The Need for a New Computer Algebra Software System

I have been intrigued and amazed by computer algebra systems since I first did simple algebra problems on an Apple II (I don’t remember the name of the program, though). The set of systems that we have available is quite amazing, yet, I think that we are missing some important tools.
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Tulsa Homeschool Expo – How and Why to Teach Computer Programming

This weekend was the Tulsa Homeschool Expo – thanks to everyone who came out to see us! We had a great time, and got to share with homeschooling parents our vision for how they can better raise the next generation of adults.
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Fossil Forensics is Currently Amazon’s #1 New Release in Paleontology

We are proud to announce that our recent title, Fossil Forensics: Separating Fact from Fantasy in Paleontology is currently Amazon’s #1 New Release in Paleontology! Have you ever wondered what is real and what is hype regarding the various fossil finds described in the media? This book has your answers.

You can currently purchase the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Get New Programmers Start Here with an Amazon Discount Code

It’s Prime day! You can buy New Programmers Start Here or any other book from Bartlett Publishing today for $5.00 off of the everyday price at Amazon.com. Click on the link below and enter in the discount code of PRIMEBOOKS17 during checkout to receive your discount!

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New Programmers Start Here at Rainbow Resource

We are happy to announce that Rainbow Resource, one of the leading providers of homeschool educational materials, is now carrying our programming book, New Programmers Start Here!

New Programmers Start Here is an introduction to computer programming that is specialized to the needs of homeschool students in junior high and high school who have no prior computer programming experience. It teaches the history of computers, the basics of how the Internet, the web, and HTML works, and how to program the computer using the JavaScript programming language.

The New Programmers Start Here website contains numerous resources to go with the book, including videos and handouts.

Rainbow Resource maintains an inventory of only the highest quality classroom materials, and we are honored that they are carrying our products.

See New Programmers Start Here at Rainbow Resource

Spring 2017 – Week 15 Class Notes

Dear students – thank you all so much for a great year! We explored quite a bit of new ground together, and I am proud of each one of you. I have not yet graded your finals / final projects yet, but I did peek at them, and I am fairly certain that every one of you that made it to the end finished well.

I am out of town this weekend, so will not likely finish your final progress reports until next weekend, but you should know now that I only have good things to say about all of you. All of you stepped it up this last semester and did very well.

Spring 2017 – Week 14 Class Notes

Programming

This is your last week to finish your cart programs! We saw several great ones in class this week. Email me if you have any questions. Please bring your PRINTED programs to class. You should have the code printed as well as a printout of your page in action.

Electronics

This week we did a transistor amplifier. Next week is the finals. It will be very similar to your last quiz, plus a few things from the previous semester.

Calculus

This week we reviewed Taylor series as well as finding rotation volumes. Next week is the final – good luck!

Spring 2017 – Week 13 Class Notes

Programming

This week we covered JavaScript frameworks, specifically JQuery. As mentioned, a framework is simply a collection of predefined functions and objects that make life easier for you to help you accomplish your tasks.

In JQuery, they use a function named $ as a “magic function” which determines what it should do based on its parameters. If the first parameter is a CSS selector, it grabs all HTML elements that match that selector. If the first parameter is an HTML string, it creates HTML elements and text content to create the string. You can then do all sorts of things with the resulting values.

Information about the JQuery framework is available on the website jquery.com.

No homework this week – just focus on getting your cart done! It is due in class on May 17, but it wouldn’t hurt you to turn it in next week! Here’s what I would like:

  • A printout of the code
  • A printout of the cart in action (i.e., with stuff in your cart)
  • A short printed paragraph describing the cart’s operation

If you aim for being done by this Wednesday, you can ask better questions in person.

Electronics

This week we started looking at BJT transistors as current amplifiers, and built a circuit where a transistor controls a motor. We even visualized the inductive kick of the motor with an LED. I will have a new chapter for you this weekend on voltage amplification, and I *think* we will do an audio amplifier next week. The last week we will have a short exam, and may do a small project in-class.

Calculus

This weekend I will try to have the chapter on Taylor series done. Next week we will go over Taylor series and maybe catch up on a few loose ends.

Spring 2017 – Week 12 Class Notes

We are getting towards the end – keep up the good work!

Programming

This week we worked with Google Maps API to put a marker on a map, and do things when the marker is clicked on. We learned a bit about API keys, and that certain APIs require generating a key to verify who is using their system. We talked about JavaScript vs. web (XMLHttpRequest) APIs. We also discussed the “defer” keyword in a script tag for running a script after the HTML page is processed by the browser. The getting started guide for Google Maps is here. It is very similar to the program that we did in class, but it is all in one file.

Also check out their tutorial on Adding a Marker to a map.

The Google API key we used for class is
AIzaSyC7GVgqtLehWpNQ6-0ryq3BsDjHu3d8DSI
and if you missed class or used one of our computers, you can retype the code we finished with by looking at the images below:

Note that if you type this in and you get the error “Oops something went wrong” instead of your map, that means you typed in the API key wrong when loading that Google Maps Javascript.

Homework:

  1. Add another marker to the map. Additionally, you should try to put the data in an array, and read the data in a loop.
  2. Keep working on your carts! I have seen many of you making good headway. Bring your current versions to class and we will keep working on them, or send me an email!

Electronics

UPDATE – the new chapter has been added. The chapter is chapter 26, “Amplifying Power with Transistors”. Note that older chapters have been renumbered because I added an intro chapter on units.

This week we covered a little bit more about frequency response for capacitors and inductors, the basics of reactance and impedance, and what a resonant frequency is. We also started talking about transistors. My goal is to have the transistor chapter done for you by Saturday. There is a transistor chapter in the book right now, but it is incomplete and probably not very readable. I will update here when the new version is in. Homework will be for the transistor chapter.

Calculus

UPDATE – the new chapter is ready. Download it and it is chapter 29.

There was no calculus this week. I will try to get your chapter done shortly.

Spring 2017 – Week 11 Class Notes

Sorry I did not get this out in a timely manner. However, there is not much to talk about.

Programming

Be working on your shopping cart this week. Almost out of class days!

Electronics

This week do the next chapter – “Inductors and Capacitors in Circuits” and do the problems.

Calculus

There is no class this week so I will post the assignment in the next class notes.