**butterwo@cassatt.cs.unc.edu (Jeff Butterworth)** (09/29/89)

As a physics major and computer programmer, I've spent much of my life scratching away with pencil and paper, creating equations that would choke a horse. Some of these babies take three lines of notebook paper and contain every special squiggle my math professor could dig out of his medieval calculus torture books. I know that premature arthritis has always been a healthy part of every scientist's training, but I've suffered long enough. What I want to know is, is there any editor out there that will allow me to manipulate equations and other mathematical symbols? It doesn't have to do any calculations at all. (That's my job.) I just want to be able to do my homework on the computer, like all the English and Psych majors. Surely there's something that will let me do the basic word processing tasks like cutting and pasting, but will also let me type in a messy fraction and then put a square root sign around it. The only kind of program that I've seen that comes close is a paint program. I wouldn't mind creating all of the special symbols in mac-draw, but actually putting them together in each new situation would be a tedious nightmare. And I'm not even going to go near complicated text formating packages like eqn for UNIX. Those require more time to use than just grabbing a no.2 pencil and a sheet of notebook paper, and the encoded info is far from WYSIWYG. I would prefer something for the IBM PC, but I would even hop on a Mac or X-Windows if I could type in equations. Can anyone give me some pointers? Thanks in advance. P.S. Please respond through e-mail if possible. If there is sufficient response, then I will post a summary to the net. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Between two evils, I always choose the one I haven't tried." - Mae West Jeff Butterworth Home: 509 N. Columbia St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516 (919) 933-1394 School: 235 Sitterson, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (919) 962-1719 butterwo@cs.unc.edu Work: Data General (Graphics Group), Research Triangle Park, NC butterwo@dg-rtp.dg.com -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

**wilkins@jarthur.Claremont.EDU (Mark Wilkins)** (10/01/89)

Yeah, there is something roughly like what you want in a couple of forms on the Macintosh. Two programs I know of, MathType and Expressionist, allow you to create mathematical expressions laid out properly on the page and export them to word processing programs. I am not too sure of MathType's capabilities, but Expressionist allows you to do such things as define your own symbols and even will produce text-only output in eqn format, Microsoft Word's equation format, or TeX format. When you open the Expressionist desk accessory you are faced with a blank work area and a palette of different mathematical constructs off to one side. You click on, say, an integral symbol, and an integral sign appears, allowing you to fill in boxes with limits of integration and the integrand. MathType allows certain things to be done more easily, such as closed path integrals, but Expressionist produces more pleasing output, especially on laser printers, and has an easier-to-use interface for more basic stuff. I do not know who publishes MathType, but Expressionist is published by Allan Bonadio Associates. Both are advertised fairly regularly in MacWorld. If access to a Mac is not a problem, either of these packages will make you wonder how you ever got along before. -- Mark Wilkins (wilkins@jarthur.claremont.edu)

**usenet@cps3xx.UUCP (Usenet file owner)** (10/03/89)

I've got one even better than that for you. Try MathCad. It does what you want, and, it will solve those equations for you also! I've used it for about 2 years now. In the rare case that original ideas Kenneth J. Hendrickson N8DGN are found here, I am responsible. Owen W328, E. Lansing, MI 48825 Internet: hendrick@frith.egr.msu.edu UUCP: ...!uunet!frith!hendrick

**lwh@harpsichord.cis.ohio-state.edu (Loyde W Hales)** (10/04/89)

I've another suggestion similiar to MathCad. Try Borland's ``Eureka, The Solver.'' It isn't as nice as MathCad for presentation, but it does have a full presentation manager. More importantly, it is quite inexpensive for what you get. It will do IBM clones, Macs, and Atari. -=- Department of Computer and Information Science Loyde W. Hales, II The Ohio State University lwh@cis.ohio-state.edu 2036 Neil Avenue Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43201

