I'd like it to be so that one student could enter "1 pm sqrt(2)" but another could enter "1 + sqrt(2), 1 - sqrt(2)". But you have me thinking now. What to do with things like "1 pm 0" and "1 pm 2 pm 3"? (Some reasonable answers are apparent.)
I'm building a context that attempts to address the common complaints (from our faculty and our students) about answer format being too picky or not in agreement with what is modeled in whatever textbook is used. In particular, with entering the solutions to some equation in one variable. I've got a test problem up at:
It's piecing together various tricks I've learned for dealing with pre-college level math over the years, where format is paradoxically inflexible in some ways and must be very flexible in others.
I will slowly convert all our problems to use this new context. If, one day, it understands "pm", that will just be a silent improvement across the board, added to the context file. Maybe we can chat some time in the future.
Next up, I'm going to experiment with a cousin of bizarroArithmetic that will swap the precedence of things like addition with things like multiplication. I'm hoping I can identify when the student wanted to enter "(a+b)/c", but they typed "a+b/c".