This site is primarily designed as lecture materials, but it is equally suited as tutorials for individual study. Much of the material consists of text and graphics in a large font for easy viewing; the materials for a given topic are presented as a series of web pages with easy navigation. Some of the sections include glossaries of terms, applications, and more; all are very nicely presented. The interactive parts are provided by LiveMath and Macromedia Flash, which are interspersed throughout the site. The two broad areas of ?basic maths? and ?calculus? are divided into subcategories that include algebra, logarithms, trigonometry, graphs, complex numbers, statistics, differentiation, integration, and higher calculus. These subcategories include 28 chapters of materials and are linked to nearly 200 pages of mathematical content.
Type of Material:
Lecture/Presentation with interactive simulations and animations.
Classroom demonstrations and student tutorial resource
Requires browser plug-ins for LiveMath and Macromedia Flash. Note: Authors warn that the LiveMath plug-in does not always work well with IE 6.0 and suggest using Netscape.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Demonstrations in lectures, through the use of text, graphics, and interactive visualizations, of much of the material usually covered in college algebra, pre-calculus, and first-year calculus. Tutorial use of the site is also highly appropriate.
Target Student Population:
Students taking a course in college algebra, pre-calculus, or first-year calculus.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
This site assumes only that students are competent in basic algebra.
This extensive site contains a wealth of demonstrations/tutorials illustrating both theory and applications of material from college algebra through first-year calculus; there are a few sections beyond first-year calculus: differential equations, Fourier series, and Laplace transforms. The presentation of content is consistently well thought-out with concise, accurate, and clear explanations. The graphics and interactive components from LiveMath and Macromedia Flash are particularly well done and effective in illuminating the mathematical content. Extras, such as the Millionaire Calculus Game and photographs of real-life practical applications, round out this excellent learning/teaching resource.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This is a well-designed, mathematically accurate, technologically dependable demonstration/tutorial site that should be useful as a complement to traditional courses in college algebra, pre-calculus, and first-year calculus. Because many of the content pages contain supplementary exercises complete with solutions, this site should benefit students wanting additional explanation and practice in the subject matter.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This site is easy to navigate. The LiveMath and Macromedia Flash plug-ins install readily and reliably. Despite a warning by the authors that the LiveMath Plug-in would not work well with Internet Explorer, reviewers observed very little trouble except as noted below; the authors do encourage the use of Netscape.
No search feature is provided on-site (however, there is an externally powered search feature that does an adequate job of searching the site). Some of the LiveMath examples are not as interactive as they could have been. Also,
the reviewers encountered some instances of Internet Explorer 6.0 hanging up.
Other Issues and Comments:
At least one of the reviewers plans to use this site in his teaching.
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