[Blindmath] Calculus, Mathematica, and the Macintosh

Theodor Loots theo.loots at gmail.com
Fri Jan 24 10:08:53 UTC 2014


Hi!

Thanks Kyle for your response, and Sina for your comments!

As a University Lecturer, I use Mathematica quite often in my work, with great success.  The key (like Kyle pointed out) is to use the kernel.  I have added the path to this in my environment path variable (in windows - sorry I know the original message concerned Mac) so that I can easily call this in a batch file.  My batch file (in the same location as the .m file) would contain something like:

math.exe -script MatrixMinMax.m

and the contents of my .m file would be:

MyFile = OpenWrite["MatrixMinMax.tex"]
OutputFile = OpenWrite["log.txt"]
$Messages = {OutputFile}

SetOptions[MyFile, FormatType -> OutputForm];
SetOptions[OutputFile, FormatType -> InputForm];

A1 = {{1, 0, 0, 0}, {0, 1, 0, 0}, {0, 0, 0, 2*I}, {0, 0, 2*I, 0}};
A = A1*A1;
V1 = Eigenvectors[A][[1]];
lambda1 = Eigenvalues[A][[1]];
V2 = Eigenvectors[A][[2]];
lambda2 = Eigenvalues[A][[2]];
V3 = Eigenvectors[A][[3]];
lambda3 = Eigenvalues[A][[3]];
V4 = Eigenvectors[A][[4]];
lambda4 = Eigenvalues[A][[4]];

Write[MyFile, TeXForm[A]];
Write[MyFile, TeXForm[V1]];
Write[MyFile, TeXForm[lambda1]];
Write[MyFile, TeXForm[V2]];
Write[MyFile, TeXForm[lambda2]];
Write[MyFile, TeXForm[V3]];
Write[MyFile, TeXForm[lambda3]];
Write[MyFile, TeXForm[V4]];
Write[MyFile, TeXForm[lambda4]];

Close[MyFile]
Quit[]

This ensures that any errors is written to a text file "log.txt" in the same folder, and any output is written to a .tex file (commands wrapped in a "Write" command), which makes it easy to read, or use in other documents.  I prefer the TeXForm for this reason to the InputForm Kyle mentioned below, but both will work.  I paste the contents of the .tex file below as an illustration:

\left(
\begin{array}{cccc}
 1 & 0 & 0 & 0 \\
 0 & 1 & 0 & 0 \\
 0 & 0 & 0 & -4 \\
 0 & 0 & -4 & 0 \\
\end{array}
\right)
\{0,0,1,1\}
-4
\{0,0,1,-1\}
4
\{0,1,0,0\}
1
\{1,0,0,0\}
1

Hope it helps someone...

Best,
t

-----Original Message-----
From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Sina Bahram
Sent: 24 January 2014 04:46 AM
To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Calculus, Mathematica, and the Macintosh

Kyle,

I just wanted to thank you for your kind feedback on this list and for the efforts that at least some of us know you are undertaking to improve accessibility from within. Try not to let rants like the below that reference a decade's old complaint discourage you from the accessibility work you undertake regularly.

This is not to say that said complaint is either illigitamet or inaccurate, but simply that some of us recognize the difference between a helpful individual with "research Programmer" in their title and an individual, say Stephen Wolfram, who the company is named after, and who the below rant might be better served at being addressed to.

Since the food for thought was already offered, and quite bitter, we'll call this one dessert for 2014:

To affect change, it might behoove us not to attack programmers and researchers who already agree with us and are in the process of offering what help they can, but instead address our valid complaints towards those who are able to bring about the strategic and comprehensive change necessary to facilitate a universally designed focus.

Take care,
Sina

Twitter: @SinaBahram
Website: http://www.SinaBahram.com
Blog: http://blog.SinaBahram.com


-----Original Message-----
From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Ron Stewart
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:15 PM
To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Calculus, Mathematica, and the Macintosh

Good evening Kyle, I appreciate your hard work and am not meaning to criticize your personal efforts but enough is enough.

The issues of accessibility in your company's products were brought to their attention over a decade ago, and for the most part they have done nothing to address them.  I know the student you wrote it for and he is extremely technologically proficient, the typical student is not. This is reflective of the ongoing issues with the major vendors in this space in regard to accessibility. How does this kluge allow for equivalent access. The typical student in higher education does not know how to work from the command line most don�t even know what that is.

Just some food for thought in 2014. To  be commercial viable your company's products as well as that of all the major vendors need to be equivalently accessible for all users. It should not have to be documented through your support channels it just needs to happen.

Ron Stewart

-----Original Message-----
From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Kyle Keane
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:15 PM
To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Calculus, Mathematica, and the Macintosh

Hi Andrew, 

I work at Wolfram Research, makers of Mathematica. Please email or call the company to let them know that you are blind and want to use the product, this needs to be documented through mainstream support channels. There is a contact form at http://www.wolfram.com/support/contact/email/ or you can call them at 1-800-wolfram (1-800-965-3726). 

There is a command line interface to Mathematica (also known as a kernel), here is a link with information. If the contents of the output seems strange try wrapping your code in the function InputForm[], e.g. InputForm[Integrate[x^3],x]. You can also run the following code before doing anything else "$Post=InputForm", which will apply the function InputForm to all outputs before displaying them. 
http://reference.wolfram.com/mathematica/tutorial/UsingATextBasedInterface.html 

I also have a program that I wrote that allows Mathematica to be used from any accessible text editor. I wrote it for a physics grad student at Harvard who is blind. Email me at kylek at wolfram.com and I'll send the program to you with instructions. I'll make sure that you get the resources that you need. 

Sincerely, 
Kyle Keane, PhD 
Research Programmer 
Education Software Technology 
Wolfram Research Incorporated 
217-398-0700 ext. 5220 
----- 
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