Recognizing Patterns in an Educational Computer Algebra System

N. Jurkovic (USA)


Symbolic computation, pattern matching, tutoring systems


This paper describes a pattern matching approach to solving simple algebraic problems utilized by an educational CAS (Computer Algebra System) – Algebrator. Unlike a general purpose CAS such as Mathematica, an educational symbolic manipulator has to be cognitively faithful – its reasoning process must resemble the one that the typical mathematics teacher employs. This is particularly apparent during the process of factoring. In the following sections we first briefly describe Algebrator’s capabilities and goals and then focus on implementation of factoring via pattern recognition.

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