The apps in this project are designed to demonstrate the mathematical theory in a dynamic, interactive way. Each app runs in a separate window, with the small amount of text necessary to describe the app and its notation, but with little explicit mathematical exposition. Thus, the apps can be used with the expository portion of this project, or by themselves, at various mathematical levels.
The apps generally fall into two basic types:
A standard Graphical User Interface (GUI) is used, with command buttons, scroll bars and list boxes. There is no programming or command language, so students should be able to run the apps with little or no instructions. The apps run in a separate window, so that the student can easily move back and forth between the apps and the corresponding hypertext discussion, and so that a student can keep an app open and running as she browses through the text.
The app output is displayed numerically and graphically in a set of coordinated tables and graphs. A consistent color-coding is used. Graphical objects that depend only on the distributions or parameters are shown in blue, while graphical objects that depend on data (either simulation or student generated) are shown in red. Most app objects have tool tips, small pop-up boxes that explain the object. Rest the cursor on an object to display the tool tip.
Apps that are simulations of random processes all have the Main Toolbar with the following basic buttons and contorts:
The stop frequency is selected from the second list box in the main toolbar. The stop frequency is the number of runs before the simulation stops in run mode. In most apps you can select a stop frequency of 10, 100, 1000, or 10000. In some apps, other stop rules are provided.
The student can easily vary the parameters, select distributions, and choose among appropriate modeling assumptions using list boxes, scroll bars, and pop-up dialog boxes. These controls appear on parameter toolbars at the top of the app window, below the main toolbar.