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E-Assessment in Maths - Event on 1 March

15 Feb 2007

Speakers from Manchester, Brunel, Birmingham and Warwick

2pm - 4.30 pm, in Renold D7.


  • Dr Paul Bolton - The University of Manchester
  • Dr Martin Greenhow - Brunel University
  • Dr Chris Sangwin - University of Birmingham
  • Dr Trevor Hawkes - University of Warwick

Dr Paul Bolton from The University of Manchester will give details of a current project on developing computerised assessment in mathematics at Manchester concentrating on two areas i.e. accepting algebraic input and providing useful feedback. This project is funded by the EPS faculty in the University of Manchester.

Dr Martin Greenhow from Brunel will speak on the Mathletics software. In conjunction with Question Mark Perception, Mathletics offers a large bank of questions on many topics in mathematics for students taking GCSE, 'A' level and first and second year university courses. Elements of the questions are randomised, so that no two should be exactly identical. A particularly interesting feature of the design of the software is its use of a list of so called "mal-rules", mistakes students commonly make, to tailor the feedback provided according to the response of the individual student.

Dr Chris Sangwin from Birmingham University has developed the open source STACK (System for Teaching and Assessment using a Computer algebra Kernel) software. STACK is integrated with a computer algebra system like Maxima (Maxima is itself open source). It can analyse students' answers and identify ones which are mathematically equivalent to the stored solution; in such cases simple pattern matching may record an incorrect solution.

Dr Trevor Hawkes is from Warwick University. As part of Warwick University's CAA4S (Computer Aided Assessment for Science) project, Trevor Hawkes and others at Warwick have been looking at various pieces of CAA software. As well as Mathletics, Perception and STACK, two others are of particular interest: Maple T.A., from Maplesoft, and WeBWorK, from the University of Rochester.

This event is open to all interested staff across the university. To reserve a place, please email: