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Autograph Mathematics Software
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Autograph Reviews and User Comments


Autograph Review
Teachers' TV Programme featuring Autograph 3
  • "It gives opportunities to visualise functions and graphs in a variety of interesting ways, and it's got very sophisticated statistical facilities that are very supportive of a range of data handling work. The latest version has got much better facilities for working with interactive whiteboards, which is a clear plus at the moment. Very very fast, it works very quickly, and it deals with statistics that virtually nothing else deals with in a powerful and quick way. It is extremely powerful ... but it does have an option for having a simplified interface for new users, which can be very helpful. Secondly, one very useful thing is that you can simply hit the enter key when it launches, type a formula, hit the enter key again, and a graph is drawn immediately So at a very simple starting point, all teachers can do something with it." - Chris Olley.
  • "It is extremely powerful. One of the major features of version 3 is that it's designed to run 3D graphics as well." - Professor Adrian Oldknow
  • See the whole Teachers' TV Autograph 3 review at www.playbackschools.org.uk/programme/1523/secondary-maths-1
Heartlands Academy (2014) writes:
  • "Autograph has helped me with my A level teaching. It has facilitated students' understanding of the concepts also. I used it with my Ofsted observation recently, the lesson was graded as outstanding. How could I teach volume of revolution without Autograph?! "
Paul Baker, Perse School, (2012) writes:
  • "It really is a most wonderful piece of software....best software tool there is for teaching GCSE and A Level maths I reckon!"
Murray Bourne, squareCircleZ, (2012) writes:
  • "It's clear as soon as you start using Autograph it's been designed by a math educator, for the purpose of math education." Review
Mike Wakeford, Skagerak Inernational School, Norway, (2011) writes:
  • "Autograph is an excellent support for teachers wishing to author and proof exam problems - particularly for non-calc problems where one certainly wishes to avoid tedious computation at the expense of concept demonstration"
Barry Kissane, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia, (2011) writes:
  • "Whatever else comes along, Autograph is without parallel for visualisation in the classroom."
Bill Newell, Australia, (2011) writes:
  • "I think our kids deserve the best and I know that Autograph is the king, queen and jack of Maths teaching programmes."
Stephen Corcoran, St Stephens, Western Australia, (2010) writes:
  • "It is hard to express in words just how much I love Autograph…. It really makes me miss not having any maths classes of my own this year. Such a powerful educationally focused piece of software."
  • "I think Autograph is the most powerful, user friendly, IWB suitable and educationally focused graphical software available for teaching mathematics."
Pat Morton, Further Maths Centre Manager, Tower Hamlets College, (2010) writes:
  • "Autograph is my desert island program"
Maths PGCE student, (2010) writes:
  • "I had never used autograph before and now I'm really enjoying exploring its vast capabilities. The list of resources on your website is also extremely helpful."
A Mac user in Alice Springs (2010) writes:
  • "It is like geogebra, Cabri, SketchPad and a few other tools all rolled into one on steroids."
Fred Norton, prolific textbook author, ex-Rugby School (2010) writes:
  • "I have been intending for some while to write to say how much I have enjoyed using "Autograph". Not only can one use it, with 11, 12 & 13 year olds for the obvious topics like graphs and transformations, it enables me to produce magnificent regular polygons demonstrating the symmatries, etc, but the most valuable use I think has been, as one boy put it, "showing me maths is not just numbers". They realise they have to be good at algebra to communicate with it, and the graphics enable one to draw many intriguing curves and shapes. I introduce the sine/cosine functions as just function machines which heap all numbers into a range -1 to +1, so one can illustrate e.g. r = 3 + sin2θ or r = 3sin2θ to show rotational symmetry, and just to excite wonder! The terms x =…..y =…….z = never ceases to fascinate, and boys can see the effect of changing the constants."
Phil Smith, Head of Maths, Dr Challoner's High School, (2009) writes:
  • "We received a 2009 Good Schools Guide for A-level Maths and Autograph played no small part (feel free to quote on your literature)."
A Teacher on the MEI TAM Course (2009) writes:
  • Autograph - A must have for every Maths classroom from KS3 to KS5.
  • As a visual learner it has been a godsend and my pupils have said I have become more enthusiastic and my lessons more engaging since using the software package.
  • Excellent graphing package that can sketch curves, solve derivatives, perform a host of geometric and statistical analysis visually – it makes me wonder how I ever lived without it!
  • Excellent to use for 1-1 tutoring and whole class via the IWB
  • Can’t imagine teaching A’ Level maths without it – A true gift from the maths gods.
ATM (Association of Teachers of Mathematics)
The ATM's bi-monthly 'Mathematics Teaching' (March 2006) writes:

Ruth Tanner, Lodge Park Technology College, Corby
.. the latest version of Autograph, 3.10: the superb dynamic software for teaching calculus, coordinate geometry, statistics and probability, without which I cannot now imagine teaching mathematics and especially A level.

