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 Discussion: All Topics Topic: Function Machine Related Item: http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/456/

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 Subject: Function Machine Author: mmckelve Date: Feb 10 2004
This is an interesting applet.  I think kids would be drawn to the fun Function
Machine with the moving parts; the applet has a good look-and-feel.
However, it'd sure be nice if it had more of the advanced functions...  There
was one pattern involving multiplication by 2, but most of the ones I found were
very linear--the solution was usually +/- 1 number or letter (the inclusion of
letters was a nice touch, demonstrating that patterns don't just apply in math).
I did find the -1,1,-1,1... pattern a nice addition to the arsenal.

Some way of choosing what type of functions to include (i.e.
linear/non-linear/mixture) would be useful for teachers wanting to teach
beginning students (linear) or more advanced students (non-linear).  Also, if
it's going to be linear, does it have to be counting by 1 or 2?  How about some
more advanced sequences?  I would like to see more sequences involving
multiplication/division and addition/subtraction by 3 or greater.  There is a
very limited number of sequences programmed in (5 or 6?) which I kept getting
over and over.  At the very least a larger number of pre-programmed sequences
would be useful, though I'm pretty sure this could be done dynamically, without
needing to pre-program each possible sequence.  This would help keep the
students from getting bored with the applet quickly.

--Michael--