NOVA The University of Texas at El Paso
VOLUME 36 NO. 3; NO. 141

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Faculty Focus: Cybermaticians

Nancy Marcus, Helmut Knaust, Mohamed Khamsi When three UTEP math professors developed a Web site to help their students, they found a wider audience than they had ever imagined.

Nancy Marcus was frustrated by weak math skills among incoming freshmen. Helmut Knaust wanted to use technology to enhance his work. Mohamed Khamsi had a gut feeling that the Internet, which in the early 1990s was still in the first phase of popular use, could be a way to help UTEP students improve their skills.

Joined by a love of math but with little else in common, these three mathematical sciences faculty members formed an unlikely partnership to develop a computer-based, mathematics self- help tutorial.

With start-up grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation and UTEP, SOS MATH went online in 1996, then became a commercial site and moved to its current location at last year. Its creators have been surprised to find it has wide appeal far beyond UTEP - it is being translated into Spanish for users in Spain, and several other countries have asked for permission to copy it so that it can be downloaded from other sites.

What started as a study aid for UTEP students is now accessed nearly 100,000 times a week by everyone from third graders - and their parents trying to help them with their homework - to graduate students around the world.


[UTEP] The University of Texas at El Paso
Created by: Web Development Team
Revised: Tuesday, April 11, 2000