EWH
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:22 pm

Do others have ideas for good educational programs to be included with Raspberry Pi?

Here are two I think are indispensable:
Frink http://futureboy.us/frinkdocs/
and GAViewer http://www.geometricalgebra.net/gaviewer_download.html

Frink is a full-featured programming language for physical computations which runs on the JVM and has both a terminal-like interface as well as a standard program editor. It's what I use more than anything else for short programs and computations. It has virtually replaced the desk calculator and spreadsheet for me.
From Alan Eliasen's site:For those with a short attention span like me, here are some of the features of Frink:

Tracks units of measure (feet, meters, tons, dollars, watts, etc.) through all calculations and allows you to add, subtract, multiply, and divide them effortlessly, and makes sure the answer comes out correct, even if you mix units like gallons and liters.

Arbitrary-precision math, including huge integers and floating-point numbers, rational numbers (that is, fractions like 1/3 are kept without loss of precision,) complex numbers, and intervals.

Advanced mathematical functions including trigonometric functions (even for complex numbers,) factoring and primality testing, and base conversions.

Unit Conversion between thousands of unit types with a huge built-in data file.

Date/time math (add offsets to dates, find out intervals between times,) timezone conversions, and user-modifiable date formats.

Translates between several human languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Swedish, and Arabic.

Calculates historical buying power of the U.S. dollar and British pound.

Calculates exchange rates between most of the world's currencies.

Powerful Perl-like regular expression capabilities and text processing.

Supports Unicode throughout, allowing processing of almost all of the world's languages.

Supports Interval Arithmetic (also known as Interval Computations) in calculations, allowing you to automagically calculate error bounds and uncertainties in all of your calculations.

Reads HTTP and FTP-based URLs as easily as reading local files, allowing fetching of live web-based data.

Runs on most major operating systems (anything with Java 1.1 or later,) as an applet, through a web-based interface, on a wireless Palm VII, on an HDML- or WML-based webphone, and on many mobile phones and hand-held devices.

Installs itself on your system in seconds using Java Web Start and automatically keeps itself updated when new versions of Frink are released.

Runs with a Graphical User Interface (Swing, AWT, and Android) or a command-line interface.

User interface has a Programming Mode which allows you to write, edit, save, and run extremely powerful programs even on a handheld device.

Frink has a simple but powerful system for drawing graphics which are resizable, support transparency and anti-aliasing, and can be printed or written to image files.

Graphics can also have exact lengths, so that a 3-centimeter line is three centimeters long when printed.

Powers Frink Server Pages, a system for providing dynamic web pages powered by Frink.

Frink is a full-fledged programming language with arrays, dictionaries, sets, functions, loops, even object-oriented programming and self-evaluation.

Frink allows Object-Oriented Programming, which allows you to create complex data structures that are still easy to use.

Java Introspection layer allows you to call any Java code from within Frink.

Frink can also be embedded in a Java program, giving your Java programs all the power of Frink.

Did I mention it's free?

Unfortunately, it is not open source, but it is both mature and under constant development (multiple updates per week, on average).

Another great program for education is GAViewer. It is open source, and Linux editions are are available. It is usable and fun even for late elementary-school students. It is a graphical calculator for Geometric Algebra (GA), which is the most powerful and adaptable sort of math for physical applications. It is a mathematical lingua franca that unites all of the dialects of maths for physics and graphics. It unites and replaces vectors, quaternions, differential forms, complex analysis, many linear algebra and tensor applications, and homogenous and conformal systems. It fosters physical intuition and visual learning and can be used at different levels by students from middle school to post-graduate work. It is powerful and concise: for instance, it condenses the full, relativistic form of Maxwell's equations into just 4 symbols. It also works well in every other area of physics, including quantum mechanics.

Some GA connections:
Professor David Hestines of the U. of Arizona originated GA as it is today (an adaptation of Grassman and real-valued Clifford Algebras). The American Association of Physics Teachers awarded him the Oersted Medal in 2002 for this work.

The other developer of Elite, Ian G.C. Bell, has written a free book on Geometric Algebra: "Maths for (Games) Programmers" http://www.iancgbell.clara.net.....ths/online (but the encoding of the HTML math requires using something like Netscape 4.79).

The primary research group in GA was at Cambridge University, but their output has fallen since they all formed a company a few years ago, Geomerics, which produces real-time radiosity lighting applications for the games industry, dramatically improving the appearance of many games such as Elite's descendant, Eve Online .

