Dr. Carol J.V. Fisher's Homepage

CAROL'S BLOG, 2011 Archive

(The cat talks, with a short message from me.
Click the ‘play’ button at the bottom left.)

Blog is short for weblog (weBLOG).
Check here to see the latest information about my site (and, occasionally, about my life in general).

Thursday, December 8, 2011
I discovered that there was one missing right angle bracket on a <td> element in my TeX Commands in MathJax document, which caused the entire ‘R’ section to disintegrate; it has been that way for many months, since I haven't looked at this since I started my job at NAU. Sigh. I'm hoping to get back and finish up that document over the break.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I added an Amazon link to the top of each web exercise page, just below the search box. (I only had a link at the bottom of each page; and I suspect many people never make it to the bottom.) We'll see if this helps increase Amazon revenue. If I could just get some people to enter Amazon thru my site when they do their Christmas shopping—that would certainly be a Christmas gift for me!

Monday, October 17, 2011
Today, I typed ‘math cat burns’ into Google and my site was the top of the list! Woo hoo!
Took less time than I thought to have that phrase get to me.

It was a long weekend for the kids, so they all came up from Tucson, and we went to the Grand Canyon.
Bright Angel trail is glorious; I definitely want to return and hike the whole thing.
On the way home, we stopped at the Lava River Cave just outside of Flagstaff—so cool (in level of enjoyment, and temperature-wise)!

Monday, October 3, 2011
So much for keeping up with my blog!
With my new job at NAU, and GETTING MARRIED!! I haven't had an entry in a long, long time.
I am now Carol JVF Burns; I married Ray Lawrence Burns on September 23, 2011.
I've just started to transition my site over to the new name—it will take a while for the ‘Burns’ part to get into the Google rankings.

Monday, August 22, 2011
A user pointed out some worksheet printing difficulties in both Firefox and IE; there is no toolbar present, so she is unable to print these pages.
Adding in ‘toolbar=1’ to the javascript that creates the worksheet window allowed her to print in IE, but still not in Firefox.
I added this code into my Multi-Step Exponent Law exercise.
If this window is left open, then subsequent worksheets (from different exercises) should be put into the same window, thereby giving the benefit of the toolbar.
In Chrome you can right click on the title bar of the window to get a popup menu, and ‘Print’ is an option.
In IE, you can right -click in the main window, and you get a popup menu with a ‘Print’ option.
(Many thanks to Robin H. for the work in diagnosing all this printing info!)

I have completed through letter ‘B’ in updating the character code and class information style in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Saturday, August 20, 2011
Going back to put in the new character code and class information style in the earlier letters in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Friday, August 19, 2011
Finished the letters ‘W’, ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Saturday, August 13, 2011
Finished the letter ‘V’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Thursday, August 11, 2011
Finished the letter ‘U’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax.
Painful day—my wireless is working one instant, not the next, so it's difficult to get things done efficiently.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Finished the letter ‘T’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Friday, August 5, 2011
Finished the letter ‘S’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Finished the letter ‘R’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Finished the letter ‘P’ and ‘Q’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Monday, August 1, 2011
Finished the letter ‘N’ and ‘O’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Friday, July 29, 2011
At long last, back to the MathJax edits!
Finished the letter ‘L’ through ‘M’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax;
trying the class information in another location.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Moving to a new place, all alone, can be pretty scary (and physically and emotionally draining).
I arrived in Flagstaff, AZ on Monday, July 25, and have been extremely busy settling in.
It's a lot of work—even with just a tiny efficiency.
But, my new place is beginning to take on my character: I have Julia's tree sketch and some photos hung, I have a bed, I have internet, I have a mirror hung to practice dance, I've put together two new book shelves, and I've started to organize all my cords near my new corner desk space with velcro.
Also, my printer still works after 3 months of intense heat in a car (I've been dreading trying it out). Yeh!!
Once I start exploring all the hiking trails, and start my new job at NAU, I think I'm really going to like it here.
I'll know I'm really back on a ‘normal’ track once I resume my MathJax edits—I have six untouched edit emails from Davide Cervone to do.

Sunday, July 24, 2011
Tough day today.
Life can bring interminglings of intense joy and intense sadness.

Saturday, July 23, 2011
Finished the letter ‘F’ through ‘K’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Finished the letter ‘E’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax.

Monday, July 18, 2011
Karl arrived to visit for a couple weeks!

Sunday, July 17, 2011
Finished the letter ‘D’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax;
started a table of big operators, to illuminate the differences in changing size and placement of limits.

Saturday, July 16, 2011
A magical dancing/singing day.

Friday, July 15, 2011
Finished the letter ‘C’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax;
included a user-supplied  \cancel  macro from code supplied by Davide Cervone in the MathJax User Group.
Also, realized my passport expired a few days ago.
It's easier than I thought it would be to renew: Renew Passport

Thursday, July 14, 2011
My dancing partner has returned!
We're trying to finish the cross-step waltz before I head up to Flagstaff, but it may be a bit too ambitious.
Finished the letter ‘B’ edits in TeX Commands in MathJax, and came up with a way of handling the delimiters that I'm satisfied with.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Finished the symbol edits, and the letter ‘A’, for my TeX Commands in MathJax document (except for a complete delimiter list).
Decided to go with the phrase ‘braced group’ instead of ‘braced environment’.
Am adding in correct $\,\rm\TeX\,$ classes (e.g., ORD, BIN, REL) for each element.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Finished the first email of edits from Professor Cervone, for my TeX Commands in MathJax document.
This first email included a lot of entries that had initially been skipped—so I was creating them for the first time.
My hope is that subsequent edits will go more quickly.

Monday, July 11, 2011
Davide Cervone, the lead developer of MathJax, has sent me copious edits on my TeX Commands in MathJax document; he is amazing.
So, I'm leaving JSXGraph behind until I get all these edits squared away.
This document is going to be far superior due to Professor Cervone's efforts, and I owe him a multitude of thanks.

Sunday, July 10, 2011
Tweaked my homepage to highlight a couple exercises, for people who are short on time and want a quick look.
Finally finished the attributes discussion: general attributes

Saturday, July 9, 2011
Still working on the attributes discussion: general attributes
This is a laborious, tedious web page, but I'm gaining a good understanding of these attributes
(particularly the relationship between stroke and fill) in the process.
Have linked to this page from my other JSXGraph pages.

Friday, July 8, 2011
I've fought all day with the best way to present information about general attributes for JSXGraph.
I tried a multitude of different formats and comparisons, and finally decided to just allow (almost) everything to vary,
and let the user choose what they want to see.

