[LON-CAPA-users] Math Coding Question: first draft of tutorial

Peter Riegler lon-capa-users@mail.lon-capa.org
Wed, 20 Aug 2008 11:53:48 +0200


I have copied a few section from lc's online help and started to put
together a tutorial. You will find the result of this morning's work on

Problem is that I currently lack time to thoroughly work on this.

I plan to work a bit more on Sec. 4 as indicated.
I would be happy if other people can contribute as well either at this
time or later. Be it by actually writing text or providing a wish list
what should be contained ("How do you do ... ?").

What would be a good place to store the tex-file? CVS?


Mark Lucas wrote:
> 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
> Thanks!
> Mark
> On Tue, 2008-08-19 at 11:18 +0200, Peter Riegler wrote:
>>Hi Mark,
>>Mark Lucas wrote:
>>>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
>>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.
>>>Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Peter Riegler
Fachhochschule Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel
Salzdahlumer Str. 46/48, 38302 Wolfenbüttel
Tel. +49 5331 939 6314, Fax. +49 5331 939 6002
email: p.riegler@fh-wolfenbuettel.de