# Math Problem Software Introduction

#### met00

##### New member
Okay, I am not a math wiz (my son, who is getting an A in Geometry in 7th grade is the math wiz of the family). I am the CEO (not by choice) of a startup and the tech geek.

Now, I don't want to get banned for spamming the forum, so I won't put the URL in unless I get approval from an administrator. But I will take a moment to describe the product we have released and then, if the admins say it's okay to post the URL, I will.

The product is based on a patent we filed 10 or so years ago. In that time we have built the software and tested it on over 3,000 students. The software takes a math problem type (an algorithm written in our proprietary language) applies various constraints to it and generates a unique problem (we call them probes). That is presented to the user with an open ended answer box and another box that says "show next step".

If the user can't solve the problem they can "show next step" and they will be presented with either
1) A Strategy for solving the problem
2) A Socratic question related to the problem
3) The answer to the Socratic question
4) The problem broken down (simplified by taking the next step)

An example of this would be:

Problem Type:
Algebra & Functions: solving with functional notation f(x)

Problem:

Let g(x) = x(x - 1) and g(m + 3) = 12
Where m is a positive integer.
What is m.

The steps:

1) Strategy
The brute force way to do this problem is by foiling and solving a quadratic. This is tedious and prone to carelessness, but this is the approach we will take here. There is an alternative, which is an extremely elegant method for solving this problem, and which we will allude to in the final comment.

2) Question
What algebraic expression is g(m + 3) equal to?

Replace x in the expression x(x - 1) by x = m + 3
g(m + 3) = (m + 3)(m + 3 - 1)

4) Which can be reduced to:
g(m + 3) = (m + 3)(m + 2)

5) Question
simplify: (m + 3)(m + 2) = 12

Foil the left side and set it equal to the right side. Subtract 12 from both sides (which sets the equation equal to zero).
m2 + 5m + 6 = 12

7) m2 + 5m - 6 = 0

8) Question
How do you solve the above quadratic?

First factor the quadratic and then set each factor equal to zero

10) Factoring:
(m - 1)(m + 6) = 0

11) Setting each factor to zero:
m = 1 and m = -6

12) Therefore the only positive value and hence the solution:
m = 1

13) Final Comment
A much faster and more elegant solution is to consider the properties of consecutive integers.

---

Now, we have released a version of the product on-line to allow students to study the 50 most difficult problem types that are on the SAT/ACT exam. And to introduce the product and it's use we have made it available for free with certain limitations.

1) You only get 50 problem types
2) The problem types are presented to you randomly
3) We store no data on you, so you can get no reporting
4) We limit your time to 10 minutes per problem type

Clearly we think the product is useful (we have been watching it work for over 3000 students in the time we have developed it), and we want to showcase it. The product is NOT brain dead or crippled. It works just like it would if someone were paying for it (with the four limitations removed).

Okay, so I told you a bit about the product, gave an example and if an admin will PM me I will be more than happy to provide the URL and if the admin approves, I'll be happy to share the link here. In addition, I will be more than happy to answer any questions that there are (here in a public forum) as best as I can [remember I'm the tech geek (and an old fart who put the 250th computer on the ARPANet) and my partner is the math wiz who has been teaching it since the abacus was invented (also an old fart, well not that old, but older than I)].

[I'm not a spambot, and I would like to thank you for not having me answer a math question correctly in order to register]

#### MarkFL

Staff member
Re: new...

Hello and welcome to MHB, met00!

It sounds like you have a great product, and I truly appreciate that you want to get the approval of the administration before posting the URL to your app. This is the best way to go about posting URLs to commercial products here.

Of course I cannot speak for the admins, but I can assure you they are active, dedicated and fair. They will most likely want to see the product first before making any final decision. They may also want to discuss it with the rest of the staff, so a decision may not come immediately.

Best of luck to you, and the others on your team.

Mark.

#### Bacterius

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Re: new...

[I'm not a spambot, and I would like to thank you for not having me answer a math question correctly in order to register]
Well hopefully you would have succeeded anyway, unless MHB started rolling in those captchas:

[JUSTIFY]On a serious note, your software concept is interesting and I for one would be glad to take a look at it, hopefully our admins can get a link to it up as a mathematical resource if it fits the website's policy (and I have no doubt it does if it's free and helps students ).[/JUSTIFY]

#### met00

##### New member
Thanks for the warm welcome.

Like I said, I'm the tech geek, not the math wiz. Heck, I barely made it through Algebra 1 (did better in Geometry, but that seems to be something about my ability to understand spatial relationships, not the math ).

I do believe in "give bacK" as I am one of the developers of the open source product osCMax, but when it comes to providing "help" here, that's not where my strengths are. On the other hand my son does do volunteer tutoring of math at the local Youth Center (It's actually fun to watch when a HS junior comes in for Geometry tutoring and my 13 year old son shows up to help him. The look is always "What in tarnation?"!).

