedel. In fact, the field is presented as abstract and of theoretical importance only. But Number Theory and Mathematical Logic are extremely relevant and applicable in many industries! But I did not learn that from the course and that is sad.
It took me a lot of work but I found some relevant learning tools in the fields of number theory and mathematical logic. More about those later in this blog.
(*) - I may have misunderstood the concept of 'University' in the UK. I think many universities in the UK are what we call in the Netherlands 'schools'. They deliver professionals with a degree in all fields through excellent education but they don't do research and so on. They don't add to the body of knowledge. They process and transfer knowledge. That description fits the Open University as well. - A marketing issue is that students like to have a 'university' education. And marketing people love empty