Thursday, July 7, 2011
Got a good link to my site, from Accessible STEM Information. Yeh!
I removed the ‘plus one’ from my Algebra I Table of Contents, because it seemed to be causing very slow load times.
Added a ‘matrix transformation’ discussion to my JSXGraph Commands document,
as well as a discussion about combining transformations, and the ‘bindTo’ method.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Added the ‘reflect’, ‘rotate’ and ‘shear’ transformations to my JSXGraph Commands document.
Shear was difficult: I wanted to illustrate the shear angle, but was unsuccessful in working a conditional test into the ‘angle’ command (to get the desired acute angle);
so I resorted to using a black triangle to mark the angle.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Added a discussion of matrix notation for a conic section to my JSXGraph Commands document.
Finished a basic example, translations, and scalings for the ‘transformations’ element.

Monday, July 4, 2011
Added the ‘group’, ‘spline’, and ‘turtle’ elements to my JSXGraph Commands document;
these are in the reference card, but weren't listed in the API reference.

Sunday, July 3, 2011
JSXGraph version 0.90 is not behaving well for me, so I've decided to keep using and documenting version 0.83.
I also decided to use my own copy of MathJax (residing on my own server), instead of using the CDN;
this way, I can rest assured that the pages will behave the same at all future points.
I added footers to my JSXGraph pages.
I finished documenting all the board attributes that I could get to work, and added new material to the point and slider discussions.

Saturday, July 2, 2011
I'm not being successful in figuring out the zoom attributes for the JSXGraph Board Attributes.
No matter what I set, nothing seems to change (even when I click the zoom buttons on the navigation menu).
Well... in the process of researching this, I discovered that a new version of JSXGraph (0.90) was released in June 2011.
(I've been working with version 0.83rc4 for my documentation.)
So, I've downloaded it, and I need to now go back through all the JSXGraph docs that I've done so far, see what has changed,
and adjust my documentation.
I've also gone back to a really short (15-second) ‘support me’ video.

Friday, July 1, 2011
Working on JSXGraph Board Attributes.
Also, made chocolate chip cookies for tomorrow's picnic/BBQ at Arizona Ballroom Dance;
you can use all butter (for the delicious flavor) and still get soft (not crispy) cookies,
providing you mix just enough to combine the ingredients (don't overmix!), and don't overbake.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Finished the ‘text’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document,
including a discussion about using MathJax to get proper mathematical notation within JSXGraph.
This completes the elements listed in the JSXGraph API Reference;
next, I'll go through the JSXGraph Reference Card and fill in capabilities that have not yet been discussed.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Finished the ‘tangent’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Monday, June 27, 2011
Finished the ‘sector’, ‘segment’, ‘semicircle’, and ‘slider’ elements in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Sunday, June 26, 2011
Finished the ‘riemannsum’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.
This Latin Dance Study Guide looks interesting; I want to keep track of this link.
Also, I purchased the Pocket Salsa app (from www.addicted2salsa.com) for my iPod Touch, and love it;
I can download the short instructional videos, and then bring my iPod to dances with me, and review steps while I'm there.

Saturday, June 25, 2011
Finished the ‘polygon’, ‘reflection’, and ‘regularpolygon’ elements in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Friday, June 24, 2011
Busy week!
I spent several days up in Flagstaff, finding a place to live for when I begin my new job teaching at Northern Arizona University in August.
Went to the Chamber of Commerce, and got both a local map, and a map of the urban hiking trails—there are about 50 miles of them.
I tent-camped at the newly-renovated Pine Flat Campground about 15 miles south of Flagstaff.
You can hear some street noise from all the sites, but other than that, it was perfect.
Nearby showers are pretty expensive—\$4.00 each.

By the way, after this Flagstaff trip, I decided that I have to break down and get the air conditioning repaired in my car.
I need a new compressor, some new hoses, and a new belt.
It's not a luxury here—it's a matter of survival.
(Almost $1200... sigh... but it's done, and it feels great.)

Finished the ‘point’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document; learned a bit about homogeneous coordinates in the process.

Purchased a belt-clip/arm-band for my iPod Touch so I can listen to my own music while practicing dance in the studio,
and while walking and hiking.
I had to turn off the Shake to Shuffle feature (settings--music) since my movement kept changing songs.

Sunday, June 19, 2011
Finished the ‘perpendicular’ and ‘perpendicularpoint’ elements in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Thursday, June 16, 2011
It's so nice having a new computer keyboard (I was having some sticky keys, and several keys were unidentifiable with symbols worn off).
It was covered under my AppleCare program—I have loved this program, and will never purchase a MAC without it.
While my computer was in the shop, I was using my iPod Touch to process emails—good to have it as a back-up, but a whole lot harder.
Based on the most recent discussions in the MathJax User's Group, I wrote up the  \Rule  command in TeX Commands in MathJax, and modified the  array  environment to include optional vertical separators between columns.
Finished the ‘parallel’ and ‘parallelpoint’ elements in the JSXGraph Commands document;
again seemed to reach the limit for the number of boards on a page, and had to create a third document.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
My computer has been in for repair, and I've had an opportunity to do a lot more-than-usual dancing practice;
so now I need to get back to work!

Saturday, June 11, 2011
I finally truly understand the connection between hips and knees for the Cuban motion. Big breakthrough!
I've decided to document my progress with the Cuban motion here.
Also, I've drawn the ‘curve’ (a series of three, moving, infinity symbols) that the hips pass through as the rumba step is traversed with Cuban motion.

Finished the ‘parabola’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.
Added a link to the parabola lesson in Algebra II; and put a link from the Algebra II lesson back to this dynamic parabola exploration.

Friday, June 10, 2011
Finished the ‘otherintersection’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Thursday, June 9, 2011
Absolutely fascinating revelation today.
I wear a natural frown: that is, when I'm totally relaxed and at rest, both ends of my mouth distinctly turn down.
Reading the blog entries below is like reading about my entire life.
Especially in airports, I'm frequently approached by people who tell me that ‘it's going to be okay’—I clearly come across as being upset and anxious.
You're never fully dressed without a sneer
a natural frown
a long line of frowners
Also fascinating is that it has taken me over fifty years to focus in on this!
The dancing has helped my discovery—many people are saying ‘smile, this is fun’—and I'm having a ball, but it just doesn't show.
So now, I can say something like “I'm fine, thanks for your concern—I have been blessed with a natural frown!”
By the way, I've searched the web for facial exercises to try and ameliorate this situation, but haven't yet had much success.

