[LON-CAPA-dev] LON-CAPA with Computer Algebra System Maxima

Stefan Bisitz lon-capa-dev@mail.lon-capa.org
Mon, 07 Aug 2006 18:13:37 +0200

Hi LON-CAPA developement team,

For all who donīt know so far:
Peter Riegler is a professor at the University of Applied Sciences
Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel, Germany, who is teaching maths and physics.
Stefan Bisitz (thatīs me...) finished his studies of Computer Sciences
some months ago and now has a 50% job in the same institute.

We are both developing the connection of a Computer Algebra System with
LON-CAPA. We are using Maxima which is also free software. Our aim in
general is to have the possibility of creating LON-CAPA problems with
much more mathematical "intelligence" than one can achieve with formula
response. Different ways of calling Maxima should give the author useful
possibilities e.g. to calculate complex formulas or to simplify and
grade complicated student responses.

The firsts steps are done: calling Maxima within LON-CAPA is already
possible though this is not the final way to do it.

If there is someone who likes to support us in developing, please let us
know. I guess that at least mathematicans are really waiting for such a
powerful add-on.

Itīs helpful to get to know some organisational things concerning the
LON-CAPA developement:

1) At least some of the scripts which are used in the offical LON-CAPA
releases are older than the current CVS version. Who decides which
version is used for the next release and how is it organised? Is there
one person who is responsible for each script?

2) Do you recommend to have always all LON-CAPA scripts always
up-to-date (the latest CVS version) on our developement server?

3) Which easy way does exist to synchronize the LON-CAPA scripts with
the current scripts in CVS? Gerd, YOU did this when you visited us, but
WE donīt know how. :-) Is it just a CVS Update follwed by copying the
CVS loncom folder to the production loncom folder?

Thanks in advance for your help!