Maximizing the cross-section of a gutter

This post is brought to you by

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.

08.05 blog_Page_1

08.05 blog_Page_2

This post is brought to you by

 

 

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
This post is brought to you by

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
This post is brought to you by

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
This post is brought to you by

Synergistic Activities on NSF Proposals

The new 2019 NSF proposal guidelines effective February 25, 2019, have a change in how synergistic activities are reported. The change is described as follows.

Chapter II.C.2.f(i)(d), Synergistic Activities, has been revised to specify that a list should include up to five distinct examples that demonstrate the broader impact of the individual’s professional and scholarly activities that focuses on the integration and transfer of knowledge as well as its creation.”

The complete language is as follows.
“A list of up to five examples that demonstrate the broader impact of the individual’s professional and scholarly activities that focuses on the integration and transfer of knowledge as well as its creation. Examples could include, among others: innovations in teaching and training (e.g., development of curricular materials and pedagogical methods); contributions to the science of learning; development and/or refinement of research tools; computation methodologies and algorithms for problem-solving; development of databases to support research and education; broadening the participation of groups underrepresented in STEM; and service to the scientific and engineering community outside of the individual’s immediate organization.”

Well, for submission to an NSF grant due February 28, 2019, I revised my synergistic activities as follows. I want to know if this does or does not follow the guidelines. What would you change? I am having issues with the language of “list”, and “distinct”. Who can one contact at NSF for clarification? This does not seem to be a question for the program manager.

  1. Conducted four workshops on engineering education internationally during a 2018 Fulbright Specialist program at Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Malaysia.  The four topics were flipped classrooms, the scholarship of teaching and learning, massive open online courses, and improving student performance through learning strategies.
  2. Guest Editor, ASEE Advances in Engineering Education, Flipped Classrooms in STEM, 2016.  This special issue consisted of eight papers that showed how to implement and assess flipped classrooms in a variety of settings.
  3. Developed, revised, assessed and refined holistic and customized web-based resources on Numerical Methods (http://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu) and corresponding MOOCs on Numerical Methods and Introduction to Matrix Algebra.  The OCW receives 1,000,000+ annual page views, 2,000,000+ annual views of YouTube videos on NumericalMethodsGuy channel, 100,000+ annual views on Numerical Methods Guy blog.
  4. Developed a unique textbook (adopted by 70 universities worldwide) and accompanying software PROMAL for undergraduates on the topic of Mechanics of Composite Materials published in 1997 (first edition) and 2005 (second edition) by CRC Press. This includes continued development of PROMAL – instructional software package for Mechanics of Composite Materials since 1985. More than 80 universities and many self-study students all over the world use PROMAL. The textbook has been translated to Persian and Turkish.
  5. Designed open source software MCTestAnalysis for analyzing and refining multiple-choice tests based on the analytical framework developed by Jorion, et al (2016) used for the validity of concept inventories. The open source software includes results such as item difficulty, item discrimination, Cronbach alpha, model estimation, item characteristic curves, tetrachoric, and scree plots.