computerised exams?  dimpase  1/18/11 9:54 PM  Dear all,
I'll be teaching an "Experimental mathematics" undergraduate class next year (it's likely to have up to 200 people taking it), and I am trying to collect information on ways to conduct exams for courses involving computer algebra on computer. In my school this is unheard of (in CS courses they still make people write code on paper!) And links, experiences, procedures for such exams? Thanks a lot in advance. Dmitrii Pasechnik 
Re: [sageedu] computerised exams?  David Joyner  1/19/11 3:37 AM  Will all these students take the exam in class simultaneously in a large computer lab? >  
Re: computerised exams?  Jonathan  1/19/11 6:47 AM  Dmitrii,
David's question is critical. I do some computer exercises in my upperlevel chemistry classes, but can only do test questions where they do something on the computer in the smaller classes where I have enough computers to sit every student in front of one. Typical computer labs don't work because the students can easily see their neighbor's screens. I do this in a chemistry lab and have to be careful about where the computers are set up. I typically do this by providing them with software localized to their computer and ask them to save their results in a file. I can certainly imagine having them use a Sage server for something and asking them to name the worksheet so that I can find it. If you are not the manager, they would have to share it with you. Jonathan 
Re: [sageedu] Re: computerised exams?  Jorge Garcia  1/19/11 7:56 AM  The problem with using a SAGE server for testing. asside from students seeing eachother's work on adjacent monitors, is that the students can share worksheets withe eachother! i use SAGE servers for graded work but only in class assignments done in groups for a group grade. It is even worse if you are using a public SAGE server. Someone off campus could be sharing worksheets with your students...  Dmitrii, Jonathan  You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "sageedu" group. 
Re: computerised exams?  Rob Beezer  1/19/11 8:48 AM  For linear algebra, with a class size of about 20, I allow the
students to use calculators, or Sage on laptops (I'll probably move to *requiring* Sage next time I teach the course). We have a campusonly Sage server. I then sit in the back where I can watch their screens. In other courses, I have done a "theory" exam in class, and a "take home" exam for the computerized portion. But then you have to be concerned about collusion. Or perhaps make graded homework exercises (in Sage) a big part of the course grade, which is what I have done in abstract algebra. You could ask some general questions on a written exam that tested their understanding of the homework exercises, as a check on if they had done that work themselves. But it is a hard problem  both logistically and in terms of making sure you are evaluating their work fairly. Rob 
Re: computerised exams?  millerj  1/19/11 6:48 AM  Dmitri,
I would be very interested in a summary of the responses you receive to this question. Jason ================================================================ Jason E. Miller, Ph.D. Professor of Mathematics Truman State University Kirksville, MO http://pyrite.truman.edu/~millerj/ 6607857430 (work) 
Re: computerised exams?  pang  1/19/11 12:19 PM  We've conducted several exams already. Last year we first though about
grading mostly by takehome exercises, but the percentage of blind copy +paste was unacceptable, and we were forced to perform lots of exams, sometimes not on the best possible conditions. * In a room where Sage is installed locally and no folder is mounted remotely, we simply unplug the internet cable. If the room is full and the students are too close, and we need two versions of the exam. * We used several times a lab under our control that has a server for the students home folders, so we cannot unplug. We polished a firewall to make sure they don't have internet, they can't share their home folders with the others, and maybe some other stuff. We also log everything. * We also used a lab where we could see almost all students screens at once. The instalation is local but for some reason we couldn't unplug the cable. However I don't get the impression they copied a lot. * The most crazy time was a exam where the only lab available had very old computers, so we had to use a server. I wrote a firewall to allow only access to the server and kept the log from the server to check no two students would login to the same account (and logged in as admin to check no worksheet was shared). However I didn't set the ulimits right, and when a certain number of students launched their buggy code the server ran out of RAM, so I didn't really follow the protocol. Those students were not very techy or may be they were just honest, but we don't think they copied either. So for various circumstances we weren't always safe and got some attempts to copy, some of which we couldn't really prove. If you have logs to show it, it's ok, but it's better not to give them the chance. The most obvious thing to check is the internet connection. If you can unplug the internet connection, that'll make for the most smooth exam. 
Re: computerised exams?  dimpase  1/19/11 4:32 PM  yes, that's the idea (well, we have 3 labs with total capacity over 200 seats) perhaps we decide to split the class into 2 streams with 2 independent exams, it's not clear yet. 
Re: computerised exams?  dimpase  1/19/11 4:33 PM  I am not saying we will use Sage for exams. Most probably, just pure Python. 
