Development of the ISM

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For the benefit of those who would like to more about how the ISM was created and is delivered, the ISM was initially developed over a period from roughly May 2011 to December 2011 by members of the Department of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia with the support of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology.

Delivery Systems

The content management system WordPress was used to present material in the ISM. A set of WordPress plugins were added to extend the functionality of the site:

  • Simple CSS: to allow customizability of aesthetic elements (lists, tables, fonts, etc)
  • FlexiPages: to offer the "Site Map" on the right sidebar
  • NextPage: to include the "previous" and "next" buttons on most pages

The content of the ISM lives on the UBC Wiki (which is an installation of a MediaWiki) on the Faculty of Science "namespace". One advantage of having content on the UBC Wiki is that it can be more easily imported into as many websites as desired.

All equations are rendered as images in the UBC Wiki. This approach has these advantages:

  • every image has an automatically generated alt tag in LaTeX, that allows users, who often have a disability, to be able use a screen reader to access equation content,
  • pages on the ISM site can be converted to PDF format for printing, and
  • all modern browsers can view these images


Inkscape, Adobe Photoshop, Grapher, and even Microsoft PowerPoint were used to create the various graphical elements you will find throughout the ISM. Most mathematical symbols were generated in MediaWiki. When symbols were needed in images, CodeCogs was used to create mathematical symbols in SVG files that could be imported into graphics that appear throughout the ISM.


For infinite series, there is an abundance of free educational videos freely available on the internet, and so development time was not focused on the development of video. Most of the video in the ISM was sourced from the Khan Academy, Patrick JMT, and the Mathispower4u sites.

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