Electronic Proceedings of the Tenth Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics

Chicago, Illinois, November 6-9, 1997

Paper P013

Intelligent Help at Every Step: The Impossible Mathematical Dream?

John C. Miller

Department of Mathematics
The City College of CUNY
New York, NY 10031
Phone: (212) 650-5148

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Current commercial basic algebra courseware packages feature multi-media segments and course management capabilities, but do not support step-by-step solutions to problems and for many topics do not offer nearly the number and variety of exercises found in typical algebra textbooks. The Algebra Courseware Project offers xyAlgebra, a basic algebra courseware package accepting step-by-step solutions to most problems and offering intelligent help at every step. Such help is provided by problem solving algorithms which permit the program to help the student finish each problem by the student's method, beginning wherever the student encounters trouble. More than 500 problem forms are included, allowing xyAlgebra to generate tens of thousands of distinct problems to help students develop their skills incrementally. A site license for the complete xyAlgebra package is available free of charge to educational institutions from the author.

Keyword(s): college algebra, software