5 Replies Latest reply on May 12, 2008 3:19 PM by Lukewig

# math quiz

Hi good day I'm creating a math quiz and I would like the user to enter answers to math questions in text boxes and the program would correct the answers. The problem is that I don't have any idea as to how the user will type algebraic answers that include superscript or mathematical symbols such as pi. e.g the equation "2x squared + 5y" how does the user type x squared if they can't type a superscript, I couldn't even write out the equation in its proper form in this forum because of the inability to include superscript in this message.
• ###### 1. Re: math quiz
Create a short list of predefined input words (PI, SQRT,...) and process them at runtime.
• ###### 2. Re: math quiz
You are asking for something that you are not likely going to be able to
do. I mean, how are you going to parse these answers? There are plenty
of notations that can be used to symbolize math concepts, but basically
you are asking the students to not only correctly solve the problem, but
they also need to master whatever answering scheme you come up with.

For example, the standard way to say "x squared" is "x^2" The carat (^)
character means 'to the power of'. So now your student needs to know
that this is how you want the answer framed.

Let's say the correct answer is "2x squared + 5y". That would be
something like:

2x^2+5y

Of course, that is not the proper "computer" method... since
multiplication generally requires an asterisk * as opposed to simply
mashing the characters together like you can on paper. So another way
of correctly stating the same thing is

2*x^2+5*y

And of course, parentheses are commonly used to define the order of
operations, and sometimes just to make something look neater or more
easy to follow... so this would be correct also

(2*x^2)+(5*y)

also, some people may put in spaces to make things more readable

2 * x^2 + 5*y

so, unless you want to make simply entering the student's answer more
difficult than figuring out the answer to the question, you would need
to make your scoring script able to read in multiple variants of the
answer syntax. This is not a trivial task.

You may be better off doing a multiple choice type answer where you can
put in the correctly syntaxed answer using the more advanced text
capabilities of a text member or bitmaps pulled in from other programs.
• ###### 3. Re: math quiz
Wow. The newsgroup automatically changed all my carat syntax to actual
superscripts. whenever you see x^2 and it is written as a superscript,
it should be x ^ 2 (x <carat> 2)
• ###### 4. Re: math quiz
You can always go with multiple choice.
• ###### 5. Re: math quiz
Hi,
Th easiest way is to provide an onscreen 'calculator' so the user clicks buttons (like a real world calculator) to enter their equations. You could use a custom font to display the formula - though with some equations you are going to have to do some gymnastics to do the layout (might be easier to create bitmaps of each character and symbol and use imaging lingo to do the layout - see http://www.lingoworkshop.com/Codelib/pixelfonts.php for an idea how this might work for normal characters).

For simple superscript and subscript, you can also set the HTML or RTF of text members.