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Your reflections on class size bring up a number of interesting points. It might indeed be possible to stratify the class into smaller units, based perhaps on a combination of interests and background, and expect everyone within a group to keep up with the ideas of the others. It could then be a role of the instructor to monitor the whole operation and suggest links among groups or between students in different groups when such occasions arise. Twenty-five does seem to be a lot of individuals to check on each week (as I realize from doing it over the course of the semester. If everyone had submitted responses, and at the same time, I probably would not have been able to keep up with the response load.)

In the future there will definitely be some standardization of the response mechanism so that everyone will get to use the same html editors and place an appropriate link at the bottom for instructor response. It took us a while to decide what it was we wanted to do, so an hour devoted to html would not have been as satisfying for us as it will be for the subsequent classes that will profit from our experience.

With respect to group work, I agree that the group dynamic is a tricky thing and I too tend to "take over", either overtly or subtly, when I am asked to participate in such activities. It does make a difference when you are working with a group of strangers rather than with people you have known in other circumstances. It may be that in future courses we should have some introduction to group processes as well as to hypertext processes? Some structured activities earlier in the semester could set things up for the final projects. Any suggestions from your other group experiences in outside courses will be appreciated.

Speaking of appreciation, I thank you for your participation, especially for your willingness to help others and for the linkages you made with other courses, linguistics in particular. I hope that in the future we will be able to encourage all students to make such identifications among subject areas.

Course Grade: Satisfactory.

Comments on the Polyobjects Group

Your investigations were particularly successful in giving access to new tools for interacting with familiar geometric objects in three- and four-dimensional space. The Java applets will doubtless add quite a bit to future versions of this course, especially when they are extended to deal with filled-in objects in a reasonable amount of time. There should be algorithms for slicing general objects from arbitrary directions, of course, and some demonstrations showing how to move from an object to its dual. The ideas of truncating polyhedra or polytopes to produce semi-regular objects is also ripe for interactive illustrations. All in all your work has advanced the level of geometric interaction considerably, not just in the final project but throughout the semester, and it was effective to see how some of your earlier work was incorporated in your presentation.

The links to other sites are also very good to have, and it will be interesting in the future to explore the relationship between VRML, Java applets, and highly rendered individual objects. It would also be useful to link to some of the other projects, in particular those that deal with the axiomatic approach or the literary and artistic topics that use polytopes, duality, et cetera.

There is so much more to be done, taking off from the platform you have set up here. Good work in getting this effort off to such a strong start.

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