Presentations preview MathML support, ideas on copy and paste

Presentations delivered at the 2010 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco previewed MathML support in MathJax, discussed ideas for copy and paste support. The slides for the talk are available at the links below.

In MathJax: a JavaScript-based engine for including TeX and MathML in HTML, lead MathJax programmer Davide Cervone presented an overview of the current development status, and gave a preview of MathML support. The online slides include an “interactive lab” where one can enter TeX or MathML code into a text area, and see the typeset results. The lab also illustrates MathJax’s ability to convert from TeX to MathML, and allows one to interactively experiment with various configuration options. Note that the incomplete MathML support demonstrated in Cervone’s talk is not included in the beta 1 release of MathJax, though it is now available in the development source available from SourceForge.

In MathType, Math Markup, and the Goal of Cut and Paste, project coordinator Robert Miner prognosticated about larger trends on the use of the Web for scientific communication. The argument runs that as technologies such as MathJax enable more people to easily use the Web for math and science communication, the need for easy reusability through copy and paste will grow. By using “smart agents” such as Design Science’s MathType editor that understand many equation formats, copy and paste is already possible in many cases today. Achieving natural copy and paste for equations displayed by MathJax presents some technical challenges, but solving them will also have benefits for accessibility, and other programmatic processing of online content.

Both talks were presented in the MAA Session on Publishing Mathematics on the Web organized by Thomas Leathrum, Bill Hammond, and Kyle Siegrist.