Professor Leo Dorst of the U. of Amsterdam, who co-wrote not only GAViewer, but also the best textbook in the field: Geometric Algebra For Computer Science, An Object Oriented Approach to Geometry and heads the most productive current research group in GA, was the co-winner of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association's 2005 prize for work which combined GA with wave mechanics to produce robot-path planning and dynamic collision-avoidance software which is so efficient that it can deal with robots of many degrees of freedom in real-time while using just the power available in embedded processors such as the ARM.

http://www.geometricalgebra.net has links to both the GAViewer program and the associated tutorials.

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liz
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:05 pm

Thanks - that's very useful.
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Val67
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:32 pm

Also : GeoGebra

MrUmunhum
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:38 pm

I found Kahn Academy very helpful.
http://khan-academy.appspot.com
The author of this site is a genus!

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liz
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:49 pm

You're not the first person to point us at Khan Academy - we're definitely looking into it. I've been very impressed with what I've seen so far.
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Mark Hudson
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:20 pm

This just appeared on http://www.talkphysics.org but is relevant here if Python is going to be used.

http://www.google.com/edu/comp.....ssons.html

Mark

bruceD
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:53 pm

Am I the only fan here of Wolfram Alpha the maths search engine?
It's online, it's free, it's backed by Mathematica, and has virtually every math algorithm ready coded. The creators are sitting on and using constructively several billion, so don't need to charge. When Stephen Wolfram wrote A New Kind of Science, he alone was already doing cutting edge research in 20 different fields.
Wolfram Alpha needs no extra hardware or software or training. And the huge Demonstrations pack is mind twisting.

jamesh
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:43 pm

Quote from bruceD on August 16, 2011, 16:53
Am I the only fan here of Wolfram Alpha the maths search engine?
It's online, it's free, it's backed by Mathematica, and has virtually every math algorithm ready coded. The creators are sitting on and using constructively several billion, so don't need to charge. When Stephen Wolfram wrote A New Kind of Science, he alone was already doing cutting edge research in 20 different fields.
Wolfram Alpha needs no extra hardware or software or training. And the huge Demonstrations pack is mind twisting.

I have it on a link on my browser bar, but don't use it as much as I should. It pretty good although getting a 'search' term right can be a pain.
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liz
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:45 pm

I use it for maths, music and…seismology (seriously). Have to say, I don't use it much. As Jamesh says, it's a pain in the backside getting the search terms right.
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ukscone
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:59 pm

Quote from liz on August 17, 2011, 19:45
seismology (seriously).

I didn't know that there were that many earthquakes in the cambridge area.

jamesh
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:02 pm

Quote from ukscone on August 17, 2011, 19:59
Quote from liz on August 17, 2011, 19:45
seismology (seriously).

I didn't know that there were that many earthquakes in the cambridge area.

There was one epicentred in Lincolnshire a couple of years back that made my house shake (in quite a scary way at 2am), although I am a bit north of Cambridge.
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liz
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:21 pm

I was up, doing some half-arsed work with a glass of wine, when that one happened. I worried I'd drunk far more than I realised until I noticed the standing waves in my glass! A friend with a newly built house that hadn't really settled yet ended up with a massive crack in the wall. They're uncommon, but they do happen in the UK.
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mateli
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:39 pm

I have drooled a bit over Microsoft Mathematic/Math which i was unable to test as it refuse to run under Wine. It is basically a on-screen scientific calculator targeting students.

A clone of it for Linux would be awesome, preferably with a lot less hardware requirements...

bblhedtchr
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:48 am

I use Khan Academy, GeoGebra and ThatQuiz.org in my classes; though with 6th graders getting them actually practice their basic math skills can be difficult. There are some games at coolmath-games.com that reinforce the skills, but the best program I have found to get them to actually practice has been the old Math-Blasters series.

langlo94
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:42 pm

Quote from MrUmunhum on August 5, 2011, 18:38
I found Kahn Academy very helpful.
http://khan-academy.appspot.com
The author of this site is a genus!

sorry I just have to say this:

Khaaaaaaaan!

Nightsurfer
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Re: Science and Maths programs

Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:17 am

Quote from ukscone on August 17, 2011, 19:59
Quote from liz on August 17, 2011, 19:45
seismology (seriously).

I didn't know that there were that many earthquakes in the cambridge area.

http://www.cambridge-news.co.u.....eshire.htm
;)

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