**roland@cochise** (10/10/89)

butterwo@cassatt.cs.unc.edu (Jeff Butterworth) writes: > What I want to know is, is there any editor out there that will allow >me to manipulate equations and other mathematical symbols? It doesn't have >to do any calculations at all. (That's my job.) I just want to be able to >do my homework on the computer, like all the English and Psych majors. >Surely there's something that will let me do the basic word processing tasks >like cutting and pasting, but will also let me type in a messy fraction and >then put a square root sign around it. > I would prefer something for the IBM PC, but I would even hop on a >Mac or X-Windows if I could type in equations. > Can anyone give me some pointers? Thanks in advance. Once upon a time (1985 :-) when I was still studying mathematled "SIGNUM!" ( really SIGNUM!2 in the meantime ) and runs (exclusively) on any Atari ST. ( I know that this machine has a 'games only' image in the US and lacks professional support - in Germany the situation is very different - , but when the software was designed, we expacted it would be more expensive than the hardware anyway, so Franz selected the machine most suitable for this kind of fast graphic character operations, expecting all customers to buy the same - and really, quite a number of ST have been sold just to run Signum! on it ). Disclaimer: I'm a friend of the autor. And I like Signum! I know that You believe You understand what You think I said, but I'm not sure You realize that what You heard is not what I meant. Roland Rambau rra@cochise.pcs.com, {unido|pyramid}!pcsbst!rra, 2:507/414.2.fidonet Sorry, if my signature is included twice - this is intentional, since we have a line-eater bug in this weeks mail software ( we are regularyly testing our software til it breaks :-)

