[Edu-sig] Math UI

michel paul mpaul213 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 16 18:46:47 CEST 2011

With Sage you can do this kind of stuff:

sage: eq1(x,y) = (y == 2/3*x + 5)
sage: eq2(x,y) = (4*x - 2*y == 7)
sage: eq1
y == 2/3*x + 5
sage: eq2
4*x - 2*y == 7
sage: eq3 = eq2(y = 2/3*x + 5)
sage: eq3
8/3*x - 10 == 7
sage: eq3 += 10
sage: eq3
8/3*x == 17
sage: eq3 /= 8/3
sage: eq3
x == (51/8)
sage: eq1(x=51/8)
y == (37/4)

Sage <http://sagemath.org/> is Python with mathematical super powers added.
It lets you treat an equation as an object and manipulate it in various ways
- substituting different values for the variables or rearranging terms.  It
of course has a solve function, but I've used it as above to 'show work'.

I don't think there's a tablet app for it, but you can use Sage through a

- Michel

On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 8:36 AM, Jay Bloodworth
<johnabloodworth3 at gmail.com>wrote:

> This question is not really specific to python. Apologies if that is a
> party foul, but I think it is in the spirit of the list.
> Suppose I give an algebra student the system:
> y=2/3x + 5
> 4x - 2y = 7
> I want the student to solve the system algebraically, to show her work,
> to use appropriate notation, and to do it on a tablet computer rather
> than pencil and paper. What does the UI look like for this task? Is it
> something the equation editor for a word processor? Or more specialized?
> Are their lots of menus? Or is it more like LaTeX, using special text
> syntax to denote fractions, etc. How do we make sure that using the UI
> doesn't occupy so many brain cycles that it limits the student's ability
> to do the algebra?
> Obviously this is less about solving systems in particular and more
> about the issues that come up as computers begin to replace pencil and
> paper as the standard format for communicating in a math classroom. I
> would appreciate your thoughts.
> Jay
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"What I cannot create, I do not understand."

- Richard Feynman
"Computer science is the new mathematics."

- Dr. Christos Papadimitriou
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