Welcome to PGSW, applications for smart phones. We now have 9 apps,
mostly math drill, but also including productivity tools and games. All
are available on the
Android market, where they have had over 14000
The only crashes
users have reported is when they have incorrectly entered numbers.
We have upgraded the code so that such input errors are no longer possible.
If, however, you encounter a crash or some other problem, please send us an
explanatory e-mail at "firstname.lastname@example.org". We can assure you any such reports
will get prompt attention. In order to facilitate the
improvement of our product, we would appreciate any comments or
suggestions for program modifications.
The following is a list of the apps and
their categories. You can rapidly get to more complete description
by clicking on any of the links. The description for
Multtables also contains a link to run a simplified version
as a web-based app in your current browser.
Can you read and remember a number that's flashed on the screen for only a few milliseconds?
This game will start with a number flashed on the screen for a few hundred
milliseconds; if you can recall correctly you get another try at a reduced
duration. You keep playing until you miss (enter the number incorrectly).
You can select the number of digits in the number; 3 is very easy; 5 is hard.
Practice and notice the improvement. Find the time of day when your visual
acuity and ability to concentrate is highest. Test your skill against friends
and family; it will be rewarding activity for ages 8 and up. This initial
version is free, but not very slick; if it generates sufficient interest,
I will add many features (such as using letters instead of numbers,
keeping statistics on your scores and the scores of different players) and
charge a few dollars.
Here is a painless way for the algebra student to develop proficiency in
solving simultaneous linear equations. Here is a drill program that
leads the student through 8 steps to solve 2 simultaneous linear
equations with 2 unknowns. These 8 steps would be a tedious exercise
with pencil and paper. Even worse, a single error at one of the steps
would not be detected until the problem was finished, and the student
would be left with the unpleasant exercise of re-doing the whole problem
in order to find out what went wrong. This app (Linear2) will check
each of the 8 intermediate steps and provide immediate feedback to the
student. The values of the 2 unknowns and the 4 coefficients in the
equations are randomly generated so that there are several hundred
thousand possible combinations, and it is extremely unlikely that the
student will see the same problem twice.
This app is available for both Android (Google Play) and iPhone (iTunes).
Here is a drill program that will improve the essential skills for any
intermediate algebra student. This is an exercise in the factoring of
quadratic expressions. Such an expression can be written as the product
of 2 factors, each factor consisting of 2 terms: an x to the first power
term and a constant term. In the Solvequad app these 4 coefficients are
randomly chosen integers from 1 to 6.
The top/first line of the Solvequad screen presents the quadratic
expression. The second line shows the skeletons of the 2 factors that
produce this expression, with 4 blank gray buttons for the 4 unknown
coefficients. The user enters the numbers for these coefficients using
the virtual keypad. This keypad has only the needed digits, 1 - 6, a
minus sign, a delete key and a done key. The small number of keys means
that the individual keys can be nice and large, minimizing entry errors.
Accidental errors that do occur can be quickly corrected with the
delete key. The selection of the coefficients to enter is made either by
tapping the appropriate gray button, or by tabbing through the 4
The third line on the screen shows the quadratic expression calculated
as the coefficients are entered. This automatic calculation saves the
user the trouble, so that he/she can concentrate on deciding which
values to enter for the coefficients. After all 4 coefficients have been
entered the student can compare the calculated quadratic expression in
the third line with the problem quadratic expression in the first line.
Any discrepancies can be corrected by re-entering the any of the
coefficients of the factors. (second line of the screen).
Here is a division drill that will develop skills in both basic division
and mental arithmetic. To make the drill-pill easier to take, the
program is simple enough to do while watching children's TV. The
student can begin with division problems having no remainders, only one
digit quotients. If the student enters the wrong number he gets
charged with an error.
Division with remainder presents slightly more challenges. The answer
is entered in a 2 step process: first the quotient; when that is correct
the remainder is entered. The number of cases and problem difficulty
can be selected from a setup menu. After completing the selected number
of cases, there is a display of the number correct and the number of
errors to show the teacher of parent.
Here is the best tool for improving a student's skill at factoring. The
app presents a target number to be factored, and the student responds
by entering a prime factor (2, 3, 5, 7, 11) of that number. For
example, if the initial target number is 210 (2*3*5*7), and the user
enters 5, the app will do the division and respond with the partial
factoring 42*5, and the user is prompted to enter a factor of the new
target, 42. The process repeats until the original number (210 in this
case) is completely factored. If, at any step, the user enters a
number that is not a prime factor of the target number, an error is
charged and the user is prompted to re-enter a correct factor. When the
factoring is complete the app displays the number of errors. This
automatic, real-time, scoring saves the teacher, or tutor, the trouble
of correcting the exercises, and provides the student with immediate
feedback. A very efficient process for all concerned.
The app can be set up to run a specified number of problems, and will
keep a tally of the number of errors. This automatic scoring saves the
teacher, or tutor, a lot of trouble. The other adjustable parameters
are the number of factors in the original problem (2 through 5) and the
maximum prime factor (5, 7, 11, or 13). The instructions give all the
essential tips to help the student find a factor correctly the first
time (avoiding being charged with an error) without the bother of a
short division exercise to test it. Since the app does all the
division, the student can concentrate on getting the factors. This will
sharpen his/her skills, even in the midst of all the distractions that
modern youth is subject to.