W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-math@w3.org > July 2006

Re: Webmath

From: Leane Roffey <lroffey1@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 10:30:19 -0500
Message-ID: <003d01c6aa80$ba7e1a00$0201a8c0@ozzie>
To: "June Lester" <june@sfu.ca>, <www-math@w3.org>
Dear June:

Thank you so much for the references at the bottom of your post.
It seems like our goals are greatly aligned as well, so I welcome
any design guidelines you come up with for an "online journal interested
in promoting innovative mathematics communication through web 
affordances like interactivity and visualization instead of merely 
porting mathematical text to the screen". 

I'm editor on an online journal at www.emergentmind.org, an
applied mathematician and programmer, "semi-retired" and 
working on many papers right now that would benefit from interactivity
and visualization in my own subject areas, so if you need
a volunteer for this project, let me know.

Another ordinary mortal,

Leane Roffey Line
(frau of Mark P. Line, for those who don't know that)

Leane Roffey Line, Ph.D.
Research Engineer
Neuro Magnetic Systems
San Antonio, TX 78209

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: June Lester 
  To: www-math@w3.org 
  Sent: Saturday, July 15, 2006 4:20 PM
  Subject: Re: Webmath

  On 15-Jul-06, at 1:10 PM, Patrick Ion wrote:
    The WebMath list has been used mostly recently for general announcements
    about conferences involving math on the Web or product announcements.  It
    hasn't been very active.  I have no idea if the moderator June Lester would like
    it otherwise.

  Hi, all.

  I originally started WebMath because I was interested in math on the web in general - not just the technical aspects of MathML, but also in the design of onscreen mathematics in general - visual, interactive, and all those wonderful things we were promised.  I thought it was a good idea at the time because the hype was that MathML was just around the corner, and soon there'd be lots of people interested in putting math online.  Obvoiusly, I was wrong about that one.  I still scan this list to see if anything promising looks like happening, but it appears to be mostly squabbling over technical details, with little in sight for ordinary mortals/educators wanting to do math online.  

  In retrospect, I'm not really sure I want MathML to become that easy anyway.  I have nightmares of huge numbers of mathematicians thinking "oh, good, not I can put my papers/lecture notes/whatever online" without ever thinking if perhaps there isn't some better way of communicating math than by pages of symbolic text.  With all the affordances now available onscreen, reproducing print onscreen seems hopelessly behind the times.  Yes, I know about ease of searching, annotating, etc. - but it's still TEXT.  Great for publishers looking to migrate their print activities online, but not much else, AFAICS.

  For people interested in knowing what I think onscreen math could be, below are a few links to some preliminary essays, prototypes, etc. I've done over past years.  Most of it is several years old - I didn't used to have much time to work on this stuff.  However, about a year ago, I "semi-retired" and began a new Ph. D. in "onscreen mathematics communication design" (at least that's what my application said) at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. Thus far, I'm mainly doing courses, but the point is (eventually) to research the issues and ideas like those discussed on my MathDesign site, and hopefully produce design guidelines for others interested, not just for education, but possibly for, say, an online journal interested in promoting innovative mathematics communication through web affordances like interactivity and visualization instead of merely porting mathematical text to the screen. I can hope, can't I?  :o)   Meanwhile, I'm also keeping an eye on Adobe's Apollo - don't know much about it yet, but maybe a combination of PDF for text with Flash interactivity is the way to go ?

  Would I like the Webmath list to be otherwise?  I certainly would like more activity - wouldn't any listowner?  But please, pretty please, don't conduct arguments about MathML there, OK?  There are more interesting and important things to discuss.



  MathDesign (archives):  <http://www.thejuniverse.org/Mathdesign/previouslyIndex.html>

  Linear Algebra Widgets:  <http://thejuniverse.org/PRESENT/index.html>

  Conference Paper: Designing Interactive Matheamtics <http://thejuniverse.org/Professional/DesignIntMath.pdf>

  Demo Interactive Calculus Lesson (PDF, 7 Meg) <http://thejuniverse.org/Professional/DemoLesson.pdf>
Received on Tuesday, 18 July 2006 15:38:14 UTC

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