# [LON-CAPA-users] Math Coding Question

Mark Lucas lon-capa-users@mail.lon-capa.org
Tue, 19 Aug 2008 08:35:50 -0400

```Peter,

Thanks for the reply! I'll absorb it and pass it along as well. Do you
have any suggestions for a maxima tutorial that is most applicable to
the capabilities for checking and evaluating that would be used in
LON-CAPA?

Thanks!
Mark

On Tue, 2008-08-19 at 11:18 +0200, Peter Riegler wrote:
> Hi Mark,
>
> Mark Lucas wrote:
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > I've got a couple of high school teachers who are diving into coding
> > math problems, and we're starting to look for advice.
> >
> > The first question is this: what's the best way to force the students to
> > enter a fraction? For example, he wants 3/4 rather than 0.75.
> >    Two numericalresponse boxes with a / in between?
> >     String response?
>
> formularesponse (w/o) sampling or mathresponse
>
> Here a feature of computer algebra systems (CAS) comes quite handy: CAS
> understand the concept of exact respresentation of numbers. E.g. 2/3 \!=
> 0.6666. However, 3/4 = 0.75 is exact.
> If you really want to make sure that there is a / use mathresponse and
> check for the occurence of / in the student's response.
>
> gives you an example that goes into that direction. There you can't
> enter the given sum although it's mathematically equivalent to the
> expression using the common denominator.
> >
> > Second: Does anybody have coding guidelines they use for math problems?
> > Anybody want to write a 'white paper' on this and contribute it to the
> > community? 8)
>
> I see the need for such guidelines as well. At least for the
> CAS-funtionality, after almost two years of experience, I feel that
> authors first of all should get acquainted with maxima or any CAS to a
> certain level. I have seen to many code fragments CAS is used and at the
> same time perl is used for jobs which could have done more easily using
> a CAS.
>
> >  * What's the experience with the different display modes: tth, jsmath,
> > mimetex - what are advantages and disadvantages? Should they be
> > hardcoded?
> Personally, I haven't set my mind on this issue. E.g. in my eyes
> hardcoding jsmath is a must not. Not every user is privilegded to have
> jsmath on their computer. On the the other hand I finally understood
> that sometimes there a good reasons to hardcode mimetex, in particular
> when tth renders a somewhat complex expression unreadable.
> >
> >  * What are some issues with math problems that come up frequently?
> I guess the most severe issue is the frequent incapability of students
> to enter syntactically correct expressions.
>
> Write a*(b+c in a written exam and the grader most likely will accept
> it. A computer won't
>
> Hope this helps.
>
> Peter
> >