This article presents the analysis of two Likert attitude questionnaires given to 28 engineering students during their first semester at a university in Venezuela. The students had taken part in a special course combining ordinary classroom sessions and laboratory practice sessions using the DERIVE computer algebra system (CAS). The general aim of this analysis is to study the evolution in students’ attitudes when taking part in activities other than ordinary classroom sessions and to determine the influence that the use of DERIVE symbolic calculus software has on their attitudes towards mathematics and the use of computers in mathematical learning. Based on our analysis of the questionnaires given at the beginning and end of the course we conclude that positive changes can be seen in students’ attitudes when interacting with mathematics and computers and also that the use of DERIVE has a positive influence on the changes brought about in this computational environment. (orig.)