What is FluidMath?
FluidMath is a math teaching and learning software designed for Tablet PC’s and other pen-centric computer systems.
Who is FluidMath for?
FluidMath is primarily for pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, pre-Calculus, Calculus, and Physics teachers and students. It is designed for use in classrooms and for class preparation. Students and others also use FluidMath for learning and exploring math.
What are the features of FluidMath? FluidMath has the following features:
- Pen-centric user interface – FluidMath’s capabilities are quickly and easily accessed primarily through natural handwriting and simple drawn gestures.
- Accurate recognition of handwritten math expressions
- Graphing (Cartesian, polar, sequences, parametric plots)
- Computer Algebra System (CAS) – solve systems of equations; simplify, approximate, and factor expressions
- Table views of graphed expressions
- Import and graph Excel datasets
- Export typeset math expressions to Word Processors using MathML, LaTeX, or as Images
- Notebook capability – use named tabs to organize multiple pages of information.
- Animation – link math expressions and drawings to bring the mathematics “to life”
What areas of mathematics does FluidMath support?
FluidMath currently supports pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, pre-Calculus, Calculus. It does not yet support most Geometry. For Statistics, FluidMath has minimal support, for example, FluidMath recognizes sigma notation and can import data and supports fitting a function to the data, however, it does not do linear regression yet. FluidMath does not yet support 3D graphing.
What are the system requirements for Fluidmath?
FluidMath requires Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista or Windows 7 Home Premium or higher editions. FluidMath also requires pen input and works very well with Tablet PC laptops which have the advantage of allowing you to write directly on the display and relative to previously drawn marks. FluidMath also works with external digitizing tablets, such as Wacom tablets (http://www.wacom.com). FluidMath also works with many interactive whiteboards. It is useful to connect a projector to your computer during presentations to larger groups.
With which interactive whiteboards does FluidMath work?
FluidMath should work on all types of interactive whiteboards. However, FluidMath works best with high sampling rates of pen markings. Tablet PC’s provide 100+ samples per second and this results in a very good math notation writing experience. Some interactive whiteboards sample pen movements at the same rate as mouse movements (30-40 samples per second) and this can affect recognition accuracy. If you are experiencing problems using FluidMath on your interactive whiteboard, please email us at fluidmathsupport at fluiditysoftware.com with a description of your system and the problems you are having.
Can I run FluidMath on my Apple computer running Mac OS X?
Yes. One approach is to use VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org) and create a virtual machine running Microsoft Windows on your Apple computer. It should also work if you are using Apple’s Bootcamp or Parallels (http://www.parallels.com).
How good is the handwriting recognition in FluidMath? Your video makes it look almost perfect. How much practice is required to master FluidMath?
For most users, it takes about an hour of practice to become proficient at most common tasks (writing and editing math, graphing). Mistakes do happen, but the scribble erase gesture makes it very quick and easy to fix mistakes. About 90% of FluidMath’s users have no trouble with recognition after the initial learning period. In general, users with neat handwriting (symbols are written in standard way and do not overlap each other) report FluidMath’s recognition is very good.
What resources are available for getting help? FluidMath includes a user guide, example files and “How do I” videos for learning basic concepts. Additionally, there is an online forum at http://www.fluiditysoftware.com for finding answers, posting questions, and sharing experience, content, and ideas.
What professional development or on-site training options are available? If you are interested in on-site training at your institution please email info ( at ) fluiditysoftware.com. Professional development options will be available in the near future.
I just started using FluidMath and it is not recognizing my handwriting or gestures. What can I do?
It may help to continue practicing writing math as you would on paper. Also, it may be counter intuitive, but if you tried to write slower when symbols were misrecognized instead try writing more quickly. This can lead to smoother strokes which may improve recognition accuracy. There are tips in the “Help -> Tips for improving handwriting recognition” menu item. Watching the “How do I..” videos may help for specific tasks.
Does FluidMath do things my other math software can’t do?
In terms of overall user experience and efficiency, yes, FluidMath is innovative. In particular, almost all other math software requires mathematics be translated from standard math notation to another notation using a keyboard and mouse. FluidMath uses handwritten math notation and virtually no menus.