A Note on the Retirement of D. P. Story

Last Update: 02/03/2007

The usual navigation system is out, so here are direct links to the tutorial files.

Main Menu (PDF): mpt_menu.pdf 

lesson01.pdf : Setting up the environment

lesson02.pdf  : Radical and Exponents

lesson03.pdf  : Basic Algebra, Part I

lesson04.pdf  : Basic Algebra, Part IU

lesson05.pdf  : Expansion

lesson06.pdf  : Dividing and Factoring Polynomials

lesson07.pdf  : Solving Equations and Inequalities

lesson08.pdf : Cartesian Coordinate System & Functions

lesson09.pdf : Functions (cont.) & First Degree Curves

lesson10.pdf : Some Second Degree & Trig Curves

Get the Latest version of
Acrobat Reader 5.0. Click on the Get Acrobat Icon above to go to the download area.



Use Netscape! 

This is the review of Algebra in 10 lessons written in TeX and converted to the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Features include verbose discussion of topics, typeset quality mathematics, user interactivity in the form of multiple choice quizzes, in-line examples and exercises with complete solutions, and pop-up graphics.

These tutorials are viewed in the PDF format. This requires that you have Acrobat Reader 3.0 or greater, which you can obtain by clicking on the Get Adobe Reader icon. The tutorial will not function correctly unless you have Version 3.0. or greater.

This might be a good time to update to the latest version of the Reader, version 5.0.

If you are a first time user, be sure to check out the section entitled Important Components and the section Important Information directly below it before you start Algebra Review.

You also need a graphics viewer for viewing certain `.tiff' files. See Components Needed for Browser, below.

Important Information. 


Ready to Start? Click on Review Algebra

Don't forget to sign the Guestbook after you browse the site, or after you begin your study! Note: Signing the guestbook is not required.

   Visitors since 7/7/97   
 10,000 visitors 7/8/98  60,000 visitors 1/15/2000
 20,000 visitors 2/23/99 70,000 visitors 3/2/2000
 30,000 visitors 7/4/99 80,000 visitors 4/14/2000
 40,000 visitors 10/13/99 150,000 visitors 6/10/2001
 50,000 visitors 12/1/99  
  Send comments, criticisms, witticisms, footnotes and remarks to 
e-mail: DPStory@Uakron.edu 
homepage: D. P. Story 

 Awards!  StudyWeb

 Why?    Why? Is a good question to ask. This review of (high school) algebra in 10 lessons is designed to prepare students entering The University of Akron for our Math Placement Exam II. The mark received on this test determines the starting point in mathematics at our university. Reasons for and uses of this tutorial are given in the opening menu.

 Tools Used:  Let me describe the tools used to develop the tutorials.

version 2.1: 
  • Why TeX and why AMS-TeX? The goal of the tutorials was to have textbook quality typesetting. AMS-TeX has a broad collection of mathematical typesetting macros that makes life easy. I did not use LaTeX. Plain TeX combined with AMS-TeX gave me the ability to write highly specialized formatting macros without being forced into a finite collection of packaged formats. 

TeX Compiler 
and Previewer
  • Some of the goals of these tutorials were to have color fonts, hypertext link capabilities for cross-referencing as well as textbook quality typesetting. After looking around for what was available (freeware, shareware, and payware), I settled on the Y&Y TeX System. This was the only system that had all the stated features---and then some. 
  • I found that the people at Y&Y were extremely cooperative. They worked with me and added in some additional features that I argued were important and needed. Without their help the initial phase of the project could not have progressed nearly as fast as it did. 
  • As a consequence of the high quality of the Y&Y product, I have been able to develop on-line tutorials in Calculus and Algebra that have a high degree of interactivity (also one of the goals of the project). On my Department's local network, students used the DVIWindo to view the tutorials. 

    One of the problems with the concept of an on-line tutorial was that the students had to come into the computer labs to read the tutorial. Early on, students asked me if the tutorials were available over the `net; my answer, an emphatic: "No!" 

  • Fortunately, the people of Y&Y anticipated the directions of TeX publication. They had already begun to work on the problem of porting PostScript files produced by their TeX compiler to the Portable Document Format of Adobe. This again made it very, very easy to move portions of the tutorial to the net. See the next point. 