Finished the ‘mirrorpoint’ and ‘normal’ elements in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Finished the ‘midpoint’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.
The ‘locus’ element seems to require server-side functionality which I don't know how to implement, so I'm skipping it for now.
I came across these articles in trying to (unsuccessfully) locate information on getting server-side JSXGraph functionality:
JSXGraph—dynamic mathematics running on every device
I quote from this article:
Now, mathematics education faces the challenge that most of the existing web-based software for dynamic mathematics is implemented in Java. But a Java plug-in will not be available on most of these new machines [tablet computers/iPad/iPhone]. Without suitable good software the new hardware is useless for learning mathematics in class room.

With the project JSXGraph (3) at the University of Bayreuth we tried to take up this challenge and offer first class dynamic mathematics software that runs on every device including smartphones, netbooks, tablet computers and Desktop PCs. Moreover, the goal is to provide compatibility for existing resources for mathematics education.

Here's another article I don't want to lose: Interactive SVG with JSXGraph

After about a month (I started dance lessons on May 10, 2011), I feel like I'm finally beginning to get the Cuban motion!
I've had to work really hard to make my hips and rib cage move in ways that they just never moved much before!
(And, I just learned that I can make a short movie with Photo Booth, so I can keep track of my progress on the Cuban Motion with little clips!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Finished the ‘line’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Monday, June 6, 2011
Finished the ‘intersection’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Sunday, June 5, 2011
I want to check out this Bezier curve primer when I get a chance (it has just been upgraded to use MathJax).

Saturday, June 4, 2011
I'm helping my daughter move—so yesterday, today, and tomorrow are very busy days.
(Carrying boxes back-and-forth for hours in almost 100 degree weather is quite an experience.)
Finished the ‘integral’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Friday, June 3, 2011
Finished the ‘incenter’ and ‘incircle’ elements in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Thursday, June 2, 2011
I put the Google ‘+1’ code on the table of contents for my Algebra I course (just released yesterday, but was unable to get the code snippet then).
I also plus-one'd MathJax, JSXGraph, Number Gossip, Wolfram Alpha...
Worked on the ‘image’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.
I'm continuing work on my Dance page; have now included links to music for different types of dances.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Rabbit, rabbit, everyone!
Was out at 5:30 AM to walk—can't walk outside for most of the day in Tucson—just way too hot.
I've really been missing my walks (even though I'm getting plenty of exercise with dancing.)
It was glorious this early—cool, quiet, not too much traffic; there were actually lots of people working out at a nearby park.
Updated my monthly stats for May.

Continuing work on the JSXGraph Commands document: ‘grid’ doesn't seem to be working; completed ‘hyperbola’.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Added information to my TeX Commands in MathJax document on the processing behavior for environments,
based on today's email from the MathJax User's Group.

I like this discussion on finding your own dance style.
And, this dance-modeling-math is cute!
And, I'm fascinated by Labanotation, a notation for recording dance.

Worked on the ‘glider’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.
There's supposedly a  startAnimation()  method for gliders, but I wasn't able to get it to work.

Monday, May 30, 2011
Worked on the ‘ellipse’ element in this second JSXGraph Commands document.
There seems to be a limit on the number of boards and/or boxes that can be processed on the same page.
I reached a point where I continually got a ‘slow script’ warning, even though I knew all my code was fine.
When I broke the code off into a separate page, it worked fine.
So, looks like I will need to have several different pages, rather than all on the same page.

Sunday, May 29, 2011
Worked on the ‘curve’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.
By the way, here's my strategy:
  • first, go through all the elements in the API documentation
  • then, go through the JSXGraph Reference card and put in additional info
  • finally, skim through each of the examples to see if anything new emerges and to document useful techniques
I stumbled onto this, and just have to keep track of this link—who knows when I may end up with an audience who would appreciate this!?!
romantic happiness maximizing strategy

Saturday, May 28, 2011
Put the link to my guestbook back on my homepage;
I wasn't going to renew it, so had removed the link.
Then, I decided to renew it—but never put the link back!
So, I've been paying for it for months, and it was nowhere in sight—sigh.
Worked on the ‘conic’ element in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Friday, May 27, 2011
Worked on the ‘circle’ and ‘circumcenter’ elements in the JSXGraph Commands document.
Decided not to document the ‘circumcircle’ element, since it seems redundant with ‘circle’, and doesn't seem to support Radius().
Also, the ‘circumcirclearc’ element doesn't seem to work.

Thursday, May 26, 2011
Finished the ‘B’ elements in the JSXGraph Commands document,
and figured out how the ticks work for the axis element.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Finished the ‘A’ elements in the JSXGraph Commands document.
Decided to add at least one method to each entry, and to put on labels that agree with the code.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Started on the ‘A’ elements in the JSXGraph Commands document.

Monday, May 23, 2011
Continuing with my JSXGraph Commands document;
implemented the ability for the user to type in and process sample code.

Sunday, May 22, 2011
Chanced upon this cool little ‘Ruby on Rails’ tutorial: http://tryruby.org
Besides it being a good short intro, I love the interface—
the user is constantly DOING stuff in the upper part, while being given instruction and suggestions in the lower part.
And, you don't have to DO exactly what is said—it can be creative DOing.
This seems like it would be a great model for my MathWICs.

Thursday, May 19, 2011
I'm getting a reasonable start on my new JSXGraph Commands document.
It takes a while to get a new project going—lots of decisions about what I want to say,
how I want to organize things, how I want to present things visually.
(Plus, I am being consumed with dance these days—group classes, private lessons, practice-practice-practice,
documenting my insights and findings on my dance links page.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011
Finished ‘V’, ‘W’, ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’, with cross-referencing and fine-tuning, in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Now, it's off to Davide Cervone (lead developer of MathJax) to correct/comment/revise as needed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011
Finished ‘Q’, ‘R’, ‘S’, ‘T’, and ‘U’ with cross-referencing and fine-tuning in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Friday, May 13, 2011
Finished ‘N’, ‘O’, and ‘P’ with cross-referencing and fine-tuning in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Thursday, May 12, 2011
Finished ‘M’ with cross-referencing and fine-tuning in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Done through ‘L’ on cross-referencing and fine-tuning in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Started compiling useful dance links that I'm finding on the web, together with things that I need to remember and practice.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Done through ‘G’ on cross-referencing and fine-tuning in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
This is taking much longer than I anticipated.

Monday, May 9, 2011
Working on cross-referencing and fine-tuning in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Decided to indicate when something is a math operator (since it affects the spacing);
also, I want to make sure I note which delimiters are stretchy (with \left and \right).

Also, I'm taking lots of dance lessons while here in Tucson.
For my entire life, I've wanted to be able to dance—to hear a song, and know something to ‘do’ to it—and not look spastic in the process.
Several other attempts in my life have been unsuccessful.
Particularly at this point in my life, it will be good for my mind, my body, and my spirit.
So—one more time, with feeling.

