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# Peer Review

by Gang Xiao

## Ratings

### Overall Rating:

Content Quality:
Effectiveness:
Ease of Use:
 Reviewed: Jun 12, 2008 by Mathematics Overview: This is a tool to multiply two matrices. It also evaluates any polynomial in 2 variables where the variables represent two matrices or their inverses. Learning Goals: To multiply two matrices without having to perform any calculations. Target Student Population: Linear algebra students or college algebra students who are working on matrix multiplication. Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: An understanding of matrices and the basics of matrix algebra. Type of Material: Simulation Recommended Uses: It can be used as a tool to quickly multiply matrices during in-class presentation or as a part of a homework assignment. Technical Requirements: Requires a "Java-enabled" browser.

### Content Quality

Rating:
 Strengths: This is part of a larger WIMS site that includes specialized calculators from several areas of mathematics. This learning object primarily calculates the product of two matrices. Other polynomials where the variables are the matrices or their inverses can also be evaluated. The learning object also has the ability to send the result to a companion learning object called Matrix Calculator that can further examine the result. The companion site gives the rank, determinant, eigenvalues, etc. Concerns: When there are fractions in the inverse matrix, the numbers overlap, making it difficult to read the actual numbers. There is a small typo in the instructions.

### Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating:
 Strengths: This calculator quickly produces the product or the evaluated polynomial. It can be used as a tool to quickly multiply matrices, so that the arithmetic does not get in the way of the learning. The site has links to Wikipedia explanations of the terms related to matrix multiplication and other sites that are less related. Concerns: It relies on Wikipedia links only for instruction. An instructor would need to create a worksheet with explanations and exercises in order for students to effectively learn from this tool.

### Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating:
 Strengths: The instructions are short and easy to follow. When a matrix is inputted incorrectly, there is a simple warning message that attempts to explain why the input was incorrect. When two matrices are of incompatible dimensions, there is an error message that states that the sizes are the matrices are not compatible. The import button that sends the result to the companion program is very simple to use and works perfectly. Concerns: None.
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