Automatic Magformers Table

Magformers (magnetic building sets involving maths) used to be Simon’s greatest passion when he was six (just a year ago!) and this week he has been travelling in time to revisit this old love, after his little sis received a new Magformers set as a present. What Simon did next was to combine Magformers and programming: he created an automatic table listing various Magformers models (in HTML/ JavaScript). The sets that can be used to build those models were to get filled in automatically, depending on the number of specific shapes needed for every model and the number of such shapes available in every set. As you might imagine, this involved many lines of code and a whole lot of computational thinking. At one point, when Simon was nearly done, he realized that the column listing the sets wouldn’t get filled in properly. He had a bug in his program that he couldn’t find, so he turned to his older friends in Slack for help. It’s such a pleasure to see him communicate with these experienced programmers on a regular basis now and unbelievable how eager and resourceful they are. One of Simon’s friends from Slack even created his own version of Simon’s program in CodePen! What makes it even more wonderful is that Simon no longer hesitates to apply the good advice he gets. The next day he wrote some “helper functions” and the table worked!

Simon hasn’t put this project online yet, as he wanted to make it more interactive and hasn’t managed to do that so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circle-Rectangle Intersection (Collision)

Simon has been studying  various 2D collisions (via the p5.collide2D library and paulbourke.net), especially the Circle-Rectangle Intersection (Collision). He was so busy with this problem that he even put it down in chalk at the playground:

 

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And on the whiteboard at home:

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And spent nearly his entire math lesson today talking about the math behind 2D object collision to his math teacher:

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Simon also used Circle-Rectangle Collision for his awesome new Hero Game in Processing!

 

Interactive Math Functions

Simon was reading about math functions on Wikipedia and came up with an idea to create an interactive math functions editor in JavaScript that would visualize (i.e. show the graphs for) all the functions. Simon was especially excited about cosecant, secant and cotangent (csc, sec and cot for short), which were new to him:

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Simon partially programmed the interactive math functions editor, but it remained unfinished:

 

 

 

Simon’s first set of Web Development How To’s: How to make a slideshow

Simon has recorded his first set of web development tutorials, about how to create a slideshow. The original code comes from the w3schools.com website.

 

 

 

Simon got stuck in the previous video, but debugged his code in #1.5:

Update: Simon has recorded the last how to in this Slideshow series, about hoe to make the slideshow automatic:

Simon trying out the D3 library

Simon spent hours studying the D3 library on Sunday, it’s a very popular JavaScript library using SVG images he had never tried before. He also found it great how the annotations are in English, Russian, Chinese and Japanese and showed it to his Chinese teacher today.

He also created an account on the library website, but couldn’t figure out how to create a new project. We should look at it together this week when I finally have more time.

These are two small videos of Simon trying the D3 library out:

 

 

D3 16 Jul 2017