Saturday, May 7, 2011
Done with the glorious week in Sedona;
now back with my daughter in Tucson for a while.

Friday, May 6, 2011
I'm late getting my April stats up. Here 'tis!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Finally finished the environments, and thus I'm done with the first pass through everything in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Now, I'll go back thru, make things more consistent, and put in more cross-referencing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I re-did my ‘support me’ video, and also put a link to it from my homepage.
Now, it's 48 seconds instead of 27 seconds (and I hope that doesn't scare too many people away).

I got to hold two tarantulas (a male and a female; they crawled over my hands),
and I got to have a gopher snake (Samantha) coil around my neck—
at an event offered by the place I'm staying in Sedona.
What a fantastic experience!
Someone was wonderful enough to take photos and email them to me:


Monday, May 2, 2011
Did a long hike, the Girdner Trail, here in Sedona.
It's a 4.6 mile trail—I went out and back, so there's 9.2 miles there.
To get to the trailhead and return home is about another mile.
The trail isn't marked particularly well, and I got lost at one point and added on about another 3 miles.
All together, I went 12.98 miles and 27,478 steps, according to my pedometer.
It was an incredible day; almost no one else was on the trail, the sun was shining, but it wasn't too hot.
An absolutely glorious hike.

Sunday, May 1, 2011
Yesterday, I headed up to Sedona.
I was told about a ‘Phoenix bypass’—from (north)west on 10, head east on 202, then north on 101, then north on 17.
SO much better (for me) than driving through the heart of Phoenix.
This will make the Tucson to Flagstaff area trip much nicer for me (in case I end up doing it on a regular basis).

I just tried Wii for the first time! So much fun!
I tried both tennis and ping-pong; it was comforting to see that I was much better at ping-pong (something I play quite well)
than tennis (which I don't really play).
You can really get exercise with this, and it is an amazingly realistic experience.
Oh—so much math inside, too! Today's technology is always astounding to me.
Speaking of math inside, my daughter introduced me to this iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app: Artree
It creates fractal-like trees; since I have such a love affair with trees, I absolutely adore this app.

As soon as I get a bit settled here in Sedona, I should then have a few days to get back to work,
finish up the TeX environments, and then proof-read and cross-reference.

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Spent most of the day on campus with my daughter—met friends and faculty, saw her office, the linguistics lab, a favorite coffee shop...
Biked in and back (and did an exercise video in the morning before leaving).
Wonderful day!
Also, finished ‘V’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax (except for some cross-referencing).
This finishes the letters—only the environments left to go (for the first pass).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I arrived in Tucson!
Haven't seen my daughter for almost a year—so we hugged for a looonnnggg time!

Here are the stats for (most of) the last leg of my trip (it doesn't include from Flagstaff down to Tucson):
1170 miles, 36.557 gallons, $137.48 spent on gas. So:
  • I averaged 32.3 miles per gallon (yeh, good 'ole Honda Civic with almost 190,000 miles!)
  • gas averaged \$3.76 per gallon;
    the most I paid was \$3.99/gallon; the least I paid was \$3.66/gallon
  • The average gas cost was about 12 cents per mile

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I-40 heading west into Flagstaff is gorgeous—you can see the snow-capped peaks in the distance,
and the trees get bigger and bigger as the miles go by.
I stopped at Walnut Canyon National Monument (about 12 miles outside of Flagstaff) to hike—what a treasure.
I bought the \$80 “America the Beautiful, National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass”—I quote from www.nps.gov:
This pass is available to the general public and provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee for a year, beginning from the date of sale. The pass admits the pass holder/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, at per person fee areas.
I want to take full advantage of the Grand Canyon and places like Walnut Canyon while I'm here! And, I can take friends with me!

Monday, April 25, 2011
Made it to Oklahoma City, OK yesterday; arrived in Albuquerque, New Mexico today.
West on Route 40 is absolutely beautiful, particularly through New Mexico.
Hit unbelievable winds about 80 miles east of Albuquerque—could barely keep myself upright!
Getting gas was crazy—couldn't put down the gas cover, or it would be blown away.
Reaching for the gas nozzle, the wind would blow the gas input door closed!
And, getting in and out of my car, I had to be extremely careful, or the wind would slam the door on me.
I have never experienced winds like this in my life! I was thankful for my very full car.
All I kept thinking was—they definitely need a wind power generator here.
And, yesterday (Sunday) was all-day rain, thunder, lightning; even some hail.
There were several episodes with sheets of rain so intense that I had to crawl;
my wipers couldn't keep up, and I could barely see the road. Serious weather.

Tuesday should be an ‘easy’ day—only about 350 miles into Flagstaff!

Saturday, April 23, 2011
Finished ‘S’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Also put names (<a name="..."> ... </a>) on every command, to prepare for lots of cross-referencing once I've finished the first pass.

Will be out of commission for a few days now, as I continue my trek to Arizona.

Friday, April 22, 2011
Working on ‘S’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax (another long one).
Also edited Tooltips, based on excellent suggestions from Davide Cervone.

Thursday, April 21, 2011
Finished ‘R’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Also wrote up a Tooltips document, summarizing a recent topic in the MathJax User's Group.
The math-content tool tips are appearing far away from the cursor, however, so some fix is required.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Finished ‘N’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Finished ‘M’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
(Of course, things are never really finished.
I'll keep improving things, getting better examples, better explanations, and more cross-referencing, as time goes on.)

Monday, April 18, 2011
Arrived in Branson, Missouri yesterday—absolutely lovely here!
This is basically the half-way point.
I've been given a gift of a week at a timeshare here—I'm in heaven—quiet, beautiful, fast internet, good cell service.

My route to Branson was basically:
  • south on Route 8 from Monterey, MA to Branford, CT (to visit a colleague)
  • west on 84 (Connecticut, New York)
  • south on 81 (Pennsylvania)
  • west on 68 (Maryland, West Virginia)
  • south on 79 (West Virginia)
  • west on 64 (West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri)
  • west on 44 (Missouri)
  • south on 65 to Branson (Missouri)
No tolls. Except for construction, great roads.
We have an amazing interstate system.
Here are some stats for this leg of my trip:
1492 miles, 43.572 gallons, $166.16 spent on gas. So:
  • I averaged 34.2 miles per gallon
    (with my *really* full car, I'm thrilled with this)
  • gas averaged \$3.81 per gallon;
    the most I paid was \$3.99/gallon; the least I paid was \$3.59/gallon
  • The average gas cost was about 11 cents per mile
Also, at long last, finished the excruciatingly long letter ‘L’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax!

