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19 January 1998 Vol. 3, No. 3 THE MATH FORUM INTERNET NEWS DiffEQ | Polyominoes | APSTAT-L Calculator Discussion DIFFEQ RESOURCE CENTER AN ONLINE SOURCE FOR DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS http://diffeq.brookscole.com/ DiffEQ aims to become the place on the web where teachers and students of differential equations look first for the latest on: - workshops, symposia, and conferences - laboratory and project ideas - the differential equations discussion/mailing list - online journals and newsletters - commercial software, shareware, and freeware - online courses - notes on projects and lessons: labs and worksheets - textbooks and course materials from Brooks/Cole Prof. Glenn Ledder of the Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, is Consulting Editor of the DiffEQ Resource Center, which is sponsored by Brooks/Cole Publishing Company. -|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|- POLYOMINOES Polyominoes, so named by Solomon Golomb in a 1953 talk at the Harvard Mathematics Club, are shapes formed by connecting squares of equal size along at least one edge. For some fun on the Web with these challenging puzzles, see: - POLYOMINOES - Philip I. S. Lei Java applets and more on dominoes, trominoes, pentominoes, hexominoes, and other tiling problems: http://home.ust.hk/~philipl/omino/omiNo. html - POLYOMINO ENUMERATIONS - Kevin Brown An article from the Combinatorics area of Brown's Math Pages on the Web: http://www.seanet.com/~ksbrown/kmath039.htm - PENTOMINO PUZZLE - Frank Ruskey An illustration of the puzzle, and links to many other related pages: http://sue.csc.uvic.ca/inf/misc/PentInfo.html - THE PENTOMINOES PAGE - Jay Jenicek Possible combinations and mathematical properties: http://lonestar.texas.net/~jenicek/pentomin/pentomin.html - PENTOMINOES GAME - Robert Simms A spatial relations game in java script: http://www.math.clemson.edu/~rsimms/java/pentominoes/index2.html Or search the Math Forum's Internet Resource Collection for the words polyomino, pentomino, etc.: http://mathforum.org/dumpgrepform.html -|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|- CALCULATORS ON EXAMS (CHEATING?) - APSTAT-L http://mathforum.org/epigone/apstat-l Last week we highlighted a conversation about calculators on the newsgroup MATH-TEACH. Another discussion on APSTAT-L, the Advanced Placement Statistics list, began about the same time, touching on the use of calculators for the AP exam and moving on to the purpose of the exam, positive calculator contributions, controlling to avoid cheating, tests without calculators, calculator 'dependency', multiple choice tests, and much more. "Calculators are not needed on the AP exam; they add nothing to the exam; they do not train students to do what people actually do when they perform statistical analyses (that is, use computers), they distract students from statistical thinking, and they open a can of worms for cheating... ...it is possible to write exam questions that test statistical thinking without the need for any calculators. I'll give some examples..." - Paul Velleman "...what does the calculator bring to the process that enhances the assessment process? My answers: (a) control of extraneous variation due to differences in arithmetic ability, and (b) speed of calculation... ... students who have been using a calculator all year will find it strange (threatening?) not to be able to use it... from their standpoint they are taking a high-stakes test in an unfamiliar setting; now we would take another level of familiarity from them..." - Chris Olsen "What is being discussed is a surface problem that has its roots at least in the middle school and is perpetuated in many high school classrooms. That is the teaching of the appropriate and inappropriate use of the calculator. Many high school students come from the middle school environment completely 'dependent' upon the calculator." - Bob Keefer "I start with an axiom, upon which the following statements rest: the assessment situation should mimic both the classroom situation and the 'world beyond the classroom' as closely as possible, within the constraints of time and equity... I believe that the amount of _useful_ information that a student could access in an exam situation is self-limiting." - Rex Boggs Find all the relevant threads by using the searcher to look for Cheating with Calculators (that exact phrase): http://mathforum.org/discussions/epi-search/apstat-l.html For more about apstat-l, including how to join, see: http://mathforum.org/discussions/about/apstat-l.html -|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|-\-/-|- CHECK OUT OUR WEB SITE: The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/ Ask Dr. Math http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ Problems of the Week http://mathforum.org/students/ Internet Resources http://mathforum.org/~steve/ Join the Math Forum http://mathforum.org/join.forum.html Send comments to the Math Forum Internet Newsletter editors _o \o_ __| \ / |__ o _ o/ \o/ __|- __/ \__/o \o | o/ o/__/ /\ /| | \ \ / \ / \ /o\ / \ / \ / | / \ / \ |

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