Mathlets: An Introduction

This self-paced short course focuses on the use of technology in mathematics education at the university level. Specifically, this course introduces the participant to the MIT Mathlet collection by providing examples of the Mathlets use in three different contexts:

  • As lecture demonstrations (Module 1).
  • As a focus for student group work (Module 2).
  • As part of a homework assignment (Module 3).

Each presentation of the use of Mathlets in the different contexts is followed by the instructor’s thoughts, experiences, and recommendations regarding the use of Mathlets within that context. To give the participant practice at integrating the Mathlet technology into his or her own teaching this course includes interactive discussion questions as well as a set of ungraded exercises at the end of each module.

Participant Registration Survey

Please complete the Participant Registration Survey so that I can better understand the needs and expectations of those who take the Mathlets: An Introduction course.

Participant Registration Survey  

Participant Registration Survey

Click the Answer the questions… link to complete this short survey so that I can better understand the needs and expectations of those who take the Mathlets: An Introduction course. This survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Thank you!

Thank you for helping me better understand your background in preparation for the start of our course. I look forward to interacting with you as you progress this this self-paced short course.

At this time please familiarize yourself with the content available in our online course room and review the materials available in the Course Introduction.

Overview of Online Module Content

During each Module of Mathlets: An Introduction, we will interact with each other using online text provided within the online course room, recorded lectures, along with activities and exercises that will require you to post responses to discussion forums. All of the resources required for this interaction are provided as text, embedded videos, and links within the Module online course pages.

All of the activities incorporated into our Modules are designed to extend your learning experience and provide an opportunity to learn from and with your classmates, as well as your instructor. For these activities to be successful, it is very important that each of you complete module discussion questions and exercises. The module content is designed to prepare you for the exercises that will extend our conversation regarding the use of Mathlets in the classroom.

The content for each of the modules will consist of the following:

  • Module Description
  • Outline
  • Learning Objectives
  • Segment 1 Content
  • Segment 2 Content
  • Exercises
  • Mathlet Resources

I look forward to the opportunity to interact with you through the online course text and lectures, as well as through the discussion questions and module exercises.

1. Outline

Each Module will begin with an Outline that is provided to serve as your guide as you progress through the modules online content.

For the Introduction module the Outline includes of the following:

  1. Outline
  2. Course Learning Objectives
  3. Mathlets Introduction and Course Overview
  4. Exercises
  5. Resources

2. Course Learning Objectives

After completing this short course, the participant will be able to

  • Access and explore the MIT Mathlet collection.
  • Integrate the Mathlets into their lectures.
  • Provide instructions for the use of the Mathlets in student group work.
  • Write homework centered on one or another of the Mathlets.

3. Mathlets Introduction and Course Overview

Photo of Haynes R Miller
Haynes R Miller

Professor Haynes Miller and his team have developed MIT Mathlets (, which are flexible software tools designed to connect mathematical application and theory, and a pedagogy of use to help students better understand topics in mathematics. Professor Miller is the instructor for this self-paced short course. To learn more about him follow the link provided: Biography for Dr. Haynes Miller

The collection of Mathlets will be the focus of our discussion regarding the integration of technology into your course content. The Mathlets can be embedded into many syllabi, but how they are to be used needs to be carefully evaluated and individually determined based on the specific course context. These applets are very easy for students to use, but using them in lecture and designing activities around them takes careful thought and preparation.

This self-paced short course will provide participants with the expertise needed to integrate the Mathlets and the pedagogy surrounding them in their own teaching. Participants will examine what Mathlets are and how they can be used in lectures for demonstrations, as part of group exploration and as the basis for homework assignments.


Introductory Video

Let us get started! Watch this Introductory Video where I take a few moments to introduce you to the course and the Mathlets website. I will also review some important course information regarding the course content and structure.

Download the transcript for the Introduction video.

4. Exercises

Throughout this course, the module Exercises are designed to give you practice at integrating Mathlets into your own teaching. Module Exercises will be submitted using discussion forums, further information is provided by clicking on the Module Exercise itself. The Exercises are ungraded. The use of discussion forums allows your classmates, as well as your instructor, to review and provide feedback on your exercises.

Please remember that all of the exercises and activities incorporated into this course are designed to extend your learning experience and provide an opportunity to learn from and with your peers, as well as your instructor. For these activities to be successful, it is very important that each of you participate.

Practice Exercises

To help you become comfortable with posting to discussion forums, and to help me better understand your technical abilities, please click the Introductions link and complete the post as described. This is your chance to practice using the tools available within the discussion forum. Have a little fun, and if possible include a picture of yourself.

Next, click on the Mathlet Test – Java Verification link and complete the directions as described. Once you complete the Mathlet Test be sure to post that you have been successful. This post is important because it helps me know when you have your computer system setup and ready to begin the modules.

I look forward to the opportunity to engage with you in the discussion forums.


Mathlet Test – Java Verification

5. Resources

All of the resources referenced during the lecture recordings and text are provided as links on the module pages. These resources are provided as tools to extend your understanding of the possible uses for Mathlets.

To get you started, here are a few resources to help introduce you to the Mathlets and their history, and a downloadable copy of the full video. Also provided are the slides presented in the video, and the video transcript.

Introduction Resources