alice in summerland

learning and teaching math in alice


Meet my new world that is ready to be tutorialized: multiplyingMatrices.

Title slide for The Matrix tutorial.

I spent most of today fixing the code so that this would be ready to make a tutorial. The 3D text object problem from yesterday is still there, and Professor Rodger said that it is probably a problem with Alice and emailed her colleague at Carnegie Mellon about it. In the mean time, I have to use 8-nested If/Else loops to accomplish what could have been done in just one line if only I could use the ‘set text to’ property for all object variables. The rest of the code seems a little messy, but that is basically a given when you are using so many text objects, like I did in the multiplication table world as well. Also similar to that multiplication world, I’m going to be providing a starting world that has the matrix and equation frameworks set up, with the number objects and squares behind the number objects hidden in the object tree. One annoying problem that we noticed when Chitra and Peggy looked over the program was that the numbers appear in a nice fat font on the Mac that makes them easy to click on, but their computers don’t have that font so they resort to a skinny font that is harder to click on. This can easily be resolved in the  tutorial. There are obviously a lot of variables in this program, and to minimize that I’ve included world lists for the number objects, spots behind the numbers, and answers, so hopefully that won’t be too confusing to explain in the tutorial. Unlike the previous worlds I’ve made where I was proud of my pretty code, I am a little nervous for this one since there are a lot of variables and 4 methods (2 of which are helpers). Besides that, though, there aren’t many complicated lines that need a lot of explanation like the 4-person switch in my permutation program or the indexing in the multiplication table program. Also, without having to build the world from scratch, I am optimistic about the potential length of this tutorial.

In other business, our first workshop starts tomorrow! Since this is a short two-day workshop, we won’t be showing our tutorials or codes or anything, but we will show our worlds. I definitely plan on showing the multiplication table, permutations, inequalities, and matrix multiplication worlds, which have already been perfected and tutorialized (or almost tutorialized, in the case of the matrix world). Tonight I plan to review a few of my other worlds that I haven’t seen in a while (red and blue ball sampling, counting, d=rt with cars, craps), and see if they are decent enough to show. Although I suspect the codes will be horrendous, the actual worlds might not be that bad. I’m not too optimistic about many of these, but hopefully a couple of them will show enough potential to be salvaged and brought back into light.

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