Another Clerk demo! This time it's @Sam Ritchie showing what happens when you combine a port of scmutils to Clojure with Mathbox in a Clerk notebook. One can write mathematical functions in Clojure that are graphed in Clerk with automatic translation of functions from source code to typeset mathematics using KaTex. I find this is fairly exciting from the perspective of maths/EE/physics pedagogy. 🙂/cc @Konrad Hinsenhttps://www.loom.com/share/324ed39cd3a84ff4bc045a75a0f91482
The Bag of Tricks is coming together. I can tell I am going to need some help on visual design here, and how to present these elements together, what the defaults should be for these functions viewers…but EVEN without the physics extension here there is exciting potential for interactive “explainables”. Like, my long namespace building up these incremental polynomial interpolation routines. would be great to “prove” that they work with a visual interface where you can click in new points and watch the polynomial snap over.Or graphing N polynomials to show that a taylor series polynomial converges to a function in a spot
@Konrad Hinsen I’ve been meaning to ask you what administrative pieces etc you’d need to be in place to teach using this stuff
03/13/2022, 3:13 PM
@Sam Ritchie The main issue with teaching anything computational is making the environment available to students in a form that (1) all students can get to run quickly and (2) is sufficiently uniform among students that teachers can provide meaningful technical help. 100% in-browser tools are everyone's preference (it was the main motivation for the development of JupyterLite https://github.com/jupyterlite/jupyterlite), even if their UX is otherwise less than optimal.
Judging from your demos, probably the best way to package them is to put everything but the browser into a Docker container. But that means that students must be able to run Docker. And if the editor inside the container is Emacs, teachers will have to teach some Emacs.
03/13/2022, 3:13 PM
We could also get a Nextjournal style fully browser based thing going
Martin Henz (creator of SA from the National University of Singapore) did the JS port of SICP; we're going to try and get sicmutils running in this environment, which would let all of the in browser stuff plus the GitHub Classroom integration work
@Konrad Hinsen less Clerk in that now, but would love to know if that style of environment feels better for teaching. They have good support too for pairing in the browser, publishing homework and they have things LIKE clerk for viewers… the bones are there. Anyway would love feedback on if that integration is worthwhile to pursue
@Konrad Hinsen the current stuff will at least work with any editor, I just happen to be using emacs but clerk doesn’t care who edits the files. Files existing is the one constraint I think?
03/13/2022, 7:48 PM
OK, if any editor works, then the only specific software would be the server running Clojure. That could easily go into a Docker container, but then students have to invoke the right magic for file sharing.
Source Academy looks interesting, but I will have to take a closer look before commenting. Cloud-based environments are definitely interesting for teaching, at the very least because they let the teacher centralize software configuration and guarantee a shared environment for everyone. Nextjournal would offer that as well. Evolving Nextjournal towards a teaching platform could be a worthwhile project independently of your specific SICM work. There's a lot of interest in platforms for computer-aided teaching, for many domains.
03/13/2022, 8:37 PM
We're looking at a re-vamp of maria.cloud sometime this year, which will likely also involve merging more of Clerk's features into that purely web-based environment (with extra goodies).
really great demo! a whole world of possibilities for education and notebook development it seems. Reminds me a bunch of Desmos, wondering about a layer on top of their api allowing you to write clojure and get desmos calc viz out https://www.desmos.com/api/v1.6/docs/index.html
03/14/2022, 4:04 AM
@yeT totally agree, that’s a lovely layer to have, I think