### Intelligent Help at Every Step:
The Impossible Mathematical Dream?

John C. Miller

Director, Algebra Courseware Project

Department of Mathematics

The City College of CUNY

New York, NY 10031

Phone: (212) 650-5148

E-mail: jochmiller@aol.com

#### ABSTRACT

Current commercial basic algebra courseware packages feature multi-media
segments and course management capabilities, but do not support step-by-step
solutions to problems and for many topics do not offer nearly the number and
variety of exercises found in typical algebra textbooks. The Algebra
Courseware Project offers xyAlgebra, a basic algebra courseware package
accepting step-by-step solutions to most problems and offering intelligent
help at every step. Such help is provided by problem solving algorithms
which permit the program to help the student finish each problem by the
student's method, beginning wherever the student encounters trouble.
More than 500 problem forms are included, allowing xyAlgebra to generate
tens of thousands of distinct problems to help students develop their skills
incrementally. A site license for the complete xyAlgebra package is available
free of charge to educational institutions from the author.