Map-based Educational Tools for Algorithm Learning (METAL)

led by Dr. James D. Teresco

Try It!

The easiest way to get started is to load up the algorithm visualizations in METAL's Highway Data Examiner (HDX). The user interface guides you through the steps to load a data set, select an algorithm and its parameters, and interact with the visualization. Be sure to check out the HDX Tips page for information about all of the features of HDX.

For Instructors

Instructors can enhance their courses by introducing METAL with very little up-front effort. There is nothing to install or complex system to learn; just point your browser, load up a graph, and watch it go. The next step is to get students working with METAL's graph data. The graphs themselves can be visualized in HDX as can the results of many programs, by writing output files in one of the file formats supported by HDX. Some previous assignments used by the author are linked here:
Some of these and others have been packaged as easily-adoptable learning modules. The learning modules and other classroom-tested assignments, including support materials and sample solutions, are available to instructors from the author on request for academic use.
The pre-processing and plotting scripts, graph data, the Highway Data Examiner, and solutions to assignments, are freely available. Those interested in the code for HDX can find it in a public repository.

For Students

Not in one of my classes but this sounds like fun? Tell your instructors about this project! But whether or not your instructor is using METAL, you can use its algorithm visualization capabilities to help you learn about the algorithms you are studying. METAL's engaging, interactive algorithm visualizations can help you learn the algorithms more quickly and to gain a deeper understanding of how and why they work.
To view data or to perform algorithm visualizations, launch HDX by visiting its URL: