What is Mathemagicus?

The idea behind Mathemagicus started back in 2017 when I was a substitute for the Alexandria, Virginia school system and I was in a math intervention classroom for a middle school. The students couldn’t do a lot of the work because they lacked a solid foundation in basic arithmetic. When a student used a calculator for 6 × 3 I started working.

Math can be frustrating

I started as a substitute in 2012 in North Carolina and I’ve seen a lot of computer programs to help teach math. The problem I saw with most of them was that they weren’t fun. The students didn’t enjoy using them.

With Mathemagicus, I have set out to recreate some of the joy I got from video games when I was going up, and use that model to create a web application to augment math instruction.

Dragon Warrior for Nintendo from 1989

Mathemagicus is not intended to replace a teacher or teaching. Its primary purpose is to improve automaticity and mental math skills in basic arithmetic. It has been shown that automaticity is a strong predictor of subsequent mathematical competence. The National Mathematics Advisory Council also stresses the importance of automaticity for learning more advanced mathematical concepts, and the importance of computer assisted instruction in achieving it.

Mathemagicus lets students choose an avatar to help the stricken town of Arithmeticia clear its catacombs of monsters. Initially armed only with a Fibonacci’s Associative Spell and a key to the Addition Catacombs, the player/student must progress through the catacombs defeating monsters using math.

As they progress, the player/student will unlock more difficult problems, new spells to help them (both hint spells and fun spells), and keys to the subtraction, multiplication, and division catacombs.

Data about player/student performance is also saved so that teachers and administrators can review the statistics.

Mathemagicus is a work-in-progress and a proof-of-concept, so game features can be added or removed any day. Check back often for more information on our progress!

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