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7 Conclusions

The presented design of a distributed education environment is constrained by the fact that the internal mechanisms of the Mathematica frontend cannot be easily accessed or modified; we have to cope with the (still extensive) facilities for external control provided by the MathLink interface. Nevertheless, by providing a rather limited system extension (a process that intercepts and multicasts communication between frontend and kernel), it is possible to support many features that are interesting for distributed education sessions. Augmented by public-domain video/audio multicasting support (MBone) it should be already possible to implement realistic distributed classroom scenarios. A prototype of the envisioned environment is currently being implemented in the frame of a diploma thesis. When it will be available, we will experiment with these facilities and start to develop appropriate education contents.

Author: Wolfgang Schreiner
Last Modification: July 17, 1997

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