How to use these materials

You are probably using either Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari or Opera to view these materials. Those are the most popular web browsers. To use all the features of SticiGui©, you need an up-to-date browser that supports frames, cascading style sheets (CSS), HTML 4.01, and JavaScript 1.8. JavaScript must be enabled in the browser; for assignments to work, the browser must also accept cookies from the originating server. For a variety of reasons, I strongly recommend that you use Firefox and that you not use Internet Explorer. Recent versions of Chrome, Safari and Opera also work—mostly. The materials have been tested most thoroughly with Firefox.

A link is a piece of text you can "click" to see another document. You place the cursor over the link, then push the mouse button (left mouse button on a PC compatible computer) to "follow" the link. Links in these materials are generally in blue type.

Clicking a link can either replace the document in one of the frames you are viewing (not always the frame that has the link), or open a new window that displays the new document. If you have not changed the default settings in your browser, links to the glossary will be in green type; those take you to the right place in the glossary in the bottom frame, so that you don't lose your place in the book when you look up a term. Links to other materials are in blue type; those typically replace the contents of the frame you are reading.

You should familiarize yourself with how your browser works to learn to navigate among windows. On the right side of the browser window, you should see a scroll bar. If there is a scrollbar, that means there is more to see—drag the slider down to see more of the text. On some computers, there is a "page down" button you can click to see the next screenful of text.

In the assignments, the navigation buttons are suppressed to leave more room on the screen for text and graphics. You can still get a "pop-up menu" that will allow you to go back to the previous document. How you get the menu depends on the browser and the operating system. In Microsoft Windows, you get the pop-up menu by right-clicking in the open browser window. Most browsers have the ability to search within a document to find a word or phrase within a page. You might find that feature useful to search for a word in the glossary or a chapter of the text.

There are graphical data analysis and visualization tools throughout the text and assignments. Every chapter has exercises to check your understanding. I strongly recommend that you do all of them. Most of the exercises call for an answer in a box. After you type in your answer, strike the "return" or "enter" key. The symbol next to the question will change from a question mark  question markeither to a green check check (if your answer is right) or to a red X X (if your answer is wrong). Multiple-choice questions automatically show the green check or red X when you select an answer. Multiple-multiple-choice questions ("select all that apply") are followed by a button you can click to check your answer. Clicking the mark after the question (the question mark, check, or X) will expand a box containing the correct answer, if you have already attempted the problem. You can answer each question as many times as you like, or see the correct answer. More detailed solutions to some of the exercises are available too; there is a link to the detailed answers after those questions. Your answers to the exercises in the text are not recorded, and the exercises do not contribute to your grade. Many of the problems are generated randomly—reloading or revisiting the page will give you a new set of problems, so you can get unlimited practice.

Most of the chapters have a corresponding assignment covering the material in the chapter. The assignments are graded by a computer, and may contribute to your grade (your instructor will tell you). Be sure to click the button labeled "Submit for Grading" after you answer the questions in each assignment. After the due date of the problem set, you can see your score by filling out a form. You can also see the solutions after the due date by returning to the assignment. For detailed instructions about the assignments, including browser-related issues, see the homework homepage.