Re: [sageedu] Re: computerised exams?  David Joyner  1/19/11 7:35 PM  On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 7:32 PM, dimpase <dim...@gmail.com> wrote:

Re: [sageedu] Re: computerised exams?  robertwb  1/20/11 1:03 AM  On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 7:35 PM, David Joyner <wdjo...@gmail.com> wrote: Even easier is to create one public worksheet that everyone must  Robert 
Re: [sageedu] Re: computerised exams?  Jason Grout  1/20/11 5:40 AM 
It sounds like keeping track of who a worksheet was ever shared with is Thanks, Jason 
Re: computerised exams?  john_perry_usm  1/20/11 6:07 AM  I don't completely agree with the concerns others have raised about
cheating. One of the wonderful aspects of computerbased evaluation is the ability to randomize questions: not just the numbers within questions, but the questions themselves. For years, I've given my Modern Algebra classes randomized tests where each student has a different test: if two students get together, it's likely that they'd have 1 or 2 common questions (out of 5, say) but no more. So imagine a worksheet that generates its own questions via one or more hidden, autoexecuting procedures. All possible questions could be embedded in the code, but not all possible questions would be displayed, only the questions for a particular student. regards john perry

Re: computerised exams?  kcrisman  1/20/11 6:23 AM  I'm not sure this is possible without having this visible to the students via edit. On the other hand, one could create a randomly generated worksheet using LaTeX and tex2sws, since SageTeX has access to Sage's random number facilities...  kcrisman PS Yes, Rob, that means I was able to get tex2sws to work on Mac, actually quite easily. Unfortunately, since Dan D. is constantly updating SageTeX, I'm pretty sure that the one I have in my TeX distro can't handle your more exotic examples (\begin{sageexample}?), and I can never get the new SageTeX class file to find the right place to live :( 
Re: computerised exams?  john_perry_usm  1/20/11 6:38 AM  > > So imagine a worksheet that generates its own questions via one or> ... > I'm not sure this is possible without having this visible to theI don't see this as a problem: even though all questions are visible to the determined, (a) not all students have the same questions, and (b) the solutions are hopefully not part of the questions, nor the source to generate them. I guess it depends on the sort of questions one wants to ask. regards john perry 
Re: computerised exams?  Rob Beezer  1/20/11 10:41 AM  On Jan 20, 6:07 am, john_perry_usm <john.pe...@usm.edu> wrote:There is relatively new code for creating random matrices with nice properties, which I have been meaning to advertise here anyway. I've thought of it as being useful for generating practice problems, but it had not dawned on me that it could be useful for generating random test questions. There is now an 'algorithm' keyword to the random_matrix() constructor that takes values like 'echelonizable', 'unimodular' and 'subspaces', along with a 'rank' keyword. The results are generally integerentry matrices where relevant computations by hand (rref, kernel, column space, inverse) never devolve into too many gruesome fractions. This was a summer project by a student of mine, Billy Wonderly, and it had about the right complexity (mathematics and Sage) to fill a summer nicely. Maybe there would be other arenas (calculus, stats) where some code generating random "typical" problems would be useful? And they might also make for nice summer projects? Rob 
Re: computerised exams?  Rob Beezer  1/20/11 10:57 AM  On Jan 20, 6:23 am, kcrisman <kcris...@gmail.com> wrote:Very good! Given my bleedingedge dependency on SageTeX, I now put the whole, latest, mostcurrent SageTeX package into my personal texmf tree, ignoring the version distributed with Sage. But now I need to get the sagetex.py piece of Sage to match up. Note there are about six copies of sagetex.py floating around. Some (most?) are a proofofconcept idea to convert a worksheet to (la)tex. I would guess they are obsolete given the sws2tex project? Maybe they could be excised? Anyway, here is a hint of how to get the current sagetex.py into the right place in Sage, hopefully the pieces are basically self explanatory. I think Dan is going to add a short explanation of this to some portion of the SageTeX docs. ~/texmf/tex/latex/sagetex20101119r112$ $SAGE_ROOT/sage python setup.py install Any problems converting \begin{sageexample}\end{sageexample} to a worksheet are on my end, not Dan's. I'm making this work with a quick anddirty hack that I just have not cleanedup yet and is therefore not public, but which I will send to you offlist right now. Now you can see where I am: latest version of SageTeX w/ Sage hacked to match, hacked version of conversion software, heavilypatched Sage to include inprogress linear algebra patches, heavilypatched version of textbook with new Sage content. It is a small wonder anything useful at all comes out of all this. ;) Rob 
Re: computerised exams?  kcrisman  1/20/11 12:58 PM  This is getting OT, but I would say not necessarily. sws2tex makes a nicelooking thing that is like the worksheet  parses the HTML. It does not create a SageTeX document, but rather something that can immediately be LaTeXed up with or without Sage. That doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice to have a switch to provide this option, but that isn't going to happen soon.  kcrisman 
Re: computerised exams?  Rob Beezer  1/20/11 1:27 PM  On Jan 20, 12:58 pm, kcrisman <kcris...@gmail.com> wrote:Right. Maybe I was not real clear. There are about 7 files in a sage tree named sagetex.py. Some are for SageTeX. Others are totally different, and IIRC duplicate the intent of sws2tex, ie converting a worksheet to a latex able file. I was suggesting that maybe sws2tex was doing a better job of this, and that having two very different sagetex.py files floating around could be very confusing. Rob 
Re: [sageedu] computerised exams?  lfmartins  1/20/11 7:05 PM  I teach a course in which all exams require the use of Sage. I do this only in an upperlevel course, with at most 20 students. The exams always have two parts. In the inclass part, I ask them to use Sage for the computations and write the solutions on paper with an explanation of the method of solution, including what they did by hand and what they did on Sage. Then, they have to append a printed copy of their worksheet pointing to where the computations for each problem are.The inclass questions never require much programming, I leave that for the takehome part. I don't find any problem with cheating. Our lab is big enough to have Another idea a colleague gave me is to make part of the exam a "group The approach with lowerlevel classes with larger number of students On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 12:54 AM, dimpase <dim...@gmail.com> wrote: >  
Re: computerised exams?  kcrisman  1/20/11 7:06 PM  Gotcha. In which case someone who has at least *some* idea of what is
going on should open a ticket to squash some of them. And cc: me.  kcrisman 
Re: [sageedu] computerised exams?  lfmartins  1/20/11 7:12 PM  Oh, another thing I do: I have questions in which I tell the students: "you can only use this and this Sage commands in your solution". This way, I can give them problems that can be solved in Sage with a single command, but I still want them to do part of it by hand. A simple example would be: "Find all solutions of the equation ax=b in Z/mZ. You are only allowed to use basic arithmetic with integers and the xgcd command for this problem." 
