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hpr2965 :: instant feedback for students in maths

How we use old CAS software to give students instant feedback in their maths homework

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Hosted by beni on 2019-12-13 is flagged as Clean and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
maths, education, learning. 1.
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Duration: 00:13:58


I'm trying to make sure that this show doesn't come across as as advertisment placement on HPR I won't provide a link to our application (which wouldn't help a lot anyway as we don't really have much of a web site anyway.).

However I'll link to some of the technical components:

The Computer Algebra System we use is called Maxima, its history goes back to the early 80s. It's written in common lisp.

We have considered switching to SymPy as a more modern alternative. SymPy doesn't offer the feature completeness Maxima does, though. It has still a long way to go.

Our servers run Debian. The current version is written in PHP but we are working on a new version based on dockerized Django with a JS frontend in Ember along with some micro services written in Go, Python and PHP.

To render math we use MathJax in the current version and KaTeX in the new version. The PDF-export of worksheets is of course done in LaTeX.


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Comment #1 posted on 2019-12-19 00:20:34 by Dave Morriss

Cool project!

Hi Beni,

I remember Macsyma, the predecessor of Maxima. We used to run it on the VAXCluster at the university where I worked, for use by Maths students.

Your project sounds very cool, wrangling Maxima to receive and process algebra. I'm mathematically challenged, but I spent a fair bit of my working life in IT writing "glue" code to make bits of software talk to one another. This sounds like quite an undertaking!

Good luck with it, Dave

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