IFIP WG 2.5 Project 78
Mathematical Knowledge Management
Modern computing and communication facilities have transformed the way in which
knowledge is produced, managed, exchanged, and consumed. Nevertheless, some of
these processes remain challenging when the information is highly mathematical
in nature. New opportunities and demands in science and engineering are resulting
in pressures to improve our ability to represent complex mathematical information
on computers, to efficiently find it, to preserve its semantics during interchange,
and to exploit it to efficiently generate yet new knowledge. A growing research
community is emerging around these issues. The topics considered include
* Computer representations of mathematical data
* Presentation of math on the Web
* MathML, OpenMath, and related standards
* Mathematical digital libraries and repositories
* Authoring languages and tools
* Search and retrieval of highly mathematical content
* Data mining and discovery in mathematical databases
* Integration with computer algebra systems and automated theorem proving
* Collaboration tools for mathematics
* Tools for mathematical workflows
Leuven 2010:
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Ron Boisvert made a live presentation of the in May 2010 released
"NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions".
http://dlmf.nist.gov/
Boulder 2011:
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Ron Boisvert presented a "LaTeX to XML converter" found in
http://dlmf.nist.gov/LaTeXML
Santander 2012:
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NIST is still very active in this area. Boisvert presented the
project description above.
Shanghai 2013:
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Ron Boisvert briefed the group on current developments in the
representation and display of mathematics on the web. An important
positive development is the inclusion of MathML, W3C's XML-based
standard for math markup as part of HTML5, the current proposed next
version of the HTML standard. The adoption of this standard by
browsers would greatly improve upon the current state, in which only a
few browsers provide native support for MathML. For example, Internet
Explorer does not support MathML, although a plugin is available.
Firefox indicates that they intend to support this standard.
In spite of this development, universal support for math on the web
remains in jeopardy. Browser developers are far from universal in
their committment to actually implement the MathML part of the
standard. In particular, Microsoft is not expected to do
so. Ironically, one of the reasons for the reluctance by developers to
invest the effort to implement MathML is the success of
MathJax. MathJax is a javascript engine for displaying mathematics
(expressed as TeX or MathML) that works in all browsers. MathJax is a
project of the MathJax Consortium, a joint venture of the American
Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Society for Industrial and Applied
Mathematics (SIAM). As such, it is not a standards-based solution,
relying on community support for its development, which will need to
be active and continuous as browsers proliferate.