[texpoint-users] Trouble getting installed, WAMAP potential

Straayer, David dstraayer at tacomacc.edu
Tue Mar 12 09:22:11 PDT 2013

Still trying to get an installation going for testing.

I've twice tried up send in the upload log to 'authors at texpoint.necula.org', but clobbered by 40K limit.  The first try I didn't even bother to check the log file size (gee, they're usually pretty small, after all), and the second time I zip'ed it up (showed in Windows as 35K, but still rejected as over 40K, the math eludes me, the 2.4% difference between 10^3 and 2^10 notwithstanding).  If anybody responds to this, I can provide a URL pointing to the offending log.zip file.

Here is the scoop:

WAMAP (WAMAP.org) is a state-funded Mathematics Assessment and Placement system.  I and many other math instructors in Washington State use it for both homework and tests.  It has a big bank of algorithmic math questions.  When I use it to make printed tests, I've been using the "paste in math notation in bitmap form" option.  This works (sort of) but:

1.       The formatting of math notation is far below the standards of Tex or even Word's Equation Editor.  For example, the point size of subscripts and superscripts is not reduced from the base font size.

2.       The bitmaps are often slightly miss-placed in the resulting text.

3.       The bitmaps print in a grayish color.

All of these combine to make it difficult for struggling students to correctly interpret the math notation in the problems.  The author, David Lippman, provides an  "export math notation as Tex" option.  I contacted him to ask how he uses it, and he reported that he doesn't, he just
"As I recall, I added it because I could, not for any particular known use."

Now it seems to me that a fair number of other math instructors in Washington might buy and use TexPoint2010 if we could demonstrate that it actually works to produce nicely formatted math tests.

So I'm asking you to take a look at the attached log file (I haven't been able to get it to show up in Word 2010 yet), and the sample WAMAP output I sent you yesterday.  I'm betting that we can make this work.  I will license and urge others to do so the minute I print up a nicely formatted test. :)

David H. Straayer
Mathematics and Computer Science Instructor
Tacoma Community College

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