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Route 68 through Maryland and West Virginia is beautiful.
Traveling west in the spring is lovely—the redbuds are in bloom all over the countryside.
Much less traffic than other times I've done this—I wonder if some of this is due to the really high gas prices.

Friday, April 15, 2011
I'm driving out to Tucson, Arizona!
So, I haven't gotten any computer work done in a few days getting ready for the trip;
and I've got a few more days of driving before I can get back to work.
(Did almost 550 miles today!)
The letter ‘L’ is still in progress...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Finished ‘T’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Monday, April 11, 2011
Finished ‘U’, still working on ‘L’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Sunday, April 10, 2011
Finished ‘O’ and ‘P’, still working on ‘L’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Saturday, April 9, 2011
Working on letters ‘O’ and ‘L’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Friday, April 8, 2011
Very busy day; got up early to finish letter ‘I’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Also sent an email in order to receive notifications about changes in the CDN and Terms of Service (ToS) for MathJax.
Right now I only have one page served by the CDN, but this may change in the future.

Thursday, April 7, 2011
Finished letter ‘H’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Finished letter ‘G’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Fixed formatting, so that when I have ‘logical groupings’ with more than one entry per row,
all corresponding information is aligned from column-to-column.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
My daughter was awarded a 2011 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program fellowship!!!!
(yeppie, that's the official title)
YEH!! I'm SOOO PROUD OF HER!!!! Go Julia!!!! Woo hoo!!!!

Another busy day, so I was happy for another short letter;
finished letter ‘E’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Monday, April 4, 2011
Very busy day today, so skipped to the really short letter ‘F’!

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Finished ‘D’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.

Saturday, April 2, 2011
Did more work on the spacing commands.
Finished ‘Q’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax (only two entries), and finished ‘C’.

Friday, April 1, 2011
Switched to the version 1.1 list of TeX commands; I had been working from the version 1.0 list.
So, I had some revising to do for this switch-over.
Spent a lot of time working on a discussion of arguments versus braced environments for the { } entry.

Finished the letters ‘J’ and ‘K’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Finished up the ‘non-environment’ ‘B’ letters.
Updated my monthly stats for March.

Thursday, March 31, 2011
Finished the letters ‘W’ and ‘X’ in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Continued progress on the letter ‘B’.
I spent a massive amount of time on the  \begin{align} ... \end{align}  entry;
this should make the other begin/end environments much easier.

I also created a new short screencast, to show users how they can change the renderer to HTML-CSS,
to (possibly) improve the viewing experience in Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Finished the letters ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ (only one entry each!) in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Made good progress on the letter ‘B’ (which has many entries).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Finished the letter ‘A’ TeX commands in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
Decided to put a yellow background on the syntax for the commands; I think I like it.

Saturday/Sunday, March 26/27, 2011
Removed the cute little Voki ‘talking cat’ from my homepage (but I left it on this blog).

Worked on the Symbols section in TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
I like tiny code snippets on this main page; we'll see how the loading performance does as the page gets bigger and bigger.
Worked on the header; created a smaller logo for me that matches the height of the MathJax logo.
Improved my ‘type in code’ form so that pressing tab or return automatically processes in display mode;
it's a pain to always need to click a button.
Decided to use folding show/hide div sections where I want to give a bit more information about a command,
but not necessarily enough to merit an entire new web page.

Friday, March 25, 2011
I've put a link to my new videos in the header material on each of my pages.
Now, I'm starting my next project: TeX Commands Available in MathJax.
I want to have all the available commands (with a brief description of each) listed on the same page:
this way, people can search a single page to locate what they need.
In particular, I want to show every single symbol (e.g., \alpha $\alpha$ and \cap $\cap$) next to its command.
With hundreds of symbols on the same page, we don't want to be concerned with slow load times.
So, Davide Cervone (lead developer of MathJax) gave me a wealth of information about how to locate the characters used by MathJax,
and then use CSS @font-face commands to put them in the document.
So, I've been getting all this set up.

On the Syntax for TeX Commands in MathJax page, my spacing examples for the various length units weren't working properly.
Absolute measurements (like inch) were showing a difference depending on the environment (font-size, superscript level),
perhaps due to the delineating ‘$\,|\,$’ character being used.
Davide Cervone solved this issue, too. (He's absolutely brilliant!)

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Have re-recorded all three of my videos, to remove all the warnings about the special environment needed,
and to have the videos agree with the new look of my site.
I also created a new, fourth, video that talks about some of my other offerings,
like my SAT and MCAS materials, JSXGraph, and so on.
Recording these 5-minute videos gives me deep appreciation for what goes into making a movie!
They take a long time to get something that I'm pleased with.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Updated both Perimeters and Areas of Similar Polygons and
Two Special Triangles to add the new style and sequencing info.
I also put examples in both sections.

This finishes the major updates for my entire site! Woo hoo!
I've been working steadily on these updates since May 28, 2010.
I'm very happy to be done!

Simplified my homepage a bit; got rid of the left-most column.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Updated both Area Formulas: Triangle, Parallelogram, Trapezoid (style and sequencing info only) and
Similarity, Ratios, and Proportions.
I had a serious mistake in this last file—argh.
One of the proportions in the ‘equivalent proportions’ theorem was incorrect;
it's likely that I was cutting, pasting, and modifying, and then forgot to erase my ‘template’.
So, that error has been there a long time. I hate when that happens.

I'm proof-reading the Version 1.1 documentation for MathJax.
I love proof-reading, I'm learning loads, and I'm contributing a bit to that fantastic project.
There are some things that I haven't been doing in the best way, like how I'm processing my dynamic math for the randomly-generated exercises.
I'll fix these on my next pass through my files, while I'm switching over to the CDN (Content Distribution Network).
(Soon, I'll be starting on the $\rm\TeX$ documentation, since I'm now only two files away from completing my updates to MathJax!!)

Monday, March 21, 2011
Updated Introduction to Area and Perimeter.
Added more images, discussion, and web exercises.

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Updated Parallelograms and Negating Sentences.
Added lots more images and discussion, outlined a proof of the theorem, and added lots of links to other sections.

Saturday, March 19, 2011
I ran into a subtle situation while updating Parallel Lines.

First of all, what exactly does ‘$\,A\Leftrightarrow B\Leftrightarrow C\,$’ mean?
Recall that ‘$\,1 + 2 + 3\,$’ has meaning due to associativity:
$\,(1 + 2) + 3 = 1 + (2 + 3)\,$, and hence parentheses can be dropped due to lack of ambiguity.

