Category Archives: Uncategorized

Which version of VPython should I use?

For the introductory physics course:

We strongly recommend GlowScript VPython.  Here’s why:

  • No installation is required — students work in a browser
  • Students do not need to cope with folders and file extensions — all work is stored in the cloud
  • The interface is simple and straightforward
  • Programs in a student’s public folder can be shared simply by giving a URL

Students who have no previous experience coding are comfortable working in this familiar environment.

For a more advanced physics or computational physics course:

We recommend using VPython 7 either in a Jupyter Notebook or in an IDE such as Spyder.

  • Learning to install Python and VPython is appropriate for students at this level
  • A standard Python installation such as Anaconda provides access to the full Python ecology of scientific computational modules (which are not available in GlowScript VPython).
  • More sophisticated editing and debugging tools are available

See for details on how to install VPython 7 with Anaconda, and which version of Spyder to use.


WebAssign price increase rolled back (2017/01/09)

A price increase for students using WebAssign for spring 2017 has been delayed until March 15, so that students in the second semester of a two-semester course will still be able to purchase only the homework (without the ebook) from WebAssign.   It will take several days for this option to become active on the WebAssign website.  In the meantime, students who have purchased the bundled homework / ebook package will be offered a refund from WebAssign.  They may then use the 2 week payment grace period until the homework-only option becomes active, at which point they may purchase the homework-only option.

After March 15 the only option for students will be to purchase the ebook/homework bundle at WebAssign.

We are grateful to Wiley and WebAssign for agreeing to delay this cost increase to allow students in two-semester courses to continue using WebAssign at the same rate for the rest of the academic year.