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Old May 2nd 2013, 09:09 PM   #1
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Kinematics Calculator

Hello. I'm taking my first physics class this semester, and decided to combine what I was learning in physics and in my art class for my term project. It may be of limited practical use, as it only covers pretty simple kinematics, but if there is one place it may be helpful, I imagine it would be as a tutoring tool.

http://bit.ly/kinemys

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. Feedback is always appreciated, as I hope to be an interface designer some day.

Thank you!
-John
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Old May 3rd 2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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Kinemys is a calculator with many of the basic kinematic equations, and related equations built into it. The main idea is that rather than isolating a small set of relevant equations for any given problem, which may seem arbitrary and asymmetric, you can see how each calculation fits into the larger, symmetric, system of motion.

I had hoped it might be a useful tutoring tool. I made it as a Google spreadsheet so that more than one person could get on a copy of it at the same time, and chat while they work through a problem. It only calculates one step at a time, it doesn't solve a whole system for you, the hard part of any problem is still framing it correctly, and where it does output new information, the equations it uses are displayed right next to the output.

More than anything else I suppose, it is an experiment in interface design. I'm trying to challenge the notion that the important part of solving math problems is punching in the same equations correctly over and over into your graphing calculator. By moving the parts of the algebra that are repetitive and algorithmic onto the computer (which loves repetitive and algorithmic) the student can focus on the conceptual and critical thinking side of a problem, the bit humans need to be good at.
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