Equivalence of sentences is indeed associative:
$\,(A\Leftrightarrow B) \Leftrightarrow C\,$ is indeed equivalent to $\,A\Leftrightarrow (B \Leftrightarrow C)\,$.
So, is ‘$\,A\Leftrightarrow B\Leftrightarrow C\,$’ an abbreviation for one of these?
(I believe the answer has to be ‘yes’.)

Notice (check this) that ‘$\,(A\Leftrightarrow B) \Leftrightarrow C\,$’ is not equivalent to ‘$\,(A\Leftrightarrow B)\text{ and } (B\Leftrightarrow C)\,$’.
Consequently, ‘$\,A\Leftrightarrow B\Leftrightarrow C\,$’ is not equivalent to ‘$\,(A\Leftrightarrow B)\text{ and } (B\Leftrightarrow C)\,$’.

Now, when you have a theorem of the type TFAE (The Following Are Equivalent)
followed by (say) $\,A\,$, $\,B\,$, and $\,C\,$, this means ‘$\,(A\Leftrightarrow B)\text{ and }(B\Leftrightarrow C)\,$’.

I had mistakenly referred to a theorem of this type using the incorrect ‘$\,A\Leftrightarrow B\Leftrightarrow C\,$’.
I've corrected this, and I learned something in the process.

Friday, March 18, 2011
Updated More on Exterior Angles in Triangles.

Thursday, March 17, 2011
Updated Is there an ‘SSA’ Congruence Theorem? No!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Updated Practice with Two-Column Proofs.
Expanded the concept discussion considerably, adding in lots of information about the geometric mean.
Added in lots of links to relevant sections.

Saturday, March 12, 2011
Updated Relationships between Angles and Sides in Triangles.
Expanded the concept discussion, and added in lots of links to relevant sections.

Friday, March 11, 2011
Updated Triangle Congruence.
Expanded the concept discussion, and re-formatted things a bit better.

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Updated Equivalence Relations.

MathJax is now available from a distributed network service, so people can use MathJax without having their own server.
Even if someone has their own server, using the distributed network service saves the effort of installing a copy, and keeping it updated.
This is wonderful!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Updated Angles: Complementary, Supplementary, Vertical, and Linear Pairs.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Updated More Terminology for Segments and Angles.

Monday, March 7, 2011
Moved a copy of the Pythagorean Theorem into the Geometry folder, and adjusted it as part of the Geometry sequence.
I put in a note to the reader that this lesson also appears in Algebra I; if they studied it there, quickly review, and move on.

Adjusted my sitemap. I went through every single line.
Put homepage, tables of content, vita at priority 1.
Put all content pages at priority 0.8.
I put all the pdf (content) files at 0.6.
I put all pdf (solution) files at 0.4.
Put the HTML course at priority 0.5.
Put unused pages at priorities 0.01, 0.10, and 0.20.
All gsp files are at 0.01.
Got rid of the lastmod and changefreq tags.

Sunday, March 6, 2011
Updated Introduction to the Two-Column Proof.
This was mostly done; it just needed some tweaks, new style, and sequencing information.
I put in many useful links to earlier sections.

I went back to Logical Equivalences and Practice with Truth Tables
and added in information about tautologies, including a short discussion of the common difference of usage in the words ‘identity’ and ‘tautology’.

Saturday, March 5, 2011
Updated GeoGebra Worksheet: Bisecting an Angle and associated files.

Running into some problems getting WordPress working on my server;
the one-step Fantastico install was incredibly easy—but didn't work.
There are some database issues, that my server is checking into.

I realized today that I didn't need a two-step process for my Jing ‘support me’ video—silly me.
I just created a text link to Amazon; this is the link users can drag to their desktop or toolbar.
So, I re-did my video, and it's now only $\,27\,$ seconds, instead of $\,33\,$ seconds!

Friday, March 4, 2011
Finally solved my ‘.htaccess’ problems.
I've been noticing some really old pages showing up in search engines;
I didn't want to just delete them up at the server, because I didn't want my users to get a 404 error.
I simply wanted to redirect them to a more appropriate page (like my homepage).
All my web research was leading to a simple solution—putting a line like:
Redirect permanent thisfile.htm http://www.onemathematicalcat.org
in a ‘.htaccess’ file—but this just wasn't working.
Finally I discovered, in the cpanel of my server, a dedicated redirect tool (arrgghh—wish I had looked there first).
After looking at the ‘.htaccess’ file that it created, I now understand why my attempts didn't work—
they seem to require a bunch of escape characters and some special code.
Oh, why do some things take so long? (sigh)
I probably spent about ten hours, over a bunch of days, on this.

Updated Constructions and GeoGebra Worksheet: Copying a Line Segment and an Angle and associated files.

Thursday, March 3, 2011
Updated Applying Logical Equivalences to Algebraic and Geometric Statements.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Updated Logical Equivalences and Practice with Truth Tables.

I'll probably be uploading WordPress to do the MathJax documentation.
(I'm checking with my server to see if I can use Fantastico to do a quick-and-easy install.)
One side benefit I'm contemplating—perhaps I can end up using it for my guestbook, and save about \$40 per year!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Rabbit, rabbit, everyone!
Updated Proof Techniques.

Davide Cervone showed me this really cool tool where you can draw in a symbol,
and it helps you locate the corresponding LaTeX command.
Try it out!
I am constantly amazed at the wonderful resources that are out there.

Realized that my Geometry worksheets all said ‘Topics in Algebra II’ instead of ‘Topics in Geometry’ (oh, the dangers of cut-and-paste).
I've gone back and corrected them all.

Updated my monthly stats for February.
Also put in archive links to monthly data for 2009 and 2010.

Monday, February 28, 2011
Updated Contrapositive and Converse.
Decided to discuss the fact that English sentences like ‘if a creature is human, then it has a brain’ are really ‘for all’ sentences in disguise.

I'm also starting to work on some documentation for the TeX/LaTeX commands in MathJax, as a contribution to that open-source project.
After all these years, MathJax has finally made this site available to the world, and I'd like to give back in some small way.

I'm getting a bunch of errors that look like this:
Unable to post message to http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net. Recipient has origin http://www.onemathematicalcat.org.
And, sometimes, the pages are really slow to load.
Very frustrating, and don't know what I can do about it.
I wonder if this is affecting my AdSense earnings?

Sunday, February 27, 2011
Updated ‘If... Then...’ Sentences.

I also spent a lot of time updating Worksheet: Introduction to Dr. Fisher's Web Site,
since this file seemed to be appearing high in search engine results for the phrase ‘math cat fisher’ (who knows why).
I now have two good ‘Substitute Teacher Folder’ worksheet activities for teachers, which I've added to my main Table of Contents.

