Math Forum Internet News

Volume 3, Number 32

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10 August 1998                                     Vol. 3, No. 32

                 THE MATH FORUM INTERNET NEWS

  WebMath | Shapari | TI and Order of Operations - math-teach


                     WEBMATH - Tom Bensky

                   http://www.webmath.com/

Instant solutions to math problems: you may type your problem
directly into this Web site and get a step-by-step solution. 
WebMath can solve many introductory-level algebra problems;
topics from trigonometry, advanced algebra, and calculus are
in the works. 

Some WebMath solutions use Java for computer graphics and 
animation. Current choices include: 

 - Everyday math
     figuring a tip, sale price, converting temperatures
 - Numbers
     add, factor, GCF...
 - Fractions
     reducing
 - Graphing
     points, lines, circles
 - Simplifying expressions
     powers, products, like terms... 
 - Polynomials
     add/subtract, multiply, divide, exponents...
 - Factoring polynomials
     using GCF, difference of two squares, trinomials
 - Quadratic equations
     solve by factoring, the quadratic formula...
 - Word problems
     percents 


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                  SHAPARI - Spelunk Computing

               http://www.SpelunkComputing.com/

Windows 95/98/NT software that emphasizes abstract thinking, 
creativity, and open-ended exploration for ages 4 and up. 

Shapari aims to combine the qualities of yesterday's classic
toys with today's technology. Designed to allow children to 
produce intriguing abstract and fractal patterns from simple 
shapes and operations, the program offers 5 levels of 
difficulty. Children can challenge their visualization 
abilities by matching colorful computer-generated patterns 
and playing with iterations to explore the self-similarity 
of fractals.

A trial version is available for downloading, and the summer 
1998 price is U.S. $15.

    
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     TI AND ORDER OF OPERATIONS - a math-teach discussion

A conversation that begins with a comparison of mnemonics
for order of operations [PEMDAS, GEMA] (16 July 1998):

http://mathforum.org/epigone/math-teach/snunzhemerm/

and continues with a discussion of inconsistencies and
ambiguities in the ways that calculators handle fractions,
exponents, etc....

                              \|/

- TI and order of operations: (23 July 1998):
  http://mathforum.org/epigone/math-teach/weeswilzhul

  "On the TI-82, for example, 2/3x means 2/(3x) rather 
   than the more usual (2/3)x. This inconsistancy was 
   corrected on the TI-83."        - Maxine Bridger

  "Changing the order of operations is not a correction, 
   it is a choice. Correction would imply an error.  
   Inconsistency is indicated only if there were some 
   internal contradiction."        - Ron Ferguson

                              \|/

- Re: TI an order of operations (24 July 1998):
  http://mathforum.org/epigone/math-teach/thilvarkhax

  "It wasn't until the advent of computers that people 
   dealt carefully with the problem of what 1/2x really 
   should mean."                   - Lou Talman

  "... there is a good reason for the lack of a universally
   understood convention here: Nobody needs it. Only in a 
   schoolbook would one ever see something like 
   3-2+5-6*7/4*3-5+14/5*3..."      - Ralph A. Raimi

  "List members might wish to take a look at a 'structural' 
   representation we have included in V2.04 of GrafEq... 
   downloadable from http://www.peda.com/grafeq/down.html "
                                   - Gary Tupper

                              \|/

- Re: TI order of operations (27 July 1998):
  http://mathforum.org/epigone/math-teach/quoogoxsni

  "I noticed that my TI-92 says that 4^3^2 is 262,144, 
   but Microsoft Excel says that it is 4096..."
                                   - Guy F. Brandenburg

  "I was taught that the rule has always been 'start 
   at the top & work down'..."     - David C. Purdy

  "... difficulties with typography have instructional     
   implications. (If you don't believe that typography 
   can be difficult, ask yourself why Knuth devoted so 
   much time to it.)..."           - Ron Ferguson
   
   
For information about the math-teach discussion group, see:
http://mathforum.org/discussions/about/math-teach.html
   

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