Mathematica 9 is now available

Wolfram Library Archive


Courseware Demos MathSource Technical Notes
All Collections Articles Books Conference Proceedings
Title Downloads

Design and Applications of a Generic and Heuristic Step-by-Step Problem Solver
Author

Bernhard Zgraggen
Organization: Distance University of Applied Sciences of Switzerland
URL: http://www.webmath.ch/
Conference

2004 Wolfram Technology Conference
Conference location

Champaign IL
Description

The material presented in this paper is part of a research project of the Swiss Distance University of Applied Sciences called webSolutions [www.webmath.ch], which deals with the development and deployment of programs interactively generating detailed and dynamic step-by-step solutions to typical problems in higher mathematical education on the basis of Mathematica.

The paper emphasizes the design and applications of a generic and heuristic algorithm that enables users to generate step-by-step solutions to problems according to their mathematical context by setting parameters for mathematical rules, complexity of expressions, and possible solutions and heuristics, as well as for mathematical notations and layout. The interface of the algorithm provides a wide range of parameters; many of them are dynamic lists or functional objects. The design of the algorithm corresponds to a heuristic best-first search; its functioning and parameters are explained in detail on the basis of examples from finding partial derivations and simplifying Boolean expressions. The conclusion of the paper deals with educational applications of the algorithm.
Subject

*Mathematica Technology > Programming > Equation Solving
URL

http://www.webmath.ch/
Downloads Download Wolfram CDF Player

Download
PresentationWolframTechnology04.nb (1.9 MB) - Presentation notebook [for Mathematica 5.0]
Download
bernhardzgraggen.nb (366.4 KB) - Abstract of talk [for Mathematica 5.0]