*The OpenCourseWare site for 18.05 also includes links to a* *set of mathematical applets* *(“mathlets”) developed by Prof. Haynes Miller and his colleagues. Below, Dr. Jeremy Orloff and Dr. Jennifer French Kamrin describe how these connect to the content of 18.05, and how learners might best make use of them.*

The applets are dynamic and interactive, which allows the user to explore a range of possibilities easily. For example, the Beta Distributions applet is a simple applet that allows the user to explore how the two shape parameters affect the shape of the distribution, which is important when choosing a beta distribution as a prior. The more elaborate applets allow the user to ask ‘what if’ questions. For example, with Linear Regression the user can explore the effect of outliers or increasing the order of the fitted polynomial.