The Schoolzone evaluation service writes:

Autograph Schoolzone Full Evaluation (December 2005)
Valerie Ann Sheehan

This is a most impressive package, which in my view completely fulfils expectations. It utilises the power of the computer to motivate students to gain a deeper understanding of the material than they would through traditional teaching methods.
The resources facilitate whole class teaching using the Flash demonstrations, or investigation using the simulation and animation facilities. Colleagues are enthusiastic about the potential for this software to produce high quality reports of Mathematics and Statistics projects for GCSE, A-level and beyond. Graphs and tables can be easily transported into word documents. Students can perceive uses for this software in many other subject areas.

The Guardian's Evaluate service writes:
Autograph can be used for drawing statistical graphs, functions, and vectors, and for transforming shapes. It also enables users to change and animate graphs, shapes or vectors already plotted to encourage understanding of concepts. The program uses colour and animation well and provides excellent help for teachers on using the huge variety of functions. Teachers will need to familiarise themselves thoroughly with the software before using it in the classroom. There they can use the program on a single screen or interactive whiteboard to introduce and demonstrate mathematical ideas at KS3, KS4 and KS5. Students can use it to produce their own graphs and transform their own objects during a lesson.I think Autograph will be of tremendous use in aiding students’ understanding of a variety of shape, algebra and statistical topics. I expect my KS4 students will understand concepts introduced with Autograph quickly and in more depth than they would through traditional teaching methods.



TEEM Evaluations
of Autograph


TEEM (UK) Home page

teem writes:

1st Autograph TEEM evaluation (Sept 2002)
UK KS 3 (Peter Garner):
"The product is a very versatile, easy to use Mathematics tool that enables the student to gain deeper insight into some otherwise quite challenging Mathematics"

2nd Autograph TEEM evaluation (Nov 2002)
UK KS 4 (Beth Evans):
"This package is an extremely practical and useful mathematical tool and is an essential part of any Maths teacher's kit. The section on Statistics is thorough and covers a wide range of material. I could see many uses for Autograph at Sixth Form level"

3rd Autograph TEEM evaluation (Jan 2003)
UK KS 4 Statistics (Val Brooks)
:
"Without doubt, purchase of Autograph should be included in a Maths department budget. After some initial difficulties with the Statistics interface, it was possible to contact the author of the software and he sorted all our problems out within 24 hours - this level of support was fantastic!"

4th Autograph TEEM evaluation
(March 2003)
UK KS 3 Graphs, Coord. Geom., Statistics (Steve Genge):
"Autograph is a flexible tool designed to support teaching and learning in Graphs and Statistics. It is a massive piece of software with applications across all areas of Mathematics at all Key Stages. Pupils of all ages and abilities can access Autograph because of its clever use of toolbars and drop-down menus. Autograph is supported by valuable Help pages and the publisher's website. It is an excellent package for all schools."

5th Autograph TEEM evaluation (October 2005)
Content Evaluation Summary (Beth Evans):
'A must for every Maths department, this is a tried and true workhorse but with the power of a racehorse. I loved the new extra pages which gave some excellent introductions to trigonometry. The transformation animations allow students to watch as reflections, rotations and enlargements take place, but even better, students can then use the same techniques to enable them to understand how these basic transformations can be combined. The power of this package will take your students through to end of A Level Further Maths.'


Edexcel Examiners' Report
A level Statistics:
S3 Coursework (June 2003)

The Statistics Examiner writes:

"... coursework ... histograms ... scatter diagrams ...

A number of centres are using Autograph which seems to produce good diagrams."


Peter Ransom writes:

"I have always enjoyed working with Autograph, and version 2.10. is no exception. "It is possible to run this in a junior mode for use with KS3, to avoid any distractions. The data handling section is most enjoyable.

"The CD Rom comes with a booklet of 45 Exercises which are just right for becoming familiar with the Software. " The Reference Manual is very informative. Further worksheets, resources and upgrades are available on the web-site."



3-day residential workshop

at Michaelhouse School, KZN, South Africa 28-20 Sept 2003

Paul de Wet writes:

Autograph is the world’s best curve sketching software for schools.

