PrimeFactors and PrimeFactorString Commands

The inline calculator has two new commands that calculator prime factors. The primefactors command returns a list of NUMBERS which you can access individually. The primefactorstring command creates a string that you can output directly.

{primefactorstring(75)} will produce…

whereas primefactors(75) will give you access to the individual prime factors which can be used in further calculations.

The full description of the commands can be found here:

PrimeFactorString Command
PrimeFactors Command

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New Equation Table/Grid Commands

We have added table and grid commands to the our equation tool. These can be used in FX Equation and FX Draw’s equation tool.

The table and grid commands operate in identical ways – the only difference is tables have lines and grids do not.

table(…) vrs grid(…)

Tables and grids can be nested within each other which creates a huge amount of flexibility in your layouts.

The table and grid commands are NOT intended to replace the full power of Word’s table editor but DO provide you with a lot of flexibility in how you format your output.

The full description of how to use tables and grids is available in our knowledge base.

Equation Table Command

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New Tally Command

FX Equation (and the equation tool in FX Draw) have a new Tally command that can be used to create graphics like this.

Produced with the command tally(17)

The command can be used in any equation and can be combined with parameters and/or tables to produce complicated output such as:

You can also use a second parameter with the tally command that limits how many groups are displayed on one line. For example the command tally(64,4) will produce this output.

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New DivideInto Parameter Type

The DivideInto parameter randomly divides a number into bits.

For example,

$d=divideinto(100,3)

$d will contain 3 random numbers that always add up to 100. So $d might contain {23,56,21} or {14,38,48}

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New SelectFrom Parameter Type

We have added a new SelectFrom parameter type that simplifies the process of randomly selecting elements from a list or set.

$s=selectfrom($sourceparameter,number)

To use a SelectFrom parameter, you need to create a “source” parameter that contains the elements you wish to “select from”. The source parameter can be just about anything.

$r=range(1,100)
$n=data(“Albert”,”Barry”,”Cyril”,”Egbert”,”Francis”)
$e=explode(“MATHEMATICS”)

$d=deck()

Once we have our source parameter, we can create a SelectFrom parameter

$s=selectfrom($d,5)

This command will randomly select five elements from $d. In this case, we will get back 5 cards from a deck.

One Trick – List All Elements

The SelectFrom command will select from listed values. Some parameters do not list all values automatically. For example,

$s=selectfrom($r,3)

will not produce the results you expect, because range parameters do not “list all values” automatically. To use the selectfrom command with range parameters (and other parameters which do not list all values), you need to list the values using references. The easiest way to do this is to use the $r[] notation.

$s=selectfrom($r[],3)

The addition of the square brackets will cause the range parameter to list all values and $s will contain 3 values selected from this list. You could have also typed something like $s=selectfrom($r[12,54],3) which would select from the 12th element through to the 54th element of the range list.

The SelectFrom parameter is an advanced parameter type that can make the creation of some question types much simpler.

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New Uns(implified) Display Style And Some New Commands

We have added a new Uns(implified) display style.

The inline calculator automatically simplifies exact calculations. For example, if you have the display style set to Exa(ct), and perform the following calculation:

{1/4+1/6}

The calculator will return the simplified fraction 5/12

Often teachers do not want to simplify things immediately. Instead, they want to show the unsimplified version and then show the process of simplification. In other words, they would prefer to see 10/24. The new Uns display setting performs calculations without simplification.

Setting the Unsimplified Style

Using Unsimplified Results

We have added a new Simplify calculator command that allows you to manually simplify unsimplified results. For example, you might enter this:

The simplify command in action

The simplify command will only affect output when you are set to the Uns display style. The simplify command simplifies fractions – not algebra.

Probability

The Uns display style as created to address issues we experienced writing probability questions. Often, when writing solutions, we wanted an unsimplified version of the fraction to highlight the total number of possibilities on the denominator of the fraction. For example, if we had 100 students and were finding the probability that they took a bus to school, we might end up with a result of 36/100. Showing this is important, as is showing the simplified version of the fraction.

This did, however, create a difficulty! If the solution ended up being 36/100 we want to show the simplified 9/25. If the solution ended up being 37/100 we cannot simplify and would prefer to not show a redundant simplification.

The second line includes a redundant simplification!

The need to selectively show information depending on whether an expression can be simplified led to the final part of the new feature.

IfNotSimple

The IfNotSimple calculator command only outputs text if the input is not simple.

ifnotsimple(expression,”I need to be simplified!”)

This command, combined with Simplify, solves the probability problem.

IfNotSimple in action

Normally, these commands will be used on parameters rather than raw numbers.

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New MostCommon Calculator Command

We have added a calculator command which can find the MostCommon element of a set.

For example, if we create an Explode parameter such as:

$m=explode(“MATHEMATICAL”)

(Remember that an explode parameter takes a string of characters and explodes it into individual characters so $m will contain {M,A,T,H,E,M,A,T,I,C,A,L})

The calculator command:

{mostcommon($m)}

will contain “A”, which is the most common element in the set.

If there is more than one “most common” element, all of them are returned by the MostCommon command. For example, if $m = explode(“MATHEMATICS”), {mostcommon($m)} will return {M,A,T}

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New Exam Mode for FX Equation Empower Users

Efofex has long provided students with special needs with free licenses for our products. This has proved especially useful with FX Equation as many students find FX Equation to be the quickest way to input mathematical materials using a keyboard or keyboard analog.

If you have a student who finds it difficult to write mathematics due to a special need, take a look at our EmPower program. We have helped thousands of students over the past 20 years.

One of the main issues our EmPower students face is convincing examining bodies that FX Equation does not provide them with a mathematical advantage in an exam situation. Recent versions of FX Equation, with the inline calculator, have made this more difficult as the inline calculator DOES provide a mathematical benefit to users.

Recently, we added a special Exam Mode to FX Equation which removes access to the problematic features and makes the task of convincing examining bodies MUCH simpler.

The new examination mode, and a letter that can be provided to examining bodies, can be found on the EmPower page.

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Extracting Parts of Numbers

We have implemented four new commands in the inline calculator.

numerator(value) – Returns the numerator of value (if value is an exact fraction).

denominator(value) – Returns the denominator of value (if value is an exact fraction).

imaginary(value) – Returns the imaginary component of value (if value is complex).

real(value) – Returns the real component of value (if value is complex).

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Large Number Styles

We have added the ability to automatically format large numbers.

By default, the equation tool will now use narrow spaces to break up large numbers into groups of three. Alternatively you can use commas or no format. Other combinations will be considered on an as-need basis.

You do not need to apply any manual formatting. Your selected formatting will be applied automatically.

The new display style is particularly useful for parameters as you have no opportunity to manually format a large number.

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