Portability of Computer Algebra Systems to the Web

By Kunio Mitsuma.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

When we view the HTML files generated by major computer algebra systems in web browsers, we do not normally expect to be able to change the values of variables and see the corresponding computations and graphs change on the fly. That is, all equations and graphs in these HTML files are static. How can we remain in the web browser and still be able to make these changes?

One approach is to use a plug-in for web browsers that contains the engine of a computer algebra system. The engine interprets the codes embedded in an HTML file and renders mathematics in web browsers that is identical to the original equations and graphs. Then, we will be able to interact with what is displayed in web browsers as if we had never left the computer algebra system itself.

This approach is far superior to a reader application that only opens the HTML file without ability to interact with the mathematical contents in the file.

Compared to development effort based on Java, which is time-consuming and programming-intensive, the plug-in approach requires only basic knowledge of HTML export. As such, this approach is particularly suited for mathematicians who prefer a quick deployment of interactive mathematics.

Keywords: Computer Algebra System, Interactive, Mathematics

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.243-248. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.805MB).

Dr. Kunio Mitsuma

Assistant Professor, Mathematics, Kutztown University of Pennsyvania, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, USA

My primary focus in teaching mathematics is to provide students with interactive mathematics. That is, a learning environment that I present in the classroom, which can then be viewed by the students in standard web browsers on their computers back home. This approach is intended to bridge the gap between what is learned in the classroom and how the students then reinforce their knowledge at a later time on their own.