Re: [sageedu] Re: computerised exams?  lfmartins  1/20/11 7:24 PM  It seems this topic branched into two different issues... I had a similar problem with a recent Sage installation I made (In It so happened that texlive had an outdated version of sagetex.py. It BTW, I am doing this because I wrote a program to help with automatic I would also be glad if someone could tell me what kind of licensing >  
Re: [sageedu] Re: computerised exams?  Dan Drake  1/20/11 8:16 PM  On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 at 10:24PM 0500, Luiz Felipe Martins wrote: This came up just a little while ago. SageTeX was part of TeXLive for Fortunately, I think you can put sagetex.sty in your personal texmf tree \usepackage{sagetex}[2010/10/20] or similar. In the meantime, there's now a mechanism in SageTeX to detect version Dan  
Re: [sageedu] Re: computerised exams?  Jason Grout  1/20/11 8:31 PM 
I haven't had a problem with version mismatches since I did this, and I Jason 
How to get correct sagetex  kcrisman  1/21/11 7:10 AM  Changing subject and moving to sagesupport...
> > > On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 at 10:24PM 0500, Luiz Felipe Martins wrote: > >> I had a similar problem with a recent Sage installation I made (In > >> ubuntu). I installed Sage, and SageTex according to the "official" > >> documentation (get SageTex from the Sage site, set a local texmf > >> structure, etc.), and had exceptions running sagetex.py > > >> It so happened that texlive had an outdated version of sagetex.py. It > >> is sort of a chickenandegg thing. SageTex needs some packages > >> (makecmd.sty, or something like that), that are in the texliveextras > >> package, which also comes with the bad sagetex.py. I guess they just > >> dump everything that is on CTAN in their package. > > > This came up just a little while ago. SageTeX was part of TeXLive for > > just long enough to "infect" lots of Linux packages, and there's nothing > > we can do about it except wait for new TeXLive packages that don't > > include SageTeX to come out. It'll take years. :( > > > Fortunately, I think you can put sagetex.sty in your personal texmf tree > > and TeX will use that version. You can also demand a particular version > > of sagetex.sty in your LaTeX file: > > > \usepackage{sagetex}[2010/10/20] > > > or similar. > > > In the meantime, there's now a mechanism in SageTeX to detect version > > mismatches, but that doesn't help with the above problem... > > What I did is create a symbolic link from > ~/Library/texmf/tex/generic/sagetex to > ~/sage/local/share/texmf/tex/generic/sagetex. Then I always have ~/sage > point to my current version of sage. That way whenever I upgrade, the > sagetex.sty file in my personal texmf tree is automatically upgraded, > since it was just a symbolic link to my sage install. > Unfortunately, I use MacTeX/TeXLive, and so this doesn't quite work. I made a symbolic link ln s /Applications/MathApps/sage/local/share/texmf/tex/generic/ sagetex generic/sagetex but my tex still uses the sagetex in /usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf dist/tex/latex/sagetex/sagetex.sty and I'm not supposed to mess with that directory. Maybe if I put it in /texmf/tex/latex instead? But that doesn't work either. Any ideas?  kcrisman 
Re: computerised exams?  pang  1/21/11 7:55 AM  On 21 ene, 04:05, Luiz Felipe Martins <luizfelipe.mart...@gmail.com>
wrote: > My exams are with open books > and notes, so I am not concerned with them finding things on the > internet. The problem with the internet is they can send the solutions to each other by email. I'd be glad to let them use the internet to search for resources. 
Re: [sageedu] How to get correct sagetex  Jason Grout  1/21/11 8:05 AM  On 01/21/2011 09:10 AM, kcrisman wrote
Did you regenerate your tex path list? Try doing $ sudo texhash Then do $ kpsewhich sagetex.sty and make sure that the path it prints out is your user tex path. For $kpsewhich sagetex.sty Jason 