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An Introduction to Fathom

Wednesday's Feature Event

Fest TOC


ToolFest Online
Discussion Group




Bill Finzer

Bill is Senior Scientist at KCP Technologies and Fathom project lead, and has been designing and programming educational software since 1978, and data-oriented educational software since 1980. He brings classroom practice, curriculum development experience, and work as a researcher to bear on the challenges and opportunities posed by software development.


This event focuses on the Technology PoW, Mauna Loa, and using Fathom to solve it.

Before 3 pm ET, start by taking a look at the PoW using the Fathom file that contains the data. If you don't have a copy of Fathom, you can download the Instructor's Evaluation Edition.

There may be some things about Fathom that, if you knew them, would help you work on the PoW. Before starting work, browse one or more of the following resources:

As you browse, try things out. If you find a useful tour, go through it.

Make sure you save plenty of time to work on the PoW. The heart of the PoW is the write-up in which you "Document your method of prediction well enough that someone else could read your documentation, follow your methodology, and come up with a similar prediction."

If possible, email the Fathom document you created as you worked on the PoW to Bill Finzer, In your email, ask at least one question you would like to discuss in the afternoon event.

3-5 pm ET:

Bill Finzer joined us to discuss the PoW, the solutions that were emailed to him, Fathom questions, and thoughts about integrating data analysis into the teaching of mathematics. We had a great time!

Read the transcript of our chat

Why Experiences using data to understand things about the world help us, as mathematics educators, to prepare our students to function well in this increasingly data-driven society. Technology is driving the data revolution, and becoming fluent with tools, like Fathom, designed to work with data, is essential to participation in this revolution. (You can read Bill Finzer's thoughts about this in his blog). But, not least, exploring data is exciting and fascinating.

© 2003-2005 The Math Forum @ Drexel, part of NSF's NSDL
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DUE-0226284.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s)
and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.