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In this paper interactive exercises on matrix algebra have been presented. A special user interface tailored for linear algebra has been designed to let the students communicate directly with the Mathematica kernel. With the aid of a random number generator, Mathematica will propose simple problems for students to answer.

The educational goal of this package is to give the students a training environment where they may (at least partly) check whether they have understood given theoretical results, concepts, decompositions, algorithms, numerical methods, and so on. Randomly generated exercises make it impossible to use rote memory only and necessitate somewhat more profound studies. The authors have taken care to guarantee that the questions and answers are given only in integer numbers and matrices. This guarantee will ease numerical computations and also help in checking the answers. In addition to numerical data, check boxes and radio controls can be used to feed back qualitative information on matrices.

This package has been successfully included as a part of a hypermedia course on matrix algebra at our university. Currently it is running on the Macintosh environment, but PC and Unix versions will be available in the future. The authors' purpose is to add new types of exercises and to develop sets of questions to assess the level of students' mathematical knowledge.

Converted by Mathematica      October 5, 1999

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