[Blindmath] psychology statistical diagrams

Rasmussen, Lloyd lras at loc.gov
Tue Oct 26 14:05:01 UTC 2010

I was not trying to say that drawings or symbols are unimportant.  They work better for some blind people than for others, but effective communication with your fellow students, instructors or coworkers is always important.  We just need to be able to look at problems from as many angles and with as many tools as we can.

Lloyd Rasmussen, Senior Project Engineer
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress   202-707-0535
The preceding opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress, NLS.

-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Sean Tikkun
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 9:45 AM
To: Rasmussen, Lloyd; Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] psychology statistical diagrams

I am willing and excited to write that book if no one has yet.  There is a long tradition in mathematics of explaining symbols.  It went out of style when Hilbert advocated for a standard method of mathematical writing.  If people in this list serv.  Know of such a book let me know... But I would love to write it, and as my student finishes his last 2 years of high school I will have a wonderful daily reminder of what symbols should be in there.  Physics, Chemistry, Statistics and Calculus in his last two years....  my students love or hate me for my encouragement!

On Oct 25, 2010, at 4:00 PM, Birkir Rúnar Gunnarsson wrote:

> Not sure this would the the best context to bring this up. But I have 
> always felt that a little more understanding of how sighted people see 
> and do things would benefit us blind folks, or at least some of us 
> (can't generalize, in general).
> I've always wanted a book that explains the characters (using raised 
> lines or fusing or something), explains how to cross multiply, how 
> square roots look, what a super script and a subscript looks like in 
> text, what the big dividing line is and how it looks in a set up. How 
> does an integral look, what about a sum, etc.
> I know some braille codes try to immitate this, which is cool, and I 
> know we can't really work that way, but I think it'd be cool tohave a 
> standard book that showed this, along with the printed symbols.
> It'd be neat to hve a standard book of sighted mathematics or 
> something along those lines, and it would come with some basic 
> diagrams that are popular, (bell curve, graphs of distributions, sum 
> of least squares) perhaps even 3d models of the most common shapes usd 
> in mathematics.
> I managed just fine without these things, but I think the lessons are 
> getting more and more sight centric and I think I would've spent my 
> time in class better, had I had a better understanding of what the 
> professor/teacher was doing.
> May be such a book exists, may be I am the only one who finds this 
> idea attractive, but since it seems vaguely relevant to this 
> discussion I figured I'd throw it out there.
> Cheers
> -Bæ
> On 10/25/10, Larry Wayland <larry.wayland at arkansas.gov> wrote:
>> I agree with Lloyd on this.  I do not think there is anyway a three 
>> dimensional representation can be adequately done using a Braille drawing.
>> Indicating three dimensions on a two dimension plane is done by using 
>> optical allusions.  You can't do that tactually.  The lines are all 
>> there but they just will not look three dimensional.
>> Larry
>> Larry Wayland
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org 
>> [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Rasmussen, Lloyd
>> Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 2:15 PM
>> To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] psychology statistical diagrams
>> As a totally blind electronics engineer who got his bachelor's degree 
>> in the 1960's, I think that getting an understanding ofList-Archive: 
>> <http://www.nfb three-dimensional concepts from two-dimensional 
>> drawings has severe limitations.  Is this an isometric or perspective projection?  From what distance is the "object" being viewed?
>> Talk to the people in the math department who study topology.  Do 
>> they ever make solid models of the shapes they are describing 
>> algebraically?  Note that the solution to the problem of everting a 
>> sphere (turning it inside
>> out) was first proposed by a French blind mathematician.  He 
>> visualized what sighted people were unable to visualize.
>> Talk to people in mechanical engineering or industrial design 
>> departments about stereolithography or 3D printing, where numerically 
>> controlled machines are used to create solid models (quite expensively and slowly).
>> Going these routes will not get you all the drawings your textbooks 
>> use, but they should get you enough information and examples so that 
>> you understand the concepts, in some cases more correctly than 
>> sighted students will from the limited viewpoint of paper and blackboards.
>> Lloyd Rasmussen, 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org 
>> [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Bernard M Diaz
>> Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 2:00 PM
>> To: Rasmussen, Lloyd; Blind Math list for those interested in 
>> mathematics
>> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] psychology statistical diagrams
>> Hi,
>> I've experience of generating only one diagram that NEEDED 3D - a 
>> plane embedded in 3D; that is a "surface"; and yes used the Tiger 
>> system.  It took about 2 days playing to get a not too successful 
>> result, which we did not use in the end!
>> I'm clearly not very good at this sort of thing, it needs an artistic 
>> (I think that's the best word) flourish which I guess I don't have.  
>> And I guess, my knowledge of 3D use is limited too ...
>> I'm sorry I've not looked at economic stuff, trends, and time series 
>> stuff - which I suspect could all benefit from the 3D aspect you 
>> suggest.  I suspect, for each, it would be useful to know the 
>> approach chosen - if anyone attempts to do (or has done it) please do share your findings.
>> Simple "images" (essentially phtographic stuff rendered into "tonal
>> pictures") e.g. most of the Tiger examples I've looked at: flowers 
>> parts, coloured country diagrams, digestive systems, most maps - all work well.
>> Where there is an attempt to get tonal representation to mimic depth 
>> cueing
>> - what I've done suggests: a) its hard, and b) not too successful at 
>> getting over what is intended.  But, as I say, perhaps I'm not 
>> thinking about this in the correct way - and would appreciate pointers.
>> A final note.  Many staff use Powerpoint. Where a diagram is involved 
>> I suggest that they copy the "slide" then edit that to remove all but 
>> the diagram.  Enlarge that so that it fuses correctly ("touchably" 
>> .... is that the correct word? This also involves thinking about any 
>> colour coding used) and provide in the "notes" section for that slide 
>> a textual description of the diagram using the language guideline 
>> mentioned before.  Then, those slides are "hidden" with a note that they are for "accessibility purposes".
>> The idea is that the student (or teacher) can fuse the diagram (slide 
>> object); Jaws the notes section (notes object) while "touching" the 
>> fused version, and have Jaws read any text on the slide proper as well.
>> ...

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