WeBWorK::Fitchburg code camp:
October 12 through October 14, 2012
The WeBWorK::Fitchburg code camp took place at Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, MA. This was a short code camp held last weekend from noon Friday, October 12 through Sunday, October 14, 2012. In just two days we were able to make substantial progress on several fronts. In particular there was progress on a new homework sets editor3 and some front page changes is stored for the time being in Mike Gage's github repo.
The CSS for some of the pages, particularly the front page, needs some work to make it presentable before we can move it to the github repo at openwebwork and create a demonstration version at hosted2.webwork.rochester.edu/webwork2. Anyone with some spare time and CSS skills is welcome to help out. Having a calendar view of assignments is particularly exciting.
Attending the code camp were Michael Gage, Arnie Pizer, Christina Kayastha and David Gage who drove in from Rochester, NYand Waterloo, Ontario. Peter Staab and Bruce Romano attended from Fitchburg; Quanquan Ma, Lindsey Yang and Niel Heffernan came from nearby Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Laura Judge, while Terri Ward and Sam Hathaway represented WHFreeman publishers, driving in from New Jersey and from Boston. Davide Cervone came from Union College in Schenectady, NY.
In addition to QuanQuan’s presentation on his project, Mike brought Laura, Terri and Sam up to speed on the current status of WeBWorK and the OPL. Laura and Terri are editors with the publisher WHFreeman. Sam is a senior analyst at WHFreeman and as a Rochester undergraduate helped design the current version of WeBWorK. It’s great to have him back working on the project.
Sam is interested in cleanly separating the PG renderer “back end” from the rest of WeBWorK so that it can serve as the rendering engine for mathematics questions in other course management systems. This is very much in-line with the Question-type (bridge 2) connection between WeBWorK and Moodle. We hope that we can continue the collaboration that started when WHFreeman released many of the Rogawski calculus problems to the OPL.
Neil Heffernan dropped in on Saturday evening to tell us about his ASSISTments program which does provides math homework questions at the middle - through - high school level. The questions are less technical but Neil has developed extensive presentation pages for teachers so that they can keep track of the progress of each student. He has also done extensive math education research to determine which questions and techniques are most effective. You can read about Neil’s work in the New York Times magazine a few weeks ago.
Thanks to all of the participants for their hard work. Thanks to the WHFreeman contingent for treating us to dinner! I would particularly like to thank Peter Staab for making all of the local arrangements -- everything went off exteremely well.
The next WeBWorkK code camp is planned for some time in the spring and will be held in Raleigh, NC. Those interested in participating should email Mike Gage (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jason Aubrey (email@example.com).