Sunday, May 27, 2012

Quarter IV, Week 6: ScreenCasts, SmartNotes and Code, oh my!

Calc is still watching the "Back to the Future" Trilogy, CompSci is still having video game tournaments (tremulous, bzflag, starcraft, quake), Calculus Research Lab started DiffEqus and preCalculus just had a test on Differentiation Rules!  

Next week AP Calculus BC is starting a final project with SAGE I like to call LAC 2012: "Life After Calculus." LAC 2011 was the same last last year except we did without SAGE and didn't get a chance to record for YouTube. So, I'll be doing a lot of Calculus with SAGE on Youtube for the next couple of weeks! 

LACS 2012: "Life After CompSci" also starts next week. We are going to do some graphics programming with java on Youtube (GameOfLife, Turtles, Fractals). Last year LACS 2011 was about appInventor for Droid. Next year, LACS 2013 may revisit Droid app development again with Eclipse.

Maybe I'll record LApreC 2010: "Life After preCalculus" and LAP 2009: "Life After Physics" as well.

preCalculus for Seniors  
preCalculus finished Unit 3: Differentiating Rules (Product Rule, Quotient Rule, Trig Rules, Chain Rule).  I've been motivating new topics each day with a related Calculus Song from YouTube. There's a lot of great songs on YouTube. Goto YouTube and search for "Calculus Song" or "Calculus Parody" or "Calculus Cover" or "Calculus Carol" or even "Calculus Filk!" Calculus BCAP Week traditionally means a movie marathon. Here's what we're doing this year:pre AP Week: AP Calculus BC finished a unit on Vector vs. Polar notation. We stressed the similarity of Polar and Parametric modes. So, once we figured out how to calculate slopes and arc lengths parametrically, we tried to do the same with polar graphs. We also talked about polar area! Next week is AP Review already! We had MCQ IX and CML 4 too.

AP Computer Science  
This week we are running a video game arcade. BZFlag and Tremulous were easily installed earlier in the year using the Ubuntu Software Center. Now, the school has every student PC, even my Linux boxes, going through some crazy firewall, so we installed Quake using and we are running an old version of StarCraft via WINE! Quake was a bit of a pain to set up. Here's what we did (some boxes also needed libmad0 and libdynamite0 first):
(1) From download and install the following in this order:
(1A) quakespasm
(1B) quake
(1C) dynamite
(1D) game-data-packager
(2) goto /usr/share/games/game-data-packager and install quake-shareware_all_29.deb
(3) download pak0.pak and pak1.pak from
(4) sudo cp *.pak /usr/share/games/quake/id1

pre AP Week: AP Computer Science tied up some loose ends with CH11 "Interfaces and Polymorphism" aka the "implements" key word in java. We also did CH18 "Recursion." We did CH13 "Inheritance" aka the key word "extends" via GridWorld. I assigned CH19 "Searching and Sorting" as a reading assignment for homework before the AP. I did the same with GridWorld Part IV about the Critter class as we had to start AP Review!
Calculus Research LabCRL finally started the Calc3 text on DiffEqus! We finished the Derivatives text (calc-1) last semester and the AntiDerivatives text (calc-2) last quarter. We are using this Differential Equations text (calc-3) in our final project! These texts are all free for the download as PDFs from
page 15 of DiffEqus text:

I hope you enjoyed this week's notes!

Learning with Technology, 

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