I’m down to the polish on my gaming system so I decided to take a break… and work on MathTools. It never fails. Just when I think I’ve covered all the math tools necessary, I think up a new one. The MathProbTools class is designed to help prepare probability and counting problems. It contains a little bit of equipment within itself but its true power comes from the four other tools written into it.

“Urns and marbles (or stones)” is one of the first non-replacement probability illustrations in any math class. It has roots stretching back to ancient Greece and no probability package would be complete without it. The *Urn* class (program) can have any number of any color marbles added to it. Any number can be drawn (without replacement). The class has multiple counting methods so any type of draw-without-replacement problem can be modeled.

Dice are also used in teaching probability. The *Dice* class allows a very flexible definition of what a die is and how to roll it. The dice used here can have any number of sides, more than one can be rolled as an atomic event and the final result can be modified and clamped.

Playing cards. Ahh… what probability or statistics class would be complete without a deck of cards? The *Card* and *Deck* classes provide a way to generate LOTS of card-based probability questions. There are methods to manipulate by color, suit, rank, and whether or not the card is a face card. A single ‘deck’ can actually have multiple individual (52-card) decks shuffled together and the formatting methods are absolutely incredible!

Throwing darts. This is useful for Monte Carlo-style problems. The *Dartboard* class allows the construction of a virtual dartboard of whatever complexity is necessary. Two or more scoring areas (*rings*) are defined, each with whatever attributes and properties are required. The formatting method used here is several orders of magnitude more flexible than any of the others.

As you can tell, I am VERY proud of my work. If you’re interested:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/mattsmathtools/

As with the other tools, this one is completely scriptable.

Book-wise, sales are still dismal. I’m looking for the magic marketing genie but until she appears I’ll just keep on keeping on. Once I get my game system uploaded (SOON!) I’ll be back to writing and re-writing again. I’ve decided to rewrite Stone Blade #7, but then it’s new writing.

I’m considering a YA spinoff from *Double Bait.* I don’t know if it qualifies as YA, but if it doesn’t then I just won’t call it that. The second series will come and, from the background I know so far, it should be pretty darn good.

Well, enough blathering for now. I’ll be back soon, Dr. Kincaid will have something to say and I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN my “Writing About Writing” posts. More of them coming, too.

Ciao;

-matt