Simple and intuitive, it is extremely powerful in illustrating all aspects of our algebra syllabus (and way beyond!). Autograph is able to solve sketch curves (both implicitly and explicitly defined) solve simultaneous equations, plot derivatives etc. etc. etc. We are very fortunate to have Douglas Butler, the author of Autograph as our keynote speaker. Douglas will conduct workshop sessions around the effective use of this magnificent teaching tool.  



The Newsletter from 'The Education Project Asia', serving International schools in the Far East.

Paul de Wet writes:

"Occasionally some software comes along that is known as 'killer software' .... well a number of Maths teachers have said to me in the past that Autograph is one such package for teaching and learning mathematics."

Chris Smith, Editor, 'Shambles' Newsletter (Thailand)
May 2003 edition (Mathematics section)



The Scottish Mathematics Council

Journal 31 (May 2002)

TOM MACINTYRE wrote:

"Data from web resources can readily be pasted into desktop packages and onward into Autograph, which showed its real pace in being able to analyse a variety of data sets in a cross-curricular exercise on city sizes."

"A general modelling equation can be entered, and the 'right-click' option 'best fit to data' can find the constants. This task provided an excellent focus to explore the capabilities of Autograph . . in conjunction with a data projector"

" . . certainly well worth considering"




Mathematical Association
MA News (February 2002)

PETER RANSOM wrote:

"Autograph is a tried and trusted piece of software .. of great use in the classroom. Very user-friendly and great value for money"

A2 Student:
"The zoom-in capabilities of Autograph are amazing .. the diagrams I included in my coursework were all done on Autograph and my work looked almost like a professional report!"



TES ONLINE section
London, 6th April 2001 - text

PETER RANSOM wrote:

"Autograph is a tried and trusted piece of software .. of great use in the classroom. Very user-friendly and great value for money"

A2 Student:
"The zoom-in capabilities of Autograph are amazing .. the diagrams I included in my coursework were all done on Autograph and my work looked almost like a professional report!"




Mathematical Association
MA News (February 2002)

IAN WILSON wrote: "a landmark for mathematics teachers . ."

". . flexible, multi-level and a doddle to use"
". . Autograph: it's signature software for the subject"
". . worksheets, images, web pages - excellent resources"

". . Autograph: so comprehensive you'll wonder what it can't do"
". . I have seldom enjoyed experimenting with a program so much"
". . the choice . . is typical of the program's thoroughness"

Autograph: firmly in Ian Wilson's Top 10 (OnLine 7th Sept 2001)




ATM Micromath Magazine
Derby, Spring 2001

JOE WATSON wrote:

". . impressive by any standards . . Autograph has a multiplicity of features . . and a lot of thought has gone to make it easy to use."
". . the Screencam demos include some particularly nice exercises, . . and give you the incentive to explore more"

". . one-line text: xxx => x³; y= x²e^(–½x²) can copy/paste . . "
". . investigating y" +2ly'+ y = 0 as l varies . ."
". . my enthusiasm increased as I used the package more . . "




LTSN: Maths, Stats OR
Birmingham,November 2000

PAUL STRICKLAND wrote:

". . The main way that Autograph is superior to other packages with graphical capabilities is in its use of natural Windows techniques such as selection, dragging and right-click menus to control the exploration of mathematical concepts, enabling rapid mastery of the package"

". . care has been taken to get mathematical details right, as in the proper distinction between histograms of discrete and continuous data.




AAMT (Adelaide)
Vol: 56/4 and 57/1

HARTLEY HYDE wrote, running Autograph in his iMAC:

". . Autograph is a new, 'must-have' graphing package"
". . the most popular aspects of Autograph are its calculus tools"
". . works fine on my MAC under Virtual PC"

". . Autograph copes with about 90% of the work in years 10-12"
". . the family of Tridents, xy = x³ – a³. In other packages I usually get defeated by the insistence on 'y=..' input"




Educational Computing & Technology
May 2001

CHRIS DRAGE wrote:

" . . Autograph is designed to help teachers and pupils to visualise mathematics by drawing dynamically linked co-ordinate geometry, probability and statistics ?objects'."

" . . Autograph is an essential tool for secondary and college maths departments."




