Technical Report: DCC-2001-6

Generating Mathematics Exercises by Computer

Ana Paula Tomás and Pedro Vasconcelos

{apt,pbv} / DCC-FC & LIACC, FCUP, University of Porto, Portugal

 July 2001


We present ongoing research on the automatic generation of exercises for learning mathematics, in particular high-school algebra. The emphasis is on working backwards from the intended solution of the problem to obtain a sequence of steps leading to that solution. This approach not only avoids generating unsolvable exercises but also allows writing explanatory text for each resolution step. Futhermore, we show how the difficulty level of the exercises can easily be fine-tuned. We discuss our prototype implementation as a CLP(FD) program and a graphical interface in Tcl/Tk. Finally, we propose directions for further research.