Open Education Resource Repository Links

  • Open education resources (OER) or open course wares (OCW) are everywhere you look.  Many have spent valuable time to make repositories of these courses where one can find links to several courses and these are everywhere as well.  So, when I was answering a recent survey on OERs, they asked users which repositories they had used.  I thought it would be good to have links to all the mentioned repositories, and they are given below.

And if you are wondering what an open education resource is, here is how Open Education Consortium defines it. “An OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a free and open digital publication of high quality college and university‐level educational materials. These materials are organized as courses, and often include course planning materials and evaluation tools as well as thematic content. OpenCourseWare are free and openly licensed, accessible to anyone, anytime via the internet.” Acknowledgement:  I would like to thank USF student Brain G for finding and entering the links.


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Maximizing the cross-section of a gutter

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Using Watu quizzes and Latex in WordPress

Many years ago, I modified a JavaScript code to develop online quizzes for Numerical Methods.  An example of that is here – right click to “View Page Source”. http://nm.mathforcollege.com/mcquizzes/01aae/quiz_01aae_introduction.html

The above quiz is adequate but looks vintage and I am currently in the process of migrating my whole numerical methods site to WordPress.  As part of this migration, I tried to update the JavaScript code to work on WordPress but that turned out to be above my pay grade.

After much searching, I found the WATU quiz plugin and am using it to redevelop the quizzes from scratch with much of the text being cut and paste from old quizzes.

WATU is quite versatile but I faced issues with rendering of the equations.  For that I use the WP-Katex plugin.  Simply put the equations between the  tagname latex in brackets []  followed by /latex in brackets [], and this shortcode works.  I would show an example to illustrate the use of the shortcode, but it gets rendered.  See usage here.

This use of latex shortcode worked well for the question statements in the quiz but when latex shortcode was put in the distractors, equations would show up with weird spacing.  This was resolved quickly by WATU support where they suggested to edit the WATU style.css file.  See https://wordpress.org/support/topic/latex-not-displaying-properly-in-multiple-choice-answers/ for the solution.  It worked.

Now, another Latex issue cropped up when a user would submit a quiz  and it shows the right answers to the user.  The equations written in Latex would not get rendered and instead it would show the linear form of the equations.   Those were resolved by going to general settings in the WATU quizzes and check marking quizzes to not use Ajax.

WATU is a complete solution for posting online quizzes on the web for student practice.  I am not using WATU to collect data or to assign a grade, but these capabilities do exist in WATU.

See the new version of the quiz I created now on WordPress: https://numericalmethods.autarkaw.com/quiz-chapter-01-01-introduction-to-numerical-methods-2/  Please do not bookmark the quiz as this is a test website and I will be migrating the test website to the original site (http://mathforcollege.com) by the time Fall semester starts.  This will create the least disruption to maintain legacy of open course ware.

Reducing ordinary differential equations to state variable matrix form

To be able to solve differential equations numerically, one has to reduce them to a set of first order ordinary differential equations – also called the state variable form.  By writing them in a matrix form, the equations become conducive for programming in languages such as MATLAB.  Here is an example of this reduction to state variable matrix form.

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Matrix Algebra: Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors

Many university STEM major programs have reduced the credit hours for a course in Matrix Algebra or have simply dropped the course from their curriculum.   The content of Matrix Algebra in many cases is taught just in time where needed.  This approach can leave a student with many conceptual holes in the required knowledge of matrix algebra. In this series of blogs, we bring to you ten topics that are of immediate and intermediate interest for Matrix Algebra. Here is the tenth topic where we talk about the eigenvalue and eigenvectors of a square matrix. Learn how to define and find eigenvalues and eigenvector of a square matrix, and get introduced to some key theorems on eigenvalues and eigenvectors.  Get all the resources in form of textbook content, lecture videos, multiple choice test, problem set, and PowerPoint presentation. Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors
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Matrix Algebra: Adequacy of Solutions

Many university STEM major programs have reduced the credit hours for a course in Matrix Algebra or have simply dropped the course from their curriculum.   The content of Matrix Algebra in many cases is taught just in time where needed.  This approach can leave a student with many conceptual holes in the required knowledge of matrix algebra. In this series of blogs, we bring to you ten topics that are of immediate and intermediate interest for Matrix Algebra. Here is the ninth topic where we talk about the adequacy of solutions of simultaneous linear equations. Learn how this adequacy is measured through the condition number of the coefficient matrix, and how the condition number is calculated approximately as well.  Get all the resources in form of textbook content, lecture videos, multiple choice test, problem set, and PowerPoint presentation. Adequacy of Solutions
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Matrix Algebra: Gauss-Seidel Method

Many university STEM major programs have reduced the credit hours for a course in Matrix Algebra or have simply dropped the course from their curriculum.   The content of Matrix Algebra in many cases is taught just in time where needed.  This approach can leave a student with many conceptual holes in the required knowledge of matrix algebra. In this series of blogs, we bring to you ten topics that are of immediate and intermediate interest for Matrix Algebra. Here is the eighth topic where we talk about solving a set of simultaneous linear equations using the Gauss-Seidel method.  Learn this iterative method of solving simultaneous linear equations, and its pitfalls and advantages. Get all the resources in form of textbook content, lecture videos, multiple choice test, problem set, and PowerPoint presentation. Gauss-Seidel Method
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