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S.O.S Mathematics - A Mathematics Help Site on the Internet – Helmut Knaust Nancy Marcus

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### S.O.S Mathematics - A Mathematics Help Site on the Internet –Helmut KnaustNancy Marcus

Math Medics, LLC P.O. Box 12395 El Paso TX 79913

January 8, 2002

El Paso TX

An Overview of the Web Site Itself

Philosophy & Design

The Building Blocks

A Short Visit

The “SOS CyberBoard”

A Brief History of Sosmath.com

From www.math.utep.edu/sosmath

… to www.sosmath.com

Resources and Technology Us

How to put Mathematics on the Web?

Publishing on a Commercial Server

What Else Do You Need to Get Started?

The Users of Sosmath.com

Usage and User Statistics

ContentsPhilosophy

SOSMath is the website at UTEP,

where you can work with material

to help you:

- Do your homework
- Prepare for a test
- Get ready for class

Vision

To Help Students Successfully Master their Mathematical Transition from High School to College

Target Audience

High School Students in their Junior and Senior Year

University Freshmen and Sophomores

Design Choices

SOSMath started in 1996 - Netscape 2.02 had just been released!

- Make the browsing experience as easy for the users as possible:
- No frames, no plug-ins
- Maximal browser compatibility
- Easy navigation
- Uniform look of the pages
- Keep bandwidth requirements low
- Allow for user feedback

A Short Visit tososmath.com

- Homepage
- Algebra
- Reducing fractions
- Solving equations with radicals
- Solving polynomial inequalities
- Calculus
- Concavity and points of inflection
- The Intermediate Value Theorem
- Differential Equations
- Orthogonal trajectories

Provides a valuable service to our users

Helps us interact with our users

Helps us to improve our site by accommodating user suggestions

Requires a considerable time commitment

Current bulletin board technology is not well-suited for mathematical notation.

The “SOS CyberBoard”Visit the SOS CyberBoard

“This is the point, where you should mention me!”

[From our team member Mohamed Khamsi,

Currently on leave at Kuwait University]

To Get Started…- A prudent design
- A sensible plan
- Time,
- More time,
- …And more time!
- A wonderful team!
- Some knowledge – not too much – of technology

Support

From 1996-1998 we obtained generous support from the following sources:

Network Resources Training Site (NASA) grant at UTEP

Model Institution for Excellence (NSF) grant at UTEP

College of Science

Department of Mathematical Sciences

How We Produce a SOSMath Web Page II

Step 1:Writing the content using LaTeX

Step 2:

Converting to html

Math formulas become images

How We Produce a SOSMath Web Page V

Step 5:

After some editing by hand, the page is ready to be put on our web site.

Alternative Technologies to Put Mathematical Typesetting on the Web I

- Math Type/Equation Editor
- Used with Microsoft Word
- Easy to use
- Used to have problems to properly align formulas
- URL: http://www.mathtype.com/
- IBM TechExplorer
- Uses a plug-in users have to download
- Very good looking!
- URL: http://www-3.ibm.com/software/network/techexplorer/

Alternative Technologies to Put Mathematical Typesetting on the Web II

- Math Markup Language - MathML
- Similar to html, ASCII text, embeds into html-page
- Current browsers cannot display MathML,
- With the exception being “Mozilla” at URL: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/mathml/
- TechExplorer can interpret MathML.

Interactive Mathematics on the Web

- LiveMath
- Uses a plug-in.
- Great for 3D-animations.
- Symbolic Mathematics capabilities are still somewhat limited.
- URL: http://www.livemath.com/
- WebMathematica
- Uses Java servlets.
- Mathematica is used as an authoring tool.
- Very versatile, but technically complicated
- URL: http://wri.com/products/webmathematica/
- Also available combined with web hosting at

URL: http://hostsrv.com/

Web Hosting

File Upload and Host Management:

- FTP protocol, using WSftp etc.
- Telnet protocol

Local Computer:

- Preferably a PC with Windows-OS
- Fast internet connection

Remote Web Host:

- Usually on a PC with Linux-OS
- May host 100s of web sites

To Get Started on a Shoe String Budget

- Web Hosting Service, $10-30 per month for a shared host
- Domain Name, $35 per year
- Software
- FTP client, $45
- Computer algebra system?, $200-1500
- Graphics editing software, $70-500
- Back-Up capability, $0-100

Popularity of Subject Areas

Data Source: Logfile Analysis, November 26 - December 2, 2001

Age Distribution of Users

Data Source: Survey November 2000, 352 participants

Occupation of Our Users

Data Source: Survey November 2000, 352 participants

More User Information

Data Source: Survey November 2000, 352 participants

Country of Origin

Data Source: BurstMedia, December 7, 2001 – January 4, 2002

The end

How to contact us:

Mohamed A. Khamsi

Helmut Knaust

Nancy Marcus

Math Medics, LLC P.O. Box 12395 El Paso TX 79913

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