Projects / Spotter


Spotter is software that can check students' answers to symbolic and numerical problems in math and science. It recognizes an answer regardless of the form it's in, and the instructor can put in helpful hints as responses to frequently-occurring mistakes. Symbolic answers can be input in a notation closely resembling normal human math notation (e.g., xy rather than x*y, and sin x instead of sin(x)). Spotter runs as a Perl CGI application on a Web server; the student doesn't need to install any software.

Operating Systems

Recent releases

  •  08 Jan 2013 21:21

    Release Notes: The directory structure for the installed files has been cleaned up; users upgrading from Spotter 2.x will need to move some things around. A bug involving logins has been fixed. The code has been cleaned up.

    •  21 May 2010 01:42

      Release Notes: The program can now check the number of significant figures in the student's answer.

      •  07 May 2009 16:23

        Release Notes: This version fixes a bug involving the rendering of some mathematical expressions on the screen, e.g. a variable named "hbar" no longer causes an error.

        •  07 Oct 2008 04:42

          Release Notes: This version fixes three bugs. The numerical sampling algorithm uses more samples, making it more robust. A bug has been fixed that made the program give incomplete output in cases where variables were defined, but not given a verbal description, in the XML file. Inverse trig functions are now rendered properly in mathml.

          •  06 Oct 2007 23:26

            Release Notes: The code has been cleaned up, and server-side performance has been improved by about a factor of three.


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