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Monday, May 22, 2006

TI-nspire™ CAS+

Texas Instruments recently announced the introduction of a math-learning software specifically designed for teachers and students in secondary school mathematics. Its name is TI-nspire™ CAS+ and is available both as a standalone device and as a software package.

In addition to improved computer algebraic system (CAS) functionality, the TI-nspire™ CAS+, solution provides the ability for users to view different representations of a mathematical concept at the same time. It brings together representations including graphing, interactive geometry, and mathematical spreadsheets. Graphs, geometric sketches, spreadsheets of problem-based data, mathematical figures/symbols and text are organized and dynamically linked. Upto four representations can be viewed at one time. For example, the student can view the problem’s description, the values and potential solutions, a graph plotting the data and the equations the student used to solve the problem. Any changes the user makes to one representation is automatically made to the others to help students see connections and build understanding.

Its development was the result of extensive feedback from educators worldwise requesting such functionalities. This is the first time these representations have been this tightly integrated together and made into very effective tools in teaching and learning procedure.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

MathCounts 2006 Competition

MathCounts is a national mathematics enrichment, coaching and competition program open to all middle-school students. For the last 23 years it's influencing lives of school students all over the nation. Each year, MathCounts develops an entirely new MathCounts School Handbook, meeting National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards for grades 6-8, and provides a complimentary copy to middle schools nationwide. More than 7 million students have participated in MathCounts activities since 1983.

This year's Lockheed Martin MathCounts National Competition was held on May 11 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. As many as 228 Mathletes competed in it. They represent more than 500,000 students who have participated in MathCounts at the school level. MathCounts brings together educators, youth, industry sponsors and volunteers to develop the mathematical skills of hundreds of students. More than 17,000 MathCounts volunteers from the business and education communities annually organize and conduct the program in communities nationwide. Local and state competitions are coordinated through the leadership of state and local chapters of the National Society of Professional Engineers.

This year Daesun Yim of West Windsor, New Jersy won the Champion title by answering the following challenging math problem in less than 45 seconds in the intense, one-on-one oral final Countdown Round:
A jar contains 8 red balls, 6 green balls and 24 yellow balls. In order to make the probability of choosing a yellow ball from the jar on the first selection equal to 1/2, Kerry will add x red balls and y green balls. What is the average of x and y? Answer: 5 (How many seconds did you take?!).

Friday, May 05, 2006


SALSA stands for Solvers for Algebraic Systems and Applications. It's devoted to designing and implementing algorithms for solving polynomial systems with coefficients in the field of the rationals or in a finite field, and whose dimension is either zero (finite number of solutions in an algebraic closure or in the complex field) or positive (infinite number of solutions).

Maplesoft and the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) and the Computer Science Laboratory of Paris 6 (LIP6) at the Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) are taking part in a cooperative research project centred on the SALSA group. Mathematical solvers developed by SALSA will be integrated into Maplesoft's software.

Polynomial equations are central to a variety of application areas including robotics, coding theory, cryptography, signal processing, image compression and biophysics. As part of the initiative, Maplesoft expects these powerful methods, well known under the names FGb and RS, to be a clear market differentiator for future releases of its products, including its flagship product Maple.

For more information visit homepage of SALSA