Saturday, February 26, 2011
Updated GeoGebra Worksheet: Quadrilaterals.
I re-created the GeoGebra ‘jar’ files and such, because they were years old, and I want users to have a new version.
They do seem to load much more quickly; and I finally figured out how to get rid of the error message that was plaguing me!

I spent a lot of time updating my entire interactive slide show.
I've wanted to do this for a long time—while I was in a ‘cleaning-up’ head, just decided I'd get it done.
The end changed considerably, to put both MathJax and JSXGraph in the timeline!

Friday, February 25, 2011
Updated Quadrilaterals.
When native MathML is used (either in Firefox, or in IE via MathPlayer),
the line segment bar doesn't extend over something like $\,\overline{AB}\,$.
This is another instance of the familiar ‘stretchy’ problems.
When I re-do my videos, I need to remember to inform my users that they can change the renderer (if desired) to HTML-CSS.

I'm finally coming back in Google's search (though not very high up, yet, for some of my common phrases).
As my pages ‘re-emerge’, I'm taking this opportunity to clean things up.
I've done some research into page redirects;
if some older pages show up in the search engine rankings, then I want to either update the page, or re-direct them to a more appropriate page.

Thursday, February 24, 2011
Updated Interior and Exterior Angles in Polygons.

If you need a break, watch some of the TED Talks.
From their page: “TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.
It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.”
Two fantastic TED talks that are worth watching:
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Updated Introduction to Polygons and associated files.
(I've been distracted with the Google situation.)

‘Fetch as Googlebot’ is no longer returning ‘unreachable’ for my pages, so that's a positive start.
But, I'm still nowhere in sight on any Google rankings.
My Webmaster Crawl stats (which had been flat at zero for several days) showed a massive spike, so it seems they're at least crawling me again.
If I did get ‘wiped out’ by some error, I sure hope I don't have to start all over again in building my search engine rankings.
I guess the next few days will be an interesting experiment.
What I have learned—Google brings me a lot of traffic. (Thank you Google!)
Without them, days that I usually get about 2000 visitors are now down to about 700. Sigh.

I used this Free Sitemap Generator to create my site map, which worked great.
It located a bunch of errors for me—I had all my slashes going the wrong direction in my pinball table of contents, which caused a slew of errors. Arrgh!
Also, there were miscellaneous link errors, which I fixed.
And, links that were commented-out in code seemed to cause issues, so I removed these from the code.
My pdf files all seemed to turn up as ‘last modified in 1970’ which certainly isn't the case, so I fixed these in the site map.
It took several hours to fix everything, but hopefully next time I generate a site map, there will be many fewer errors!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Every time something goes wrong with my site, I end up learning something (which is great).
(Reminds me of what I'm always telling my students—learn something from your mistakes, so they're not wasted!)
With all the research I was doing after I disappeared off the face of the earth (with respect to Google, that is),
I learned about Google Webmaster Tools and sitemaps.
(I'm now in the process of creating a sitemap for my site, which I'll then submit to Google and other search engines.)
‘Fetch as Googlebot’ is returning ‘unreachable’ for all my pages; I need to figure out what's going on.

Sunday, February 20, 2011
Updated GeoGebra Tutorial: GeoGebra Basics.

Also, Google seems to have dropped me completely.
This happened a few days ago, then I ‘was back’, now I'm gone again.
Phrases where I'm usually consistently near the top—now I'm nowhere in sight.
I've read all the Google Webmaster Guidelines, and can't conceive of anything that I've done wrong.
Am checking with my server to see if something's going on at that end.
Also, it's a long weekend, so my hits are down dramatically from that.
Combined—absolutely miserable stats over the past few days!

I did some research, and ‘verified’ my site with Google.
With Google Webmaster Tools, I found out that I have 12,788 links to my
Writing Fractions in Simplest Form page from classblogmeister.com. Whoa.
Does seem to be a legitimate teacher/student blog site.

Saturday, February 19, 2011
Updated Segments, Rays, Angles and associated files.
I expanded the concept section considerably, to include a discussion about ‘comparing’ arbitrary geometric figures.

Friday, February 18, 2011
Updated GeoGebra Worksheet: Triangles.
I haven't worked with framed documents in a while, so I had to go back to my HTML course and review some concepts.

Thursday, February 17, 2011
Updated Introduction to GeoGebra.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I updated the first Geometry exercise, Beginning Terminology: Points, Lines, and Planes.
Also adjusted the Geometry Table of Contents to the new style.

Monday, February 14, 2011
I hope you're all sharing Valentine's Day with people you love!

I updated Introduction to Polynomials,
which completes the update of my Topics in Algebra II.
Now, on to Geometry!

Sunday, February 13, 2011
Updated Introduction to Exponential Functions.
Only one web exercise away from being done with the Algebra II updates!!

Friday, February 11, 2011
Updated Introduction to Logarithmic Functions.
Almost done with the Algebra II updates!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Updated Change of Base Formula for Logarithms.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Updated Properties of Logarithms.
The last few days have been very busy with ‘life stuff’.

Sunday, February 6, 2011
Updated Introduction to Logarithms.
Expanded/improved the concept discussion considerably, and put in information about evaluating logs at WolframAlpha widget.

Saturday, February 5, 2011
Finished updating Equations of Circles.
Expanded/improved the concept discussion, and put in another WolframAlpha widget.
The widgets are extremely easy to create, and the instructions are superb.

Friday, February 4, 2011
I embedded my first WolframAlpha widget in a web page!
I just tweaked an existing widget from the WolframAlpha Gallery:
made it a pop-up, so students can move it around while they're reading the lesson;
restricted the output to a graph, solutions, and number line visualization of solutions.
Take a look:   Solving Absolute Value Equations

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Updated Arithmetic with Complex Numbers.
Did some coloring of MathJax elements, which was very easy and effective.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Updated my monthly stats.
Decided to also include the number of pages per visit;
not only am I getting more unique visitors, but I'm also keeping them around longer.
I think the sequencing info I've put in has helped with this.

Updated Complex Numbers.

Monday, January 31, 2011
Last night and today, I went through every file updated so far, to check that the <title> tag on the worksheets was correct.
I was noticing that some were incorrect (due to cutting-and-pasting while updating, and forgetting to change that information).
All fixed now!

Updated the Quadratic Formula.
Added some more detail to the derivation.

Sunday, January 30, 2011
Updated Algebraic Definition of Absolute Value.
I again did a major expansion of the concept discussion,
including information on piecewise-defined functions.

