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29 August 2006

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Bright Ideas Software® Wins Phase 0 SBIR Grant

Bright Ideas Software® of Cheyenne has been awarded a Phase 0 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the Wyoming SBIR/STIR Initiative (WSSI).

The company will use the Phase 0 grant to fund the development of a Phase 1 grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. This proposal will describe a graphical visualization software package for pre-calculus students and educators.

Data shows that students’ mathematical understanding in the USA is below average as compared to other developed countries. Only one-third of students who take mathematics beyond their basic requirements take pre-calculus, and only 10% of them take calculus beyond that. The goal of this project is to prepare tools to increase students’ understanding of pre-calculus, increasing the likelihood that they will take additional mathematics (calculus) courses. Research shows that visual representations offer learners effective ‘conceptual anchors’ by ‘disclosing important networks of relationships in a vivid and memorable way’. Graphical visualization tools in calculus education hold great potential for improving student's depth of understanding of advanced mathematical concepts, but the visualization tools currently available are lacking in sophistication (e.g., graphing calculators) and/or prohibitively expensive.

The proposed software package is to be developed with input from Dr. Bryan Shader, chair of the University of Wyoming’s Department of Mathematics, and Dr.’s Jerry Hamann and Suresh Muknahallipatna of the University’s College of Engineering. Dr.’s Alan Dale Moore and Sachin Jain of the College of Education will conduct evaluation testing to measure the package’s effectiveness as a teaching aid.

About Bright Ideas Software: Bright Ideas Software was formed in 2001 with the goal of producing high quality educational software for the college and university market, with particular focus on graphical visualization tools for the physical sciences. We are located in southern New Mexico. For more information, see

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