Happy Halloween!

We wanted to celebrate Halloween with a card created by one of our content coders using WebAssign graphing code.  You can add this card to your own assignments and share with your students and other instructors using the Question ID: 2748782.


Halloween graph

Friday Funny!

Did you hear about the mathematician who hated negative numbers?

He’ll stop at nothing to avoid them!


“My WebAssign Life”

We love seeing the creativity of our student users. We recently came across this great essay, published by The Observer, a student-run daily print and online newspaper serving Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Thank you, Erin, for letting us share it with our readers!

My WebAssign Life

Written by Erin Thomassen

I love little green checkmarks. I hate red X’s. This is my WebAssign life.

My home is the WebAssign homepage. It is white and rather empty. My list of current assignments is not empty. There are 63.

I take a deep breath and click on the first one. The “0/0” is concerning. I scroll down the page, on the lookout for a “Watch It” box. I locate one under number six.

I know I can answer this question, for the man with the robot-voice will lead me through every step of the problem. He is my sensei.

How could he be my sensei if I have never seen him? How can I even know he is qualified to be my sensei?

The first time I discovered the joys of “Watch It,” I saw how my sensei-to-be added a cute hat on his î unit vectors. After that, there was no question about it: he was the sensei for me. He also gave me the answers, which helped him beat out the nonexistent competition.

Even though I love my sensei, he has been getting on my nerves lately. He refuses to give me the answers to the problems I struggle with most, such as finding the maximum volume of a cube and finding a way to talk to Mr. Shoeless.

I had the prime opportunity to talk to Mr. Shoeless the other night in North Dining Hall; he was wearing shoes for once (go health regulations, beat hipsters), and I thought I could comment on his recent addition of soles to his feet.

I wasn’t quite sure how to say what I wanted to say, so I did what I always did when I didn’t know how to tackle a problem: I logged onto WebAssign for a “Watch It” video. I assumed that my sensei could walk me through the solution step-by-step. I should not have assumed, for I couldn’t find any advice on approaching shoeless strangers — not even a “Read It.” I was dismayed.

But I couldn’t give up now; I had already devoted two minutes to this master plan. Maybe I was looking in the wrong place. I looked around me and saw a wonderful arena for practicing: a three-dimensional dining hall.

I headed over to the Stanford table to “Practice Another Version.”

“Hey,” I said to the first guy I saw. “You’re wearing shoes.”

“I always wear shoes,” he said, and returned his attention to his taco. I was less interesting than cheddar cheese. I would have been okay with provolone, but cheddar? I know when I’ve been insulted.

I tried to shake it off, but was struggling to get my Taylor Swift on. Her new album wouldn’t come out for two weeks, but I couldn’t afford to wait that long. Mr. Shoeless was right here, right now. I had to do what I did when I was desperate on WebAssign: enter “asdf” and “Click to View Solution.”

I went up to the next person I saw. “Asdf,” I said. He didn’t respond. Maybe the network was down. “ASDF,” I said louder, this time to his back. He didn’t turn around. Maybe my answer was off by more than 10 percent.

I couldn’t give up, though — not now. He was mounting the staircase.

“ASDF!” I popped out from behind the column. He dropped his tray and everyone applauded. Yes! Applause must equal a green checkmark.

Now I knew my answer was right, but what if “asdf” would not do the trick with a different stranger? Maybe Mr. Shoeless was a “qwerty” kind of guy, or maybe he used an international keyboard. What if he would only respond to special characters or wanted a negative rather than a positive answer? The anxiety was real.

I decided to calm down. My volition was to calm down. Unfortunately, I could not turn this volition into my will, for I was not capable of calming down. Logic could not conquer emotion, at least not my emotion. Remember: I was a Taylor Swift fan.

I tried to tune out Ms. Swift and listen to my left-brain, which told me I had no reason to stress. Even if “asdf” were not the best way to start a conversation with Mr. Shoeless, I would still have seven submissions left.

On WebAssign, the only answer that mattered was the last one; all the others were erased. Real life must be the same; even if I tripped or burped or broke out in an unfortunate duggie in front of Mr. Shoeless, I could still get a 100 percent on our interaction by getting the eighth submission right.

My right brain told me finger-painting with pesto would be a better idea than embarrassing myself in front of Mr. Shoeless. I listened. Mr. Shoeless was spared, and Mr. Seinfeld finally understands why everybody likes pesto.

WebAssign Named Finalist for North Carolina Tech Awards

We are excited to announce that WebAssign has been named a finalist for the 2014 NC Tech Awards in the category of Use of Technology- Education. The NC Tech Awards (formerly the NCTA 21 Awards) are North Carolina’s only statewide technology awards program that recognizes outstanding achievement in technology. Finalists were selected by an outside consulting firm and independent selection committee. NCTechAwards_Logo

“Since 1995, the NC Tech Awards have honored companies for outstanding achievement in the tech sector and use of technology. As a finalist in this year’s awards, WebAssign has distinguished itself as one of the state’s technology leaders,” said Brooks Raiford, NCTA’s President and CEO.

A review committee comprised of non-profit, media, education, and technology leaders representing various regions of the state selected this year’s finalists. The awards process culminates with the NC Tech Awards Gala on November, 6 2014 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

“As the oldest technology company in North Carolina solely focused on education, we are honored to be recognized by NCTA as a finalist for the use of technology in education,” said Alex Bloom, President of WebAssign.


WebAssign Employee Recognized by Wake County Public School System

We are thrilled to announce that Larry Rappl, one of our employees, was honored by Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) with the School-to-Career Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award! The award honors WebAssign and Larry’s long-standing partnership with the Wake N.C. State University STEM Early College High School program.

In an effort to prepare first-generation college students, WebAssign provides weekly tutoring and work-based learning experiences through job shadowing and internships. Larry used our mission and vision, which is to promote, support, and improve educational instruction and student learning, to recruit and encourage employees to become involved. Approximately 230 students attended a 12-week program in which our employees tutored and mentored students.

“We are lucky to have an employee motivated by our company mission to become involved in programs that improve education for young people in our community,” said Alex Bloom, president. “Larry’s commitment to the Wake N.C. State University STEM Early College High School program is admirable.”

Larry is furthering his commitment with a WebAssign sponsored tutor/mentoring program during the 2014-15 Academic Year. Students will experience the relevancy of their curriculum in a variety of STEM related workplaces and have an opportunity to network with professionals who will likely serve as mentors during high school and college.

“It’s incredible that as individual employees of WebAssign, we have an opportunity to directly impact our community,” commented Larry. “I am proud of WebAssign and my colleagues for becoming involved in programs that directly impact students of WCPSS.”

Congrats Larry, and thanks for all you do to support education!