**moulis@tls-cs.UUCP (Gerald Moulis)** (11/13/89)

I'am reacting to the article Jeff Butterworth posted in sci.math.symbolic (and 6 others newsgroups) because he uses subject and keywords that fit very well to my PhD work. However, I just use it to talk about what could be a *mathematical editor* and ask what you think about it. So it must be considered as an original news article. Apologies for the length of the post: there are summary and questions before the discussion. SUMMARY: I propose a (non-built) kernel of a mathematical workshop called SOFTMATH in order to provide computer assistance in formulas manipulations. It provides an ENVIRONMENT with mathematical and pragmatic KNOWLEDGE required to parse, edit and manipulate formulas. The formulas are splitted into 3 structures (visual, syntactic and mathematical) tied together in order to provide textual and mathematical manipulations. It uses direct manipulation, programming environment techniques and view formulas manipulations in a software engineering paradigm. It makes the link between textual occurrences of a variable, knows their type and how to generate 1 or 100 of new variables. It handles and knows the meaning and the various notations available for an operator (by the introduction of definitions)... This provides "NATURAL" manipulations of formulas. Symbolic computations facilities are not provided first: it acts as an editor + proof-checker. On medium range, a mathematical workshop could provide experimental support of AI and Interaction techniques, and elicit mathematical knowledge (following its development methodology, it is first interested by concepts, pragmatics and mathematical language as a Natural Language). QUESTIONS:- Could you post or mail what you think about it? - Are they any project, intend or any work close to that way? - Could you mail me whether you or some friend feel interested, in which (practical or technical) aspect, in what intend... - Are they any project which ambition is to do software engineering specific to mathematics. That is bring formulas to programs (automatic and assisted generation), with knowledge about symbolic and numerical methods and their use. DISCUSSION: (may be you could print it) Jeff Butterworth writes: (long time ago, apologies but a previous post was lost in the newspost system) > As a physics major and computer programmer, I've spent much of my >life scratching away with pencil and paper, creating equations that would >choke a horse. Some of these babies take three lines of notebook paper and ----------------------------- >contain every special squiggle my math professor could dig out of his medieval >calculus torture books. I know that premature arthritis has always been a >healthy part of every scientist's training, but I've suffered long enough. > What I want to know is, is there any editor out there that will allow >me to manipulate equations and other mathematical symbols? It doesn't have >to do any calculations at all. (That's my job.) I just want to be able to -------------------------- ------------- >do my homework on the computer, like all the English and Psych majors. >Surely there's something that will let me do the basic word processing tasks >like cutting and pasting, but will also let me type in a messy fraction and >then put a square root sign around it. > The only kind of program that I've seen that comes close is a paint >program. I wouldn't mind creating all of the special symbols in mac-draw, >but actually putting them together in each new situation would be a tedious >nightmare. And I'm not even going to go near complicated text formating >packages like eqn for UNIX. Those require more time to use than just >grabbing a no.2 pencil and a sheet of notebook paper, and the encoded info >is far from WYSIWYG. > I would prefer something for the IBM PC, but I would even hop on a >Mac or X-Windows if I could type in equations. > Can anyone give me some pointers? Thanks in advance. (I have underlined some of the text; I'am sure he received pointers enough) The editor Jeff needs, assists him in his formulas manipulations. Let's see what are the PROBLEMS: First, when you just need to build a visual and printable form of a few formulas even "complicated text formating package" do that work and are worth some extra-efforts. They provide build-in typographical knowledge. Second, instead of text, and like programs, formulas have a "well known" syntax and semantic. There are clever programming editors which know abstract syntax and sometimes semantic. There is no software engineering products in mathematic but there are plenty of (symbolic) computation ones. Sometimes Mathematics should be considered as an "Assisted Design". An editor which knows about mathematical practice could offer help in formula acquisition (contextual completion helps in "special squiggles"...) Third, when you build sequences of long formulas you feel there should be something to do. They are correlated, you pick parts of formulas, you have a simple mathematical transformation to do but it is a textual trick. Even primitive operations like change a variable, manage notations or index variable bounds, put parenthesis if needed,(...) are not available. what COULD BE DONE in that way: First, conceive a working environment, and more specially an interface which provide "NATURAL" manipulation of formulas with computer assistance. There are many contextual Interaction techniques that could be developed. Second, manage all aspects of FORMULAS: mathematical, syntactical and visual (as well as stylistic choices). Let's take a sigma operator: -the visual structure is the bit-map one of the formula, with others visual aspects as a selected part, surrounding boxes... -the syntactical structure is the lower, upper and main part of a sigma. -the mathematical structure is a summation operator with its variable, domain and mathematical expression. The trick is to maintain consistency from mathematical to visual structures and manage action from visual to mathematical (with the help of Knuth-like boxes as syntactical intermediate). The way proposed is to link all information relevant to an operator to the mathematical structure. Third, provide KNOWLEDGE required to all intended manipulations. That is knowledge of the syntax and semantics of the languages needed for the representations of formulas, as that is done in programming environment generators. That is also knowledge and organization of mathematical concepts of a domain, as there are Knowledge Based Systems and Object Oriented organization. This implies to find a way to use that knowledge. The EXPECTED RESULTS are: -Provide a formula manipulation environment for a mathematical activity, which knows about mathematical practice. -As all of this is done in a "natural" way: Assist the mathematician in its activity and do not provide alternative tools to make part of it in another space with a different working "logic". -Provide experimental support of AI and interaction techniques, and elicit mathematical knowledge (for example domain and concept dependent heuristics) -Be tied with computational knowledge (symbolic, numerical methods, mathematical theorem proving, reasoning...) to benefit from these works. The only problem is that users and developers don't *believe* that it's feasible. Thanks for all, I will summarize some points if needed. Nota: I know those marvelous things computer algebra like MACSYMA, SCRATCHPAD MATHEMATICA and others can do (computation, text or code generation...) I just want to talk about what they do *not*. A sample of innovative ideas are: -D. ARNON, R. BEACH, K. MCISAAC and C. WALDSPURGER : "Caminoreal : an interactive mathematical notebook"; Proc. of the Int. Conf. on Electronic Publishing, Document manipulation and typography, Nice, France, April 20-22, 1988, pp. 1-18. (for providing integrated acces to numerical computation mathematical typesetting, computer algebra and technical electronic mail) -M. KALTENBACH, C. FRASSON : "DYNABOARD: User animated display of deductive proofs in mathematics"; Int. J. Man-Machine Studies (1989) 30, 149-170. (for its interesting ideas about interaction) -M. VIVET : Expertise mathematique et informatique : CAMELIA, un logiciel pour raisonner et calculer ; these d'etat, Paris VI, juin 1984. (for using computer algebra within an Expert System intended for reasoning) >>>>>>> There is time to FIND, now is the time to SEARCH. >>>>>>> "Dieu benit l'homme Non pour avoir trouve', mais pour avoir cherche'" Victor Hugo. Disclaimer: These opinions are mine and I will burn to death! -- Gerald MOULIS ONERA/CERT-DERI - 2 av Edouard Belin Email, UUCP : BP 4025, 31055 TOULOUSE CEDEX, FRANCE, moulis@tls-cs.cert.fr phone: +33-61-55-71-64 ...!seismo!mcvax!inria!tls-cs!moulis