alice in summerland

learning and teaching math in alice

D=R*Time to make some tutorials

Today is the last day that I can recklessly make worlds without tutorials.

Police wins the car chase because the player didn't move his car. Timers and speedometers are displayed using the d=rt formula.

I finished a simple version of the motion/car world that teaches kids the d=rt formula. One problem I had was with the timer–I tried to put in a cute scoreboard but couldn’t because the “time elapsed” function produced numbers with more than 13 decimal places, which obviously aren’t ideal for scoreboards and timers that are set up for two-digit numbers. I might come back to the score board idea, but in the mean time I made a function called roundToThousandth to, obviously, round these numbers to the thousandth place. Since Alice doesn’t know how to round other than to the closest integer (+”.0″), this function takes in a parameter, multiplies it by 1000, rounds it using the Alice function, divides by 1000, and then returns the new number as a string. The function is part of an invisible cube object that I called “math.” A lot of these functions are crucial to the programs that we’ll be making this summer, so I plan on extending the math object to include other helpful methods, such as getting rid of the “.0”, rounding to other decimal places (which I could just do by taking in another parameter), etc.–whatever I come across that needs simplification.

I got the math object idea from Professor Rodger when she came into our office and talked to us about various aspects of Alice and the summer in general. Apparently if we download something called SSH we can share Alice files precisely and safely among one another, so we view and suggest corrections for one another’s codes and tutorials. Professor Rodger told me that it was time to start making some tutorials so that people can actually use these worlds that I’ve built, so that’s what I plan on doing tomorrow and for most of next week.

In other business, because I have to be somewhere at 5 today is my first time leaving early!


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