My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

2 Articles Tagged with “JavaScript”

  1. Modelling epidemics to learn about probability

    My major focus in my work at the Adult Education Centre has been adapting online courses for the Hybrid Learning Project. Basically, these are high school courses adult learners can complete online, but there is also an in-person tutorial component to them. I’ve been adapting the e-Learning Ontario MDM4U (Grade 12 Data Management) course. I’m almost done.

    I could write an entire post about this assignment and how I feel about it, but that’s for another time. Instead I want to share something cool I made for the course.

    When I hit the lesson on experimental probability, the assignment was basically, “Create an experiment and perform it ten or twenty times and then estimate the experimental probability.” Yeah. As if someone doing an online course would really do that.

    So I searched for some kind of interactive resource—and I found this NRICH activity on modelling epidemics. It’s a neat Flash applet that lets you adjust variables and then simulate an epidemic in a village. After each epidemic finishes, the simulator calculates the mean and standard deviation for a few different variables. The idea is that students should adjust one variable at a time and then hypothesize what effects this…

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  2. This is your world. This is your world on jQuery.

    I never liked JavaScript. I find it awkward to use. Part of this is due to the fact that, because it's a client-side language, it depends on the user's browser to function, so it inherits the stigma of "results may vary". Moreover, error-handling has always been hit-and-miss. I find it hard to figure out where I'm going wrong, even with Console2 running interference for me. So JavaScript and I have never really gotten along, and that's been a large limitation to me as a web developer.

    Enter jQuery. In essence, jQuery is a JavaScript library that makes writing JavaScript much easier. I love it. I went from being able to do next to nothing with JavaScript to achieving fairly neat results with jQuery. ^_^ I managed to redo all the JavaScript in Vanilla Guestbook using jQuery (yes, that means a new version is coming your way soon). Less code = less places to mess up, so while error-handling is still hit-and-miss, I can usually find the line that contains the error pretty easily. Plus, the syntax makes a whole lot more sense to me than plain JavaScript.

    Much thanks to Seth for prodding me to try jQuery.…

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