Monday, November 12, 2007

Yet Another Computer Algebra System

I have been exploring Yacas for a little while now. It is extremely powerful and is free. Students can download it or run it directly from its web site. There is an interactive tutorial available from the main set of tabs.

On the related links page, there is a link to mavscript, which uses yacas to perform calculations directly in text or OpenOffice Text documents. Maybe I am a geek, but being able to differentiate, graph and factor directly inside a text document warmed a cockle in my heart!

Flash Graphing Tools

As part of the CLIPs project, we have been developing learning objects in Flash to support work in the Grade 11 Functions courses. Fortuitously, we came across a set of robust tools created by Doug Ensley, Shippensburg University and Barbara Kaskosz , University of Rhode Island, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, which include fantastic documentation. We have learned a lot about programming in Flash by using the tools.

There has been some functionality that we wanted to add, including labeling of axes and adding control points to graphs that necessitated creating our own version of the classes. Examples of our work and the original examples are available here.