Math Forum Internet News

Volume 5, Number 25

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19 June 2000                                  Vol. 5, No. 25


      MSTE Java - UIUC | Planar Machines/Topology - Eldar
               Poly, Tess - Pedagoguery Software
The Math Forum's Problem of the Week student recognition 
page is now on the Web:
We wish to congratulate all the teachers and students 
who took part during the 1999-2000 school year. Over 31,000 
students from all over the world participated in these
six Internet projects. 

                      MSTE JAVA - UIUC
         University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Java-based activities submitted to MSTE, the Office for 
Mathematics, Science & Technology Education at UIUC.
Topics include these and more:

 - Best Fit of a line
 - Box Perimeter
 - Buffon Needle
 - Cereal Box Problem
 - Chi-Squared Test Analysis of Random Marbles
 - Estimation of Pi - random points on a circle
 - Exploring Parabolas - JavaSketchpad activity
 - Methods for Estimating Roots
 - Monty's Dilemma
 - The Moving Man Activity - graph of motion
 - Numerical Integration Activity
 - Ohm's Law - flow of electrons in circuits
 - Solving Systems of Equations
 - Working with Triangles - JavaSketchpad activity

Files are available for downloading for Mac or PC.



Learn a few building blocks of topology by studying Basic 
Machines. 'Of Spiders and Toruses' examines the configuration 
spaces for a family of machines (oriented surfaces of varying 
genus), providing an abstract way to describe all the states 
the machine could take. The site introduces the notion of 
functional linkages ("Machines as Functions"), or machines 
that can compute polynomial functions. Java applets that 
illustrate machines (e.g. Peaucellier linkage) are included.

The site is organized into lessons designed to allow people
with varying mathematical backgrounds to explore the subject.
The applets require a Java 1.1-enabled browser such as 
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4-5 for Mac or PC, or Netscape 
Communicator 4.5 (excluding Macintosh systems).


                 POLY, TESS - Pedagoguery Software

Shareware programs for manipulating and studying geometric
figures. Demo versions are available for downloading.


Explore and construct models of polyhedra. Poly allows you 
to manipulate a polyhedral solid on the computer and print 
out a flattened version (a net), which can then be cut out, 
folded, and taped to produce a three-dimensional model. 
Nets of 147 different convex polyhedra can be generated. 
Poly offers English, Spanish, French, Danish, Korean, 
Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese interfaces.


Create symmetric planar illustrations. While you draw, you
can automatically maintain the symmetry group you have chosen; 
11 rosette groups, all 7 frieze groups, and all 17 wallpaper 
groups are included. Illustrations may be printed out or 
saved using Tess' cross-platform format. Versions are 
available in English and French, and instructions for using 
the tool box can be viewed by holding the mouse still for a 
moment over each tool.

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