WeBWorK Problems

context for polar coordinates

Re: context for polar coordinates

by Alex Jordan -
Number of replies: 0
I think what I want is a context where you could ask questions like "Where does this curve cross that curve?" with the curves specified in some combination of:
y=f(x), r=f(theta), and {x=f(t), y=g(t)}
(My immediate questions to code have two equations in polar form.)

Some students gravitate toward answers like
even when the two curves were expressed in polar and others would answer with
Polar-(sqrt(2), pi/4)

I have no problem with this flexibility for these questions, and it would be nice to program in that flexibility. I'm thinking that I need a new kind of MathObject: Polar. It would be analogous to Point, but have different delimiters and/or separators. Perhaps P(r,t) would be the default or perhaps (r;t). The comparison operator == would be usable between a Polar and a 2D Point. (And maybe the notion of Polar should extend to Spherical.)

This is what I was trying to do, and I though I understood how to get started. But I could not get 'P(' to be parsed as an open delimiter. I think the '(' was always being intercepted first and interpreted as a delimiter, and then 'P' was always an unrecognized variable.

I'll clean up my progress and try to post sample code for anyone interested.