Saturday, January 29, 2011
Updated Quadratic Functions and the Completing the Square Technique.
I again did a major expansion of the concept discussion.

Friday, January 28, 2011
Updated Equations of Simple Parabolas.
I did a major expansion of the concept discussion;
I'm quite pleased with the results.

Thursday, January 27, 2011
Updated Parabolas.
Took out the Geometer Sketchpad links; I'll eventually replace them with JSXGraph activities.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Updated Graphical Transformations: All Mixed Up.
Finally archived 2010 (see below).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Updated Reflections and the Absolute Value Transformation.
My daughter reminded me of the ‘print to pdf’ feature in Safari,
so you can easily transform any web page to pdf.
I may want to eventually create a link to a pdf version of each of my web pages.

Monday, January 24, 2011
Updated Graphing Tools: Vertical and Horizontal Scaling.
There were 93 cases, so it took a long time.
I do a lot of the ‘grunt work’ pre-processing with AppleScript (e.g., stripping <m:math> tags and such),
but I still need to go through every line and fine-tune.

Sunday, January 23, 2011
Figured out what is causing the MathML errors mentioned in prior days.
I have an extra ‘mrow’ element that is not closed in all the places exhibiting problems.
Evidently, when I originally coded this, MathML/MathPlayer were more ‘forgiving’ about this error, so I never realized the mistake.
Subsequently, it must have gotten stricter.
So, I'm going to take today and go through all my remaining non-updated exercises in Algebra II and Geometry and fix them,
so people can use them (in the correct environment) while I'm finishing the updates to MathJax.

Okay: Algebra II all fixed.
There were only a few files with problems; and just a few fixes in each file.
It's amazing how just one or two mismatched mrows caused so much red!

Okay: Geometry is all checked.
There was only one file with a problem—and it was a different problem.
I feel better now! Now I can enjoy my second cup of tea!

Saturday, January 22, 2011
Updated Graphing Tools: Vertical and Horizontal Translations.

As mentioned below, the MathML on this (original) section was all messed up.
I guarantee it was working flawlessly when I uploaded it;
I always do thorough checks.
So, I'm quite confused—and glad I'm getting these sections updated!

Friday, January 21, 2011
Updated Multiplying Matrices.

Very strange. As I'm updating my Algebra II exercises, I'm getting a lot of MathML errors when the original pages are viewed in the proper environment (PC + IE + MathPlayer).
Did MathML evolve in a non-backward-compatible way, rendering my old code incorrect?
Do I need to download a new version of MathPlayer? I haven't updated in a long time.
Anyways, this is very disconcerting, because I absolutely hate the idea of people going to my pages,
in the correct viewing environment, and seeing garbage.
However, all of Algebra II will be updated within the next couple weeks, so the problem will soon be resolved.

Thursday, January 20, 2011
Updated Basic Arithmetic with Matrices.
I also learned that my ‘support me’ video (which has a ‘.mov’ extension) doesn't work on some computers.
So, I uploaded an alternate version, created with Jing, as an alternative.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Updated Introduction to Matrices.
It took a bit of work rewriting all my matrix functions from MathML to TeX syntax.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Updated Solving Systems using Elimination.
Expanded the concept section considerably.
This marks the halfway point in my updates of the Algebra II curriculum!
Realized that the link to my Terms of Use was broken in the Algebra II curriculum;
I hadn't checked these footer links. Sigh. Have now corrected it for all files.

The equations in the systems were too crunched, vertically, in both IE and Firefox.
So, I put an extra linebreak between them—decided that a bit too much space is better than not enough.

Also updated Simple Word Problems resulting in a System of Equations.
This section also appears in the Algebra I curriculum, so most of the update work had already been done.

Along the way, I noticed that my worksheets were displaying ‘A First Course in Algebra’
instead of ‘Topics in Algebra II’, so I went back through all my Algebra II updates to date and fixed this.

Also updated a couple of my web pages mapping MCAS objectives to my web exercises.

Saturday, January 15, 2011
Updated Solving Systems using Substitution.
Expanded the concept section considerably.
Showed people how easy it is to solve systems up at wolframalpha.com.
I'll return later on and put in dynamic graphics with JSXGraph;
for now, though, I want to get the basic updates done as quickly as possible.

Thursday, January 13, 2011
Updated Introduction to Systems of Equations.
Expanded the concept section considerably.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Updated Measures of Spread.
Expanded the concept section, added in several examples, and increased the variability in the problem set.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Updated Mean, Median, and Mode.

Monday, January 10, 2011
Updated Summation Notation.
Since I put up the 35-second video a few days ago, I've gotten a few Amazon purchases.
Videos seem to work well on the web.

Sunday, January 9, 2011
Updated Combinations and Permutations.
The prescript is a bit lower than the postscript on expressions like $\,{}_nP_k\,$, which I don't like.
Even if I use   \phantom   (look at the source code), it doesn't fix the problem: ${\phantom{P}}_nP_k$
At some future time, I may re-visit this.

Saturday, January 8, 2011
Updated Factorial Notation.

Added in the yearly average number of pages per visitor to my web site statistics.
Although I didn't have anywhere near as great a percentage increase for unique visitors from 2009 to 2010,
I'm keeping them around a lot longer; the average number of pages per visit more than doubled.
I'm certain this is due to the emergence of MathJax on my site (still in progress).

Friday, January 7, 2011
Put the new style on Probability Tree Diagrams.
(It had already been updated to MathJax/XHTML/CSS.)
Updated Choosing Things: Does Order Matter?

Added a link to a nice mathematical discussion of the Stick-or-Switch strategy.
Working on a one-sheet ‘Berkshire Hill Cottage Information’ to keep on the refrigerator,
for at-a-glance access to the most important information about our rental home.
Put together a First Aid Kit for the Hill Cottage.

Thursday, January 6, 2011
Updated More Probability Concepts.
Also put a 35-second video on my support page, showing people how they can
drag the Amazon link to their desktop and thus support me every time they shop.
Also delivered my box of Calculus books to LMMHS;
I had bought about twenty used books through Amazon that I used for years in my classes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Updated Basic Probability Concepts.
Did a major expansion of the concept discussion.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Updated Advanced Set Concepts.

Monday, January 3, 2011
Updated Composition of Functions,
including a GeoGebra worksheet.

Sunday, January 2, 2011
Updated Graphical Interpretation of Sentences Like $\,f(x) = g(x)\,$ and $\,f(x) \gt g(x)$.
Also put up my new monthly and yearly statistics.

Saturday, January 1, 2011
Updated Graphical Interpretation of Sentences Like $\,f(x) = 0\,$ and $\,f(x) \gt 0$.



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