Acrobat 3.0
by Adobe
  • Given that the basic goals of the project are still valid, the natural choice of document format was PDF. Y&Y's DVIPSONE automatically converts the hypertext links within the dvi file to pdfmarks. Hence, converting from dvi to pdf was a painless (almost) task. Within DVIWindo, we print the dvi file to Adobe's Distiller Assistant. The Assistant calls the Distiller to convert the file to the pdf format. A one-step process! 
  • Some of the interactivity is lost however. As I learn more about Acrobat and it's capabilities, perhaps all the tricks that I used for the dvi files can eventually be ported to the pdf format. 
  • Of course, a pdf file can be read on most any platform using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. 

 PSTricks In the tutorial Algebra Review in Ten Lessons, I've begun using PSTricks by Timothy van Zandt. This TeX macro package unleashes the power of postscript within a TeX document. I used PSTricks to create the Algebra Review logo and the many graphs that appear in Lessons 9 and 10.

Configuring your Browser

Graphics Viewers

I utilize graphic files in the tiff format for two purposes: (1) To display graphs and pictures that illustrate the points under discussion, and (2) To display messages to the user---this is used for the interactivity part of the tutorial.

You need a (external) helper application for viewing these tiff files. 

  • Windows 95. The one I use for my Windows 95 based system is a free viewer that extends quikview.exe, a program that comes with the operating system. The file you want is called ImgView. It is freely available from PCMag from their Downloads Homepage. Download ImgView and install it. (Be sure to install the tiff viewer.) Configure your browser to use quikview, which is located in c:\windows\system\viewers subdirectory, as the helper application to use with viewing tiff files. (Note: If you do not have the quikview.exe, you can download it from Microsoft; or, if not found at that Url (due to reindexing of the site), go to the Microsoft homepage and search on the key word "quickview".
  • Windows 3.x. I recommend ACDSee16. Configure your (Netscape) browser to use ACDSee16 as a helper application when viewing tiff files. 

 What's New!
  • (1/31/98) Uploaded a_qbn1j.pdf. This new version of Algeboard, which uses Acrobat Forms 3.5, uses Javascript programming to keep score as you answer the questions. You must have installed Acrobat Forms 3.5 for the games to work properly. Report any bugs in the programming to me please.
  • (12/1/97) Uploaded a_qbn1.pdf, Algeboard, the Algebra Quiz Board Game.
  • Uploaded maintut.pdf with new action button on it. Check it out!
  • (10/6/97) Installed Guestbook script. Forms available in html format and pdf format (see mainmenu.pdf)
  • (9/6/97) Uploaded Lesson 10 --- DONE! ! ! ! For Now
  • (8/4/97) Uploaded Lesson 9 --- one more to go!
  • (7/28/97) Uploaded Lesson 8 --- two more to go!
  • (7/14/97) Uploaded Lesson 7. Also lightly edited versions of Lessons 1 -- 6. Three more to go!
  • (7/7//97) Uploaded Lessons 1--6 for a Review of Algebra. 

 Site Map

For return visitors who want to jump directly to a topic of interest, here is a listing of the files. 

and Mirroring 

Should you find it necessary, you can download the tutorial to a local hard disk and use it locally; however, there are some caveats. 

The tutorial is setup for the Web and so many of the brown links are relative path URL's...they will not work on a local hard disk. Some brown links will work: The ones that simply load a pdf file; it is the links that have a named destination that will not work. All of the green links will work.

Additionally, you will lose all messages that pop-up with `funny messages.' All graphics are lost too.

These are natural limitations put on the system by the Acrobat application. Loading a file works the same whether on the Web or on a local system; jumping to a named destination in another pdf file requires one set commands for the Web and an entirely different set of commands for a local disk system. It is a bit of a nuisance because the tutorial is available locally at The University of Akron; consequently, I must recompile all files twice, once for the web and again for a local disk system.

The tutorial is undergoing constant change; downloading the tutorial immediately outdates it! What you see here is my `first time through.' Over the next year, I'll re-read the entire tutorial, re-write it, add new exercises and examples, more figures, better explanations etc, etc, and, of course, etc.

The Web system works very well at The University of Akron---the access time in my office is quite acceptable. Should you be interested, I might consider allowing other universities mirror this site, in this way the tutorial will be a greater pleasure (more than it already is :--) ) to use.

Please contact me if you would like to mirror this site.

 Acknowledgments The Algebra tutorials has never properly proof-read  I would like to thanks the following Web Surfers for reporting the "Algebraic Bug" that lived in the lessons. They are Gary M of U.K., Jeff K of the USA, Eric M of the USA, and Marco of Iceland. Many, many thanks for finding errors and typos; they have all improved the quality of the "Algebra Review in Ten Lessons".dps