SUNDAY TIMES OF INDIA reporting a British Council lecture in Mumbai,
4th March 2001

SHABNAM MINWALLA wrote:

". . Douglas Butler's theory of sparkling mathematics holds that
a judicious mix of enthusiasm and technology works wonders"

". . and if the packed hall was any indication, the de-gobbledy-gookisation of mathematics is a sorely felt need"

Other User Comments:
 

Bill Newell, Mathematics Teacher. Just completed a series of lessons basic calculus and its connection with gradient and area. I teach differentiation in the initial stages as a process and integration as its inverse operation. I demonstrate the gradient / area connections using graphical methods. Autograph is a simply brilliant complement to this approach. I call it Calculus without Limits.
When the time comes to bite the bullet and generalise using limits, Autograph comes into its own. I've had students watching secants approach tangents, carving area under curves into rectangles and volumes of revolution into cylinders.
Responses vary from: "That's sooo = cool!" to "I get that now!!" which is what all teachers want to hear.

Bill Newell, Mathematics Teacher. I taught for many years in the New South Wales state system and now operate a one-man tutoring business for high school and tertiary students. I spent many hours on the internet searching for a decent graphing program; something that wasn't just bells and whistles. The day I downloaded Autograph I realised I had something special. Just a few days into the thirty day trial I ordered the CDs from a distributor in South Australia and have been amazed ever since. Finally a program for teachers and students written by teachers who obviously know exactly what is required to make an often difficult and unpopular discipline more palatable.
 
What attracted me initially was the potential Autograph has for the teaching of calculus. No longer need kids imagine a point sliding along a curve, they can actually see and control it themselves. Area and volume are so easily and clearly demonstrated you wonder how we managed before your program arrived on the scene. I was also most impressed with the control over axes and grid offered. Many American graphing programs ignore this aspect.
I could rave on for hours about the wonders of Autograph: the stats features so convenient for setting exercises in organising and displaying data; circle geometry made easy; inverse functions at the click of a mouse.
 
I have contacted several mates in the trade to recommend Autograph for their schools. I tell them I believe every maths department in Australia should obtain Autograph. I honestly believe it will change the way people approach their teaching of mathematics and very much for the better.
 
Thank you to you and your programmers for a job brilliantly done. Good luck with future versions.


Victoria A. Best, Mathematics Teacher. [Full testimonial as Word document]. "I was introduced to the Autograph program as a student teacher and I instantly recognized its uses and advantages in a mathematics classroom. I have used it countless times as a teacher to provide a visual anchor for numerous topics in the high school mathematics curriculum.

"Its versatility provides students and teachers with many opportunities to instantly change graphs parameters that allow students to immediately prove and support their conjectures. Autograph also creates excellent graphs that copy and paste beautifully into tests or assignments.

The Autograph software is incredibly user and student friendly. During the two day lab activity I learned more from my students than I had taught myself! They felt so empowered by the software that they enjoyed “playing” with it. I had students that created boxes using planes and then placing spheres and ellipses inside those boxes so that the only way you can see the sphere or ellipse was to use the zoom option that allows you to pass through the objects.

"The other option that I used in my classroom was the confidence interval simulation. This is a topic that students find very difficult and once again Autograph allowed my to add a quick visualization that concreted the topic for most students."


Ron Lancaster, Mathematics Educator, Toronto. "Autograph is one of the very best pieces of software on the market.  The software is incredibly easy to use and produces dynamic results that are stunningly beautiful.  Autograph can be used to support the teaching of most high school topics including coordinate geometry, conics, vectors, 3-D graphing, statistics, curve fitting, probability, calculus and discrete mathematics"

 

Profiled Autograph User: John Page - "Using Autograph is as Easy as Pi" says John
 
JohnDate of Birth: 27 November 1994
 
Living:         Felixstowe in Suffolk
At school:    Bucklesham Primary School, Suffolk
 
John is currently in year 6 at Bucklesham Primary School, a village school with about 100 students between Ipswich and Felixstowe in Suffolk.  It's a school where the children work hard and where they are always busy and happy.  The school gets excellent results.
 
Outside school, John has always had an interest in Maths as a hobby.  Every day for 4 years, including birthdays and Christmas Day(!) John gave 30 minutes of his time to get further in maths, attending the nationally known Kumon scheme which has about 48,000 students in the UK.  John reached 10th nationally in his age group before swapping to the standard GCSE course, again in his own time.
 
When John came to study the GCSE course, his tutors suggested Autograph software as the best to help him succeed.  "Using Autograph is as easy as Pi", says John.  John will be taking his Higher Level GCSE in the summer of 2006.  John's father has bought him a £20 + vat Student Licence so Autograph can assist his studies at home.
 
In leisure time, John is a keen and committed sailor and crews for one of the top sailors, in the National Cadet Squadron.  John loves football and is a keen Manchester United and England supporter.  His idol is Wayne Rooney.
 
John has a younger brother Alex and gets a lot of support from Dad (Steve), Mum (Sally) and Auntie Jenny.