Overview of Problem Libraries

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National Problem Library (NPL)

The National Problem Library contains problems from several of the File Based Problem Libraries, including all of the problems from the Arizona State, Rochester, Cal State Long Beach, University of Virginia libraries. It also contains most, if not all, of the problems from Union College, College of New Jersey, Dartmouth, Ohio State, Northern Arizona University, and Indiana University.

In addition to merging these problem collections into a single collection, WeBWorK provides a different interface to these problems. Problems in the NPL are marked internally with metadata, and instructors can search for problems on the basis of this data. This mechanism is built into WeBWorK's library browser. In particular, one can search hierarchically by course, chapter, section. To a limited extent, problems have been indexed against sections of textbooks in which case an instructor can also search for problems on that basis. WeBWorK stores this information in a database, so part of the installation involves loading metadata into the database.

Obtaining the NPL

First, make sure you have an /opt/webwork/libraries directory:

$ mkdir -p /opt/webwork/libraries

The database problem library can be downloaded from the ASU CVS repository.

$ cd /opt/webwork/libraries
$ cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/asu co database_problems

If you are running WeBWorK 2.3.x, you must create a ProblemLibrary database on your MySQL server. (***** represents the MySQL root password.)

$ mysql -u root
Password: *****
> CREATE DATABASE ProblemLibrary;
> GRANT SELECT on ProblemLibrary.* TO webworkWrite@localhost;
> quit
Bye.
$

If you are running WeBWorK 2.4.x, this is not necessary as the NPL indexes are stored within the main webwork database.

Configure WeBWorK to access the problem library. The settings are in global.conf:

For WeBWorK 2.3.x:

variable description
$problemLibrary{root} Path to database_problems directory. Should be /opt/webwork/libraries/database_problems.
$problemLibrary{version} Version of the problem library database. Should be =2=.
$problemLibrary{sourceSQL} Name of the database. Should be ProblemLibrary.
$problemLibrary{userSQL} Username to use when connecting to the database. Can usually be left as $database_username.
$problemLibrary{passwordSQL} Password to use when connecting to the database. Can usually be left as $database_password.

For WeBWorK 2.4.x

variable description
$problemLibrary{root} Path to database_problems directory. Should be /opt/webwork/libraries/database_problems.
$problemLibrary{version} Version of the problem library database. Should be =2=.
$problemLibrary_db{dbsource} Name of the database. Can usually be left as $database_dsn.
$problemLibrary_db{user} Username to use when connecting to the database. Can usually be left as $database_username.
$problemLibrary_db{passwd} Password to use when connecting to the database. Can usually be left as $database_password.

Finally, populate the database:

For WeBWorK 2.3.x:

Run the loadDB2 script to populate the database. This script must be run from the database_problems directory.

$ cd /opt/webwork/libraries/database_problems
$ ./loadDB2
What is the root password for mysql? *****
Mysql database reinitialized
Converting data from tagged pgfiles into mysql.
$ 

For WeBWorK 2.4.x:

Run the NPL-update script to populate the database. This script is located in the webwork2/bin directory and may be invoked from anywhere.

$ /opt/webwork/webwork2/bin/NPL-update
Mysql database reinitialized.
Reading in textbook data.
Converting data from tagged pgfiles into mysql.
Number of files processed:
   100   200   300   400   500   600   700   800   900  1000
...
Done.
$ 

There is no need to add symlinks to course templates directory, as is necessary with file based Problem Libraries. It is done automatically.

Browsing the NPL

Log into a WeBWorK course and select Library Browser from the links menu. On the resulting screen, click the Problem Library button.

Updating the NPL

The CVS repository for the NPL is updated as problems are added, additional metadata is added, or problem bugs are fixed. So, it is a good idea to update your copy of the NPL periodically, say once per semester.

To update, run the cvs update command to download the latest versions from our server. Then, re-run loadDB2 (WeBWorK 2.3.x) or NPL-update (WeBWorK 2.4.x).

