Tutorial

Welcome to Epiphanie tutoring! This site is here to help you with math and other technical subjects. Do you already have a tutor? That’s great! This system is designed to work with you and your tutor and teacher to help you learn when they can’t be there with you. You can even share reports with them about the material that you need to work on (under development - watch for more about this soon).

How do I Use Epiphanie?

You’ve already taken the first step - signing up. Next, start working on some problems! Epiphanie is designed to work with whatever math problems you currently have - create an assignment, enter your problem, and do your work step-by-step in the Epiphanie system. We’ll give you pointers along the way to help you when you run into challenges. When you’re done you can print out an assignment to turn it in.

On every page there are also links to ask for help or make suggestions about how we can make Epiphanie better for you - let us know what you think!

Kevin Moore
Founder, Epiphanie Tutoring

Usage Details
For now, the Epiphanie site only allows the entry of equations. Each equation can only have one
equal sign in it - systems of equations are not supported yet. There are workarounds to handle other
types of problems such as simplifying or expanding algebraic expressions; see below for details.

Certain functions are supported by the system - you can find them and enter them with the
drop-down “functions” menu or type them in manually.

If a problem has multiple solutions, you need to enter this using the following formats:

  • x = -3 or 3
  • x = {-3 or 3}
Many functions will only work correctly if you enter them with parentheses. For example, x=ln 6 or
y=sin pi/2 might not work correctly without the parentheses.

If you want to refer to Euler’s constant e=2.71828…, you need to use the capital letter E for now.
Lower case e is not recognized either as this constant or as a variable. The imaginary number i=√-1
(and complex numbers in general) are not supported yet. In fact, any domain or interval solution
(such as 0 ≤x< 2π) is not supported yet. We plan to fix this in a future release.

Here are some useful keyboard shortcuts:
  • ^ (shift-6) Exponent (x2)
  • _ (underscore) Subscript (H2O)
  • → (right arrow) Escape an exponent, subscript, fraction, or other function
  • Mouse to select text
  • Shift-→, Shift-← Select text manually to use in a fraction or to copy
  • Arrows traverse and edit equation
  • Function →, ← Beginning / end of line
  • Home, End Beginning / end of line
  • +- ±
  • >=
  • <=
  • “\” Allows LaTeX keyboard function shortcuts
    • \sqrt square root
    • \pi π, the mathematical constant
    • \theta θ (not supported as a variable yet)
    • \int Integral sign (not working properly yet)
    • \sum Summation sign (in testing but not on the main site yet)
    • \pm PlusMinus symbol (not supported yet)
  • Copy, Cut, Paste The usual shortcuts work (Ctrl-C or ⌘-C, Ctrl-X, Ctrl-V)
Examples:
  • Let’s say you wanted to enter the equation x^2-4x+3=0. You can do this with the following key combinations:
    • x ^ 2 → - 4 x + 3 = 0 ↵
    • The ^ key creates an exponent; the arrow key will cause the cursor to leave the exponent of x2
    • You could also use the exponent function in the GUI to help enter this
  • To enter x = log_2(32), you could type:
    • x = log _ 2 → ( 3 2 ) ↵
    • The underscore key creates the subscript, the arrow key leaves the subscript
    • You could also use the GUI functions to enter this



Unsupported Math / Future Improvements
For now, the site is only designed to give feedback on basic algebra - the equivalent of Algebra I level material. But it can already be used for other classes too! Here are some current known limitations for Algebra I and more advanced math:

Known Limitations (see Workarounds below):

  • The tutoring capabilities are only designed for Algebra at this point. Advice and functionality for advanced functions such as trigonometric functions, logarithms, integrals, e, and complex numbers may be limited or untested. The Epiphanie system will not provide specific advice on these advanced topics yet.

    However you may find the system is still useful without specific advice on your subject.

  • All equations must have a variable and one equal sign in them.
    • That variable cannot “vanish” from the equation. E.g., x+3 = (2x+6)/2 won’t work properly - see “workarounds” below.
  • Inequalities are not supported yet.
  • All equations must have the variable x in them to work properly.
  • Only one plusminus (±) symbol is allowed in an equation. (When multiple ± symbols are allowed, they will be correlated; e.g. 1±2±3 = 1+2+3 or 1-2-3, but not 1+2-3 or 1-2+3.)
  • Complex numbers and any other domains other than “All Reals” are not supported yet. For example, there’s no way to limit the solution range to [0,2π]
  • For trigonometric functions, all angles must be in radians for now. Support for degrees is planned for a future release. But solving trigonometric equations is not recommended due to the limits on domain (and there’s no way to enter solutions like π+2πn yet).
  • Lists of solutions cannot be combined with other math. e.g. x = 2 + {-3 or 3} is not supported. However you can enter x-2 = {-3 or 3}
  • In some situations when a digit is entered on a mobile device, that digit will be duplicated. We’re investigating this - we believe it happens when transitioning from using the GUI to enter functions to the Android keyboard on some phones.
  • Epiphanie is not designed to handle Geometry or graphing problems yet
  • Word problem interpretation is not supported yet (but you can enter the initial equation into the system and solve it there)



Workarounds:

  • All equations need the variable x (and it can’t vanish from the equation). You can do this by:
    • Using x instead of an existing variable
    • Adding x to an equation that would otherwise be an identity or “prove that” problem.
    • Add “x =” to a problem where you need to simplify or expand an expression.
    Examples:
    • Problem: Expand (x+3)(x-5)
      • Enter y=(x+3)(x-5) and expand the right side
    • Problem: Factor x^2-5x+4
      • Enter y=x^2-5x+4 and factor the right side
    • Problem: 3y=y+10
      • Change the problem to “3x=x+10”
    • Problem: Prove the identity “sin(x)/csc(x)+cos(x)/sec(x)=1”
      • Change the problem to “sin(y)/csc(y)+cos(y)/sec(y)=1+x (so the variable x doesn’t disappear from the equation)
    • Problem: Change “log28=3” to exponential form
      • Change the problem to “log28=3x”, so there’s an x in the equation

    We know these workarounds aren’t perfect, but they may help you use the Epiphanie system now as we work on solutions and advice for more advanced math problems.