New at MathDL
By Lang Moore
In January 2006, the MAA's Mathematical Sciences Digital Library (MathDL) added two new components: MAA Reviews and Classroom Capsules and Notes. These components are available to MAA members as a privilege of membership. To sign in, you will need the same MAA number that you use to order materials and pay dues online. This number may be found on any copy of FOCUS. Both of these new components also are available to non-members by subscription for $25/yr.
MAA Reviews, edited by Fernando Gouvêa, is the MAA's new bibliographic and reviews database, and it incorporates the MAA's Basic Library List as well. Created with the intention of replacing the old "Telegraphic Reviews" with an online service, MAA Reviews in fact goes far beyond anything the old TRs could offer. It includes a database of almost all recently-released mathematics books, a large percentage of those with reviews. Those books that have been recommended for purchase by undergraduate libraries by the MAA's Basic Library List committee are marked. The database is searchable, and the "advanced search" engine allows one to quickly find the books one wants.
Classroom Capsules and Notes, edited by Wayne Roberts, provides online access to the short classroom materials that have appeared in the Association's print journals over the years. All of us see from time to time a short article suggesting something we think we could use in the classroom: a little proof that gives unusual insight; a quick application, or connection to another area of mathematics, a question that could be used to challenge the good student. The trick is to find those items when we could actually use them. Or perhaps we have come to a point in a course where we don't recall having seen something new, but we sure wish we had. Materials in Classroom Capsules and Notes, are classified by courses, by subject, by keywords, by author, and by source, and are intended to help you quickly find that perfect enhancement to your classroom presentation.
These two new components join the four existing components of MathDL: The Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications (JOMA), Digital Classroom Resources (DCR), Convergence, and OSSLETS. Currently, all four of these components are freely available. However, Convergence does require registration.
All articles and other materials submitted to JOMA are peer-reviewed. The journal takes full advantage of the Web as a publication medium. Its materials contain dynamic, full-color graphics; internal and external hyperlinks to related resources; applets in Java, Flash, Shockwave, or other languages; MathML, SVG, and other XML markups; audio and video clips; and other Web-based features. Kyle Siegrist has just assumed the editorship of JOMA.
The Digital Classroom Resources (DCR) library is an exemplary collection of free online learning materials. All materials have been classroom tested and peer reviewed. DCR provides instructors with a set of tools ready for implementation in an existing curriculum as well as an ongoing forum for discussion of the issues surrounding the materials and their uses. Within this community, the library also provides a snapshot of trends and thoughts on issues relevant to the use of technology in mathematics teaching and learning. Learning materials in DCR include (but are not limited to): interactive web pages; web pages enhanced with animation or streaming video; down-loadable programs that run independently of the web or web browser; and modules developed for commercial computer algebra systems. Doug Ensley, the founding editor of DCR, continues as the editor.
Convergence, is an online magazine focused on the use of the history of mathematics in teaching mathematics. The magazine features articles, reviews, “Today's Quotation,” a “problem from another time,” and “on this day.” Editors Victor Katz and Frank Swetz have created an online magazine that is both enjoyable and instructive.
OSSLETS — Open Source Sharable Mathlets features short interactive online materials that are scientifically and pedagogically sound and that can be easily reused or repurposed. In addition, many of these materials can produce output that is easily cut-and-pasted into a spreadsheet or a computer algebra system. The OSSLET site, edited by Jack Picciuto and Rod Sturdivant, features mathlets that satisfy the following criteria: the mathlet and its source code are available for reuse; two examples of use of the mathlet are given; a discussion of how to work with the mathlet is included.