Mathematica Journal
Volume 10, Issue 1


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The Xmath Calculator
Odd Bringslid

Xmath [1] and dMath [2] are projects supported by the European Commission through the Minerva Action (Xmath) [3] and the Leonardo da Vinci program (dMath) [4]. These programs seek to promote European cooperation in the fields of open and distance learning (Xmath) and vocational training (dMath). A pedagogic calculator [5] is being developed using webMathematica [6, 7] in connection with these programs. This calculator gives intermediate steps for calculations in a wide range of applications (integration, differentiation, algebra, equation solving, and so on). An expression is broken down and analyzed by Mathematica packages that have been developed to work with webMathematica. Rules that are familiar from hand calculation are given and so are the intermediate results. The user may scroll to look at a number of levels (the first level is the first hint) and then continue by hand. In the same way as an expression may be broken down into different levels, so can the calculation steps. This gives structured output, as a professor would do it on a blackboard, stating the rules at each level. The output in webMathematica may be written as MathMLForm, giving a non-image format that can be rendered in Internet Explorer using proper style sheets. One of the main ideas of Xmath is implementing MathML [8] in general web pages containing mathematical expressions. The dMath project creates a database of mathematical modules using the SciLas system developed in the project. The Xmath calculator is connected to the database modules and will be further developed in dMath.




*The Xmath Project

*The dMath Project

*Xmath Step-by-Step Calculator


About the Author
Odd Bringslid is an associate professor at Buskerud University College, Norway. He has also been the leader of the EU projects Xmath (2002-2004) and dMath (2003-2006). From 1981-1983, he was the leader of governmental educational projects, and a third-party developer for Hewlett Packard calculators (1992-1994). He has also received several scholarships including a 1995-1997 post-doctoral scholarship.

Odd Bringslid
Department of Technology
Buskerud University College
Frogs vei 41 3603 Kongsberg, Norway

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