# Happy Pi Day from MathLeap!

It’s our favorite holiday of the year at MathLeap and we’ve been cooking up some tasty math goodness for pre-algebra and algebra classes to celebrate. We’re pleased to announce the following features:

Beautiful formatting. Prior versions of MathLeap displayed math expressions in plaintext. Today we’re introducing math that looks like it’s supposed to!

Hints and tutorials. We’ve added lots of guidance for teachers and students using MathLeap for the first time that will help make everyone’s experience as delightful as pie.

New question types. MathLeap’s available topics have grown to include inequalities, evaluating variable expressions, two variable linear equations, polynomials…

# Intuition for Flipping the Inequality

In pre-algebra and algebra classes, students learn to make statements about expressions’ relative sizes like 5 > 3 and 1/2 < 2/3. Once we reach algebra, we can incorporate variables to say things like -x > 5. When we’re simplifying inequalities like these, we teach students to flip the sign whenever multiplying or dividing each side of an inequality by a negative. In this post, we’ll share some visual intuition for why we do this.

Let’s separate inequality statements into three categories:

1. when the quantities being compared are both positive
2. when the quantities being compared are both negative
3. when one…

# MathLeap Explained

MathLeap is a web application that STEM teachers use to create self-grading assignments. Unlike other programs, MathLeap provides a specialized math editor that students use to show their work right in the browser. Our smart grading engine instantly analyzes student work to provide granular, personalized feedback (which also means no more grading for teachers). That feedback helps students understand and learn from their mistakes.

# How it works

Create assignments by choosing question topics. We’ll generate the questions for you.

Students show their work right in the browser.

# What Happened

1. On Tuesday, we noticed the js ui tests were erroring starting at this build.
2. We closed the tree to investigate.
3. An npm outage started almost immediately after the tree was closed. Our travis builds were still having issues fetching our dependencies from npm last night when
4. Kevin Grandon awesomely moved our dependencies onto GitHub.
5. We narrowed down the issue to a b2g-desktop crash triggered (intermittently) by sending emails from the email app (we use a fake imap server in our integration tests).
6. …

# Background

Tests are good. They help us communicate to other developers the ideas we have about how the software we write should work. When I joined Mozilla to work on Gaia (the Firefox OS frontend) in March, the testing situation wasn’t great. We had lots of regressions and no easy way to make things stable.

A small group of Gaia developers got together in June to solve this problem by building a framework that made writing and running acceptance tests simple. I am proud to say that we now have 76 test cases running on continuous integration. …

## gareth aye

Founder of MathLeap. Former engineering lead at Mozilla. Middlebury CS ‘12.

Get the Medium app