$ cd /opt/webwork/libraries/database_problems
$ cvs -q update -dPA
$ ./loadDB2
What is the root password for mysql? *****
Mysql database reinitialized
Converting data from tagged pgfiles into mysql.
$ 

Contributing to the NPL

If you have written new problems, you might like to contribute contribute them to the NPL so others can benefit from them as well.

File Based Problem Libraries

These libraries consist of a directory tree organized roughly by the chapters of a canonical calculus book (or in some cases a canonical text for another subject). There is no database index of tagged metadata. It is envisioned that the material in these libraries will eventually be given metadata, checked for errors and duplicates and folded into the NPL.

Arizona State University Math Problem Library

This problem library is now empty. All of the problems have been moved into the National Problem Library.

The College of New Jersey Math Problem Library

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) makes a large number of linear algebra problems available in this collection. Please send links of any problems that don't work to Tom Hagedorn, hagedorn at tcnj.edu. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/tcnj co tcnj_problib

Dartmouth College Library

This library has problems compatible with the Marsden and Tromba multi-dimensional calculus book. It also has problems compatible with the later chapters in Stewart's calculus book. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/dartmouth co dartmouth_problib

Detroit County Day School Math Problem Library (High School)

These high school and pre-calculus level problems were written by Mark Schmidt at Detroit Country Day School. Send corrections to gage at math.rochester.edu or to M.Schmitt at dcds.edu. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/dcds co dcds_problib

Indiana University Math Problem Library

No description. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/indiana co indiana_problib

Northern Arizona University Library

The Northern Arizona University Library has new problems for graph theory, statistics and pre-calculus. The setExamples set cleans up some of the problems in Rochester Library's setMAAtutorial set and adds several more. Send corrections to Nandor.Sieben at nau.edu. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/nau co nau_problib

Union College Math Problem Library

The Union College Math Problem Library should now be fully funcitonal. A few of the problems may not work as advertised, since they may have trouble finding the links to auxiliary materials, such as external graphs.

Davide Cervones and Kathryn Leash are principally responsible for designing these problems. The level set and 3d problems are particularly nice!!

Please send links of any problems that don't work to gage at math.rochester.edu or dpvc at union.edu or better yet enter them into the WeBWorK bugzilla via the "report problem bugs" on the PG editor page. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/union co union_problib

UC Santa Barbara and Brooks/Cole

Problems inspired by Stewart's Calculus book. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/ucsb co ucsb_problib

University of Georgia Math Problem Library

WeBWorK mathematics homework problems created at the University of Georgia. Send corrections to Ted Ashton (ashted at math.uga.edu) or even better enter them into bugzilla via the "report problem bugs" on the PG editor page. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/uga co uga_problib

University of Michigan Math Problem Library

This library contains problems related to the Hughes-Hallet et.al. Harvard Calculus text. Send corrections to Gavin Larose, glarose at umich.edu, or even better enter them into the WeBWorK bugzilla via the "report problem bugs" on the PG editor page. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/umich co umich_problib

University of Rochester Math Problem Library

The Rochester Math Problem Library should now be fully funcitonal. A few of the problems may not work as advertised, since they may have trouble finding the links to auxiliary materials, such as external graphs. Please send links of any problems that don't work to gage at math.rochester.edu or even better enter them into the WeBWorK bugzilla via the "report problem bugs" on the PG editor page. (CVS)

The Rochester library includes many problems prepared by Zbigniew Fiedorowicz at Ohio State University as well as a large number of problems prepared by Jun Wang at Alabama State University

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/rochester co rochester_problib

University of Rochester Physics Problem Library

These physics problems were originally written in CAPA and mechanically translated into the PG language. Thanks to help from Frank Wolfs the .eps file pictures now display properly. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/rochester co rochester_physics_problib

University of Rochester Grade 8 Math Problems

These problems, written largly by Tori Sweetser, contain material at the level of the New York State 8th grade exams. Many of these problems are written using the multiple choice and matching tools. Send corrections to gage at math.rochester.edu. (CVS)

To check out this library:

cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/rochester co rochester_grade8problems
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