Flash and Math Applets: Learn by Example
Programming in ActionScript 3 for Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning
by Douglas Ensley and Barbara Kaskosz
This book will be released in early December 2008, only on Amazon.com. Detailed information will be available here when the book is available.
About the Book
This book is designed for beginners to ActionScript 3 (AS3) programming in the Flash CS3 and Flash CS4 environments. Users of either program will find the AS3 examples to be useful and informative, and there is one chapter devoted exclusively to the new 3D methods available in Flash CS4 for Flash Player 10.
The book is unique in its approach of emphasizing the “timeline programming techniques” that have made Flash development accessible over the years. Our tiered learning approach starts from scratch and builds each example upon what has come before. In our conference workshops and one-week courses, we have met many people with a lot of great ideas for applications they would like to build for teaching and learning. The examples in this book have been chosen to reflect the needs and interests of those participants.
While this book contains a wealth of examples of interest to educators, we also have had a great response from general Flash developers who have found extremely useful our focused examples of functionality and user interface. Our tutorials have been praised as easy to navigate and put to use, and thorough while staying concise.
This book offers a step-by-step path to learning essential AS3 programming that is based on these popular tutorials.
Our project has been sponsored by the NSF grant DUE-0535327, the Mathematical Association of America, and our respective universities. Since the project began, we have conducted a series of Flash workshops and presentations at annual conferences. (Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) in 2006, 2007, 2008, and International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM) in 2006, 2007 and 2008) In the summers of 2007 and 2008, we conducted a successful, week-long workshops Flash at the Beach: Creating Mathlets with Adobe Flash at the University of Rhode Island, and Flash in the Valley: Creating Mathlets with Adobe Flash at Shippensburg University. These workshops were sponsored by the Professional Enhancements Programs (PREP) of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Some of the material in this book was prepared originally for those workshops.
About the Authors
Doug Ensley is Professor of Mathematics at Shippensburg University where he has been on the faculty since 1993 after receiving his Ph.D. in mathematical logic from Carnegie Mellon University. While at Shippensburg, Ensley has taught over thirty different courses in mathematics and computer science. In addition, he has over fifteen years of experience running professional development workshops and mini-courses, particularly those that apply to discrete mathematical topics and the use of technology in teaching mathematics. His Flash material for Discrete Math can be found at http://www.flashandmath.com. His workshops have been presented at a wide range of venues including MAA Mathfests, Joint Math Meetings, the International Conference on Technology in College Mathematics, regional meetings of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, annual meetings of the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and various local school districts. Ensley is also co-author (with Winston Crawley of Shippensburg University) of the textbook Discrete Mathematics: Mathematical Reasoning and Proof with Puzzles, Patterns and Games, published by John Wiley & Sons. Recently Ensley was PI on an NSF grant (DUE 0230755) to develop technology-based learning material for the student-centered teaching of mathematical proof, and he is currently co-PI (with Kaskosz) on another NSF grant (DUE 0535327) to develop materials to help mathematics and science instructors learn how to use Adobe Flash.
Barbara Kaskosz received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. She joined the faculty of the University of Rhode Island in 1982. Since then she has taught courses at all levels from precalculus, through all semesters of calculus, advanced engineering mathematics, to graduate real analysis. Her research activities focused around nonsmooth control theory and differential inclusions. She published many papers in this area and gave invited talks at many control theory conferences. Since 1998, she became interested in technology in teaching mathematics. She was the PI or a co-PI on three consecutive grants for technology in teaching from the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. The grants supported integration of Maple into the URI mathematics curriculum as well as redesigning URI's precalculus course with a strong technological component. In 2003 she discovered Flash which became a true passion for her. She authored and co-authored with Doug Ensley, a variety of Flash based interactive teaching materials which can be found at http://www.flashandmath.com. From 2006 to 2008, she was PI on the NSF grant DUE 0535327. This joint project with Doug Ensley is focused on empowering educators in mathematics and sciences, who want to create their own materials using the wonderful tool that Flash is, by providing them with libraries of custom classes, templates, tutorials, and training. The main repository for material from this grant is the website http://www.flashandmath.com, established and maintained by Ensley and Kaskosz.
Barbara Kaskosz, Ph.D.,
Professor of Mathematics,
Department of Mathematics
University of Rhode Island.
Doug Ensley, Ph.D.,
Professor of Mathematics,
Department of Mathematics