38Sup-383 [Internet Resource]
S.O.S. MATHematicsWith initial support from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the University of Texas, University of Texas-El Paso faculty members M.A. Khamsi, H. Knaust, and N.C. Marcus developed a Web site designed to aid mathematics students; it went online in August 1996. Their project was so successful that the professors have become Math Medics, L.L.C. and S.O.S.
S.O.S. MATHematics is now an independent, commercial site that offers straightforward technical assistance primarily to high school and college students, although some of its sections will be useful to both adult learners and professionals. A healthy variety of subjects already appear - from simple fractions and algebra to calculus, differential equations, and matrix algebra - with the promise of more to come. The organization is by topic, with numerous cross-links so that navigation is straightforward. Search capabilities (implemented with the ICE search engine) are good.
The site focuses on traditional mathematical content rather than on "glitz." Thus, it primarily consists of numerous pages (more than 2500 as of early 2000, according to Khamsi) devoted to general explanations and examples (including some very sophisticated ones), as well as exercises with solutions. Other features include "cyberexams," which are collections of potential sample self-tests with solutions available, a number of tables, reading recommendations, and a bulletin board for individual responses to user queries. Commercial advertising is somewhat distracting in places, but the layout is otherwise clean and simple, with good displays of mathematical formulas that load acceptably fast. Contents of the site are also available for purchase on CD-ROM. Overall, a very good, informative resource. General users; undergraduates; professionals; two-year technical program students.
S.J. Colley, Oberlin College