Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Here a project, there a project, every where a final project!

preCalulus 4 Juniors (period 1)

Typically, after AP Exams, we start our final projects. I did some fun stuff in all my classes as you will see below!

preCalculus 4 Juniors (period 9)

preCalculus 4 Juniors actually started earlier. We spent the entire 4th Quarter of the school year introducing Calculus. I covered chapters 2,3 and 5 of the Demanna Waits text (1st edition). Chapter 2 was about limits and the definition of the derivative. Chapter 3 was about differentiation rules like product, quotient and chain. Chapter 5 was an intro to anti-derivatives and definite integrals. We even talked about Riemann Sums and the Fundamental Theorem! Take a look at my preCalc playlist from YouTube,

AP Calculus BC (period 3)

AP Calculus BC had a blast watching all 9 hours of LOTR during AP Week and the last few days of school. We managed to tie up some loose ends in BC Calculus in between these screenings! We covered topics that could easily be part of BC Calculus given a bit more time! We even did some SAGE! I already blogged bout this,

Advanced Computer Math (period 6)

Advanced Computer Math did a final project on how to program in TI-BASIC. We used some tutorials on YouTube and then made our own programs. I had them do some simple stuff like solving right triangles (IPO) and generating factorials (loops) and stating the nature of the roots of a quadratic equation (conditionals). We mainly used VTI+WINE on our 32bit Ubuntu Desktop 10.10 to program TI-83s. However, we also talked about the TI-89 environment being a lot like SAGE including a Computer Algebra System and a programming language that uses functions! I tried looking for TI-89 programming tutorials on YouTube and couldn't find any, until I stumbled on my own video on solving Quadratic Equations! This was a great year for Computer Math and Advanced Computer Math. Thanx to Maria and Gary Litvin for their great new Discrete Mathematics text with python, Using SAGE this year as a python server was a great help too, I was going to install a SAGE server the students could use anywhere on campus and at home, but we found it more convenient to have the students use sage locally on their own Linux boxes. Each SAGE server, even on a local box, can have several userids and passwords. Students can generate these accounts the first day of class!

AP Computer Science (sorry no pic for period 7 apcs, too busy debugging a tremulous server on the last day of classes) had fun trying to figure out how to make droid apps using Take a look at this blog, I'm convinced that the appinventor *.deb and jdk's javaws totally FUBARRED my Linux screencasting abilities on the Teacher Station. Now, will record but not encode an *mp4. I was able to do this all year, but we had to tweak a lot of stuff for appinventor to work. So, I'm reduced to using screencast-o-matic in WimpDoze or using ffmpeg or reinstalling my teacher PC! ffmpeg encodes nicely, but the commandline is a little ugly when starting and stopping a recording. Screencast-o-matic is nice as it encodes quickly and you don't have to encode right away (it stores a *.som file on the website and you can use it later via a cookie). I tried RecordMyDesktop which has a nice GUI interface, but encoding is very slow. There is a setting to encode while recording, but I had no joy with this option. Whenever I tried that option, encoding would be done quickly, but the resulting video played back a lightning speed compared to the audio! One advantage to ffmeg and RecordMyDesktop is that you can use these apps even if you have no internet access. I used to do that in WimpDoze using Smart Recorder from Smart Notebook by Smarttech. Smart Recorder encodes to *.avi files quickly, but those files are huge. You can also encode to *.wmv, but it takes a while....

Last, but not least, my Computing Independent Study class finally got an openMPI cluster up and running! We got 25 nodes, 50 cores running nearly 22 GFLOPS! Take a look at this blog,

This post was supposed to be a summary of our final projects this year. However, I'm afraid that this post has become a summary of the whole year. Most of my posts lately have been summaries of one project or another. Let this post serve as a summary of summaries for the most important achievements this year. As such, here's a couple more things to consider:

What about all the hardware upgrades we had this year?

Here's a post about installing Ubuntu on Student, Teacher and Server stations:
We used 32bit 10.04 Desktop Editions though out. We never tried the Server Edition or UNE.

HTH, good luck with your final projects!

Learning with Technology, 

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