One last thing. Back in the dark ages of the web (the 90's) I was the first person to put a math flashcards program up on line (the guys from Drexel were great at helping me make it better over time). The site was called Math Flashcards 4 Kids and expanded to Education 4 Kids when I went into semi-retirement in 2000. Most of it is still up and functional, although I never really completed the move over from TCL to PHP on some of the drills.

Anyway, still looking forward to the PM that will let me share the new site.

Last edited by a moderator:

#### MarkFL

Staff member
Hello met00,

The staff has decided with no objections to allow you to post a link to your app here at MHB. I recommend posting it here:

Useful Mathematics Resources

On behalf of the staff, I want to thank you for choosing MHB to present your application.

Best Regards,

Mark.

#### met00

##### New member
Mark, I would love to, but when I attempted it I got
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To create new threads in this forum your post count must be 10 or greater.

You currently have 2 posts.
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So, I will repost here what I was planning on posting there.

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Imagine a student getting 10 minutes of free tutoring on each of 50 of the most difficult math problem type questions asked on the SAT/ACT exam.

College Entrance Exam Math Prep - Free

Imagine it no more.
##

I would like to thank Mark and the administrative team here for allowing me to share our work with you. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the site, please feel free to start a thread and then PM me and I'll make sure that I follow up on it.

So, please view and beat up on College Entrance Exam Math Prep - Free
and if you want to know about us and our philosophy you can read up on us at: EduCAD Learning Solutions

And when we get the blog up and rolling, we will be sure to mention this site as a resource for those working on their SAT/ACT Math.

Again, thanks to all for the warm welcome, and I promise I will stay engaged here (well as engaged as I can based on my skills).

~jmi

#### Klaas van Aarsen

##### MHB Seeker
Staff member
Mark, I would love to, but when I attempted it I got
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To create new threads in this forum your post count must be 10 or greater.

You currently have 2 posts.
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Really!!
This is blocking you?

#### MarkFL

Staff member
Mark, I would love to, but when I attempted it I got
##
To create new threads in this forum your post count must be 10 or greater.

You currently have 2 posts.
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...
My apologies, I did not realize a post count of 10 or more was required there, although I can understand the reasoning behind such a restriction.

I am only online for a few minutes now, but when I get on later for the night, I will post a link to your app in that forum as it is more likely to be found there than here.

I invite and encourage your son to become involved here too as he will benefit greatly from interacting with the folks here as he continues in his studies.

Best Regards,

Mark.

Staff member

#### Jameson

Staff member
Really!!
This is blocking you?
I want to address this in case others were still wondering about it. We set a minimum of 10 posts to stop people from signing up and just spamming links into our Useful Mathematics Resources forum. I believe the forum is fully moderated as well, meaning all new threads must be approved before appearing, so perhaps this restriction is not necessary but nevertheless I don't think it's a bad thing.

#### MarkFL

Staff member
...I believe the forum is fully moderated as well, meaning all new threads must be approved before appearing, so perhaps this restriction is not necessary but nevertheless I don't think it's a bad thing.
You are right, posts made there are subject to approval, and I agree that the restriction is a good thing in virtually all situations.

Only in rare circumstances such as this does it "get in the way," which is easily worked around by the staff, and in all other cases it is good that we know a bit about a user before approving posts made there. It makes perfect sense to me.

#### met00

##### New member
Hey, I agree as well, and I was the "potential spammer" that you would want to block

Back in the dark ages when I was with DECUS (google it) we ran a bulletin board system called DECUServe. I was one of the moderators there (okay, I'm showing my age now...) and we had a topic either "moderated" or "unmoderated", but you didn't have all the options that today's systems offer. I'm 100% behind the post limit based moderations.

Hmmm, just how old is this old man? Well, I learned to program software when we were inputting code via toggles on PDP-11's

My first commercial (paid) program was written on one of these.
PDP11/35/40

This was the first drive I ever regularly used.
http://www.psych.usyd.edu.au/pdp-11/Images/rm05.jpeg

It's the big one on the bottom and it was under 200MB.

This was the program I was working on....
http://www.ion.org/museum/item_view...on the back of a soldier&width=338&height=521

Next time you use the GPS in your phone... This was the parent. And yes, I actually had to use math back then (triangulation based on the satellites known position in an async orbit and the time that it thought it was in relation to at least two other sats that were reporting in at the time.) Heck, there was a reason I wasn't allowed to do math without someone checking it... Like the time I made a minor error in the math of the MD-11 motion base simulator GPS autopilot and it tried to flip over when it crossed the equator.

Anyway, thanks again for all your support.

#### John143

##### New member
Hey guys,

Thank you for presenting the software. I'm currently looking for geometry/math softwares and I hope yours will fit to what I'm looking for.

I just tried Geometry for Mac OS X which is very helpful and really works well for me.