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Functional Format Answers...

Wouldn't it be great if we could select functional format codes as an answer, alongside Number and Multiple Choice?

This would open a new door of possibilities, as we would then be able to post problems where the 'General Expression' is asked, rather than a particular case of it. Innovative problems can be created, with complexity reaching a whole new level.

So, what do you guys think about it?

Reshare if you think this to be a worthy addition to Brilliant. We might be able to attract the attention of Staff members and bring about the change!

Anyways, this is just a thought I felt like sharing.

Note by Danny Kills
2 years ago

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I think there are too many nuances with the formatting of LaTeX codes and the possible correct answers. For example, would you write \(-(x-3)(2-x)\)? or \((x-3)(x-2)\)? or \((x-2)(x-3)\)? or \(x^2-5x+6\)? The list of possible answers just keeps on going on and on.

I would stick with MCQ's for those types of problems. Daniel Liu · 2 years ago

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@Daniel Liu Yeah i agree with you, rather the lot more problem with latex system couldnt be solved. Ruturaj Sharbidre · 6 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Daniel Liu Yeah, now that you mention it, that would be a problem. With this, the author of the question would really have to specify how to post the answer. Even that would only work for certain types of problems. Ryan Tamburrino · 2 years ago

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I think it's a great idea! I would love to see it implemented on Brilliant.

In fact, this feature is already present in most courses on edX. As Daniel Liu mentioned, there can be several ways to enter the same answer. However, if the user inputs an expression which is correct, but of a different form than the 'answer' given by the problem creator, edX will still mark it as correct.

This is possible because the autograder evaluates the user inputted expression as well as the 'answer' expression by substituting various random numbers in place of the variables. If both expression give the same result for each substitution, it means that both the expressions are equivalent, and the user gets it right. Pranshu Gaba · 2 years ago

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Do you mean to say that a possible question could look like the following ? :

\( (a+b)^{2} = ?\)

Options :

  • \(a^{2} + b^{2} + 2ab\)

  • \(a^{2} + b^{2} - 2ab\)

  • \(a^{2} + b^{3} + 2ab\)

Azhaghu Roopesh M · 2 years ago

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@Azhaghu Roopesh M I think he means actually inputting the expression. So you're not choosing anything, but inputting the \(\LaTeX\) code. I think it's a good idea. Although it could exclude some people that aren't familiar with the code just yet. It would be cool to solve generalized problems and input generalized answers. Ryan Tamburrino · 2 years ago

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@Ryan Tamburrino Yeah, I was confused between entering Latex code and answers containing Latex code . Actually the Latter option is present so I was just verifying it with him Azhaghu Roopesh M · 2 years ago

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\(\LaTeX\) Manish Bhargao · 2 years ago

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I do not think that Brilliant should become a site of "How do I type a^2 + b^1/2 in Latex?" Such questions will most likely not be interesting. I do not see how such a problem would be innovative.

While Latex is useful for problem creators and moderators, it should not be a necessary "language" for every member of Brilliant to be aware of. Calvin Lin Staff · 2 years ago

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@Calvin Lin That is exactly NOT what I meant. I dont mean to ask how a certain expression is to be formatted in LATEX, I was thinking about having an option where I can set my answer to an Expression, instead of a number or an option. That way, the person solving the question would have to input the Latex code of the answer. As simple as that! I want to post a problem where a functional equation is to be solved. How do I do it? Currently I can either post a note, or a problem with choices of the answer, or a problem with a value of the function at some point as the answer. It just bothers me that there is no direct way! Danny Kills · 2 years ago

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@Danny Kills Thanks for the clarification. I misinterpreted what you said.

What you are asking for isn't "to enter the Latex code", and in fact has nothing to do with Latex. It is more of "short answer format" or "functional format". We have considered these options, but are unable to implement them (now) because of the complexity. Calvin Lin Staff · 2 years ago

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@Calvin Lin Thanks for understanding! It was just an idea I had in mind for a few days, then I decided to share it with you guys... It's much better that way! Danny Kills · 2 years ago

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@Danny Kills Yes. Questions can be like

1) Differentiate \(x^n\) wrt \(x\).

The user would enter n * x^(n-1)

2) What is the magnitude of gravitational force experienced by point mass \(m\) due to point mass \(M\) which is \(r\) distance away?

Ans. G* M * m/(r^2)

3) What is the surface area of a sphere with radius \(r\)?

Ans. 4 * pi * r^2

4) Express \(4 - 4i\) in polar form

Ans. 4* sqrt(2) * e^(7 * pi / 4)

As I mentioned in my comment, this feature is present on edX. Click here to learn more. This can give rise to many more types of interesting problems on Brilliant. One does have to know Latex to enter the answers. Pranshu Gaba · 2 years ago

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