Category Archives: Wikis

July 27, 2010, 8:10 pm

Get your widget on

Wolfram, Inc. has just rolled out its newest creation: Wolfram|Alpha Widgets. These are small “apps” that execute a single W|A query using user input, without actually loading the W|A website. In just the last few days since W|A widgets have been around, hundreds of them have been made, from widgets that find anagrams to widgets that calculate comparative economic data between two states to widgets that take derivatives. Each widget also comes with the option to customize, share among social media applications (21 different services are represented), or embedded in popular blogging and wiki services such as WordPress and Mediawiki. (Sadly, there’s no WordPress.com embedding yet.) Take a look through the gallery at what’s been done.

What’s really exciting here is that you don’t need any programming knowledge to create a widget. You start with a basic W|A query, then highlight the…

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June 3, 2008, 11:49 am

Summer calculus tidbits

So I started my summer calculus class yesterday, which meets three nights a week from 5:30-7:45 PM and consists almost entirely of commuter students. I haven’t taught an evening class since graduate school, nor have I taught a class of non-resident students in nearly as long. Noteworthy thoughts (well, I’m noting them whether they are noteworthy or not): 

  • I like teaching evening classes. There’s a kind of “after-hours” vibe to such classes that makes the atmosphere more intimate and relaxed. 
  • I like teaching commuter students. Some of these folks are commuting in from nearly an hour away, which means it’s costing some of them between $5 and $10 per class meeting in travel expenses. Many of them have day jobs which consume all their time between 8:00 and 5:00. In other words, the resources that are normally available to students in luxuriant abundance — time to study, time and…

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March 1, 2008, 12:42 pm

It's ICTCM week!

ictcm.jpgOn Thursday I’ll be heading south, out of the deep freeze of late winter in Indiana to lovely San Antonio, TX for the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM). This is my first time to an ICTCM, and I’m genuinely excited about going. (Which is something I can’t say about very many conferences I have attended.)

I’ll be giving a talk at 1:10 on Friday about some stuff that I have been doing with wikis in my upper-division classes lately and about the potential role of wikis in advanced math courses in general. Of course, my talk’s time slot is only 15 minutes long, and they tell me the talk should really only be 10 minutes long, so my talk is going to be more of a conversation-starter (at least I hope so) than it is anything nearly comprehensive .

Earlier on Friday, I’ll be attending a workshop on Camtasia, which I am considering as a replacement for Snapz…

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