Hi Joseph,

Regarding your formula issue: I think you need STACK installed to overcome this problem. If I understand you correctly then, for example, you want your students to simplify $$3n + 6x - (2x + 5n)$$ ?

Well, even the answer a student could give here could be $$4x - 2n$$, or $$-2n + 4x$$. These kind of commutative/associative problems can be a bind in trying to automatically mark more advanced math/algebra questions on-line.

To overcome that kind of problem you need a computer algebra system (CAS) and that is where STACK comes in. It can also generate random variables for coefficients - which was your other requirement.

Details of STACK are here: http://stack.bham.ac.uk/wiki/

...and it's all free

Hope this helps,

Ian.

## Mathematics tools

### MediaWiki TeX - very basic

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