[BlindMath] Typing Math and Science Quickly and Understandably

Bhavya shah bhavya.shah125 at gmail.com
Thu May 3 20:05:01 UTC 2018


Hi Brandon,

In essence, this method is very similar to how I used to use LaTeX of
MathType to generate Math ML content that was visually readible and
screen reader firnedly with the help of NVDA and Math Player. However,
my only two concerns are that using LaTeX or any other standardized
Math code to type would almost invariably mean (1) slightly longer and
stricter syntax that would need to be mandatorily followed, and (2)
there are several reasons, some of which include lack of customization
in pronunciation and excessive pausing, why I found reading Math ML
with the help of Math Player and NVDA somewhat cumbersome in my past
experiences. If I come to think of it, it is quite certain that at
some point in time, either for typing my own Math&Science or for
reading my transcribed course material, I will need to deal with Math
ML using Math Player and NVDA, so in a day at most, I will be retrying
Math ML and sharing some of the more significant concerns and issues I
have with interacting with Math ML.

Kindly let me know if my present understanding of the method you
described that this is just Pandoc instead of MathType and commandline
instead of Word for using LaTeX to generate Math ML content is
fundamentally incorrect.

Thanks.

On 5/3/18, Brandon Keith Biggs via BlindMath <blindmath at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hello,
> Markdown with LaTeX is perfect for you. Here is an example that Lukasz
> (from this list wrote):
>
> ## Parametric Forms
>
> *transcriber: system of two equations, each one has an extra information
> after comma*
> \
> $x = t^2 -2t$, $dx = 2t-2$
> \
> $y= t+1$, minimum at $t=1$
> \
> *transcriber: end of the system*
>
> For window:
> \
> $t$ from $[-2,4]$, $t$ step $= 0.1$
> \
> $x$ from $[-1,10]$
> \
> $y$ from $[-1,5]$
>
> # something easier
>
> $3x + y = 10$
> \
> $9 * 5 = 45$
> \
> Fractions
> \
> $\frac{1}{2} + \frac{1}{2} = 1$
>
>
> This converts perfectly to MathML using pandoc:
> https://pandoc.org/
>
> You install pandoc, open a command line where you have the math content and
> type:
>
> pandoc my_math_file.md --mathml -s -o my_html_output_file.html
>
> You can give your professor the html file and they can read it in print
> just fine. If you have a Braille display, the MathML shows up just fine and
> it is also read by the screen reader. NVDA requires Math player (see the
> user guide under reading math content for more info).
> Thanks,
>
>
> Brandon Keith Biggs <http://brandonkeithbiggs.com/>
>
> On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 11:00 AM, Sean Tikkun via BlindMath <
> blindmath at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>
>> Bhavya Shah,
>>
>>    I am assembling a team to generate 3D models to assist in learning. The
>> team leaders are a former math teacher fluent in Braille (me) and a
>> Fabrication lab director that teaches Biological and Chemical Sciences at
>> the University level. If you have access to 3D printing I would love to
>> know what you may need. Files are easy to send. If not, perhaps there is a
>> fabrication lab at a university in Mumbai that would be interested in some
>> collaboration?
>>    Feel free to reach out. stikkun at nccu.edu.
>>
>>
>> Sean Tikkun
>> Apple Distinguished Educator
>> class of 2007
>>
>> On May 01, 2018, at 08:51 PM, Sabra Ewing via BlindMath <
>> blindmath at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>
>> I typed most of my math using the first method. You might be able to type
>> more quickly if you had a braille keyboard. Also note that you can use
>> parentheses and brackets. The Pearce in equation editor can produce math
>> in
>> a visual format. It is free. The braille note touch can do this as well
>> although it is very expensive. I would definitely say to use a keyboard.
>> Do
>> not type on your phone as I am doing now because it is much slower.
>> Another
>> thing you can do is use copy and paste. You do not have to type everything
>> from scratch. You can copy previous steps to your clipboard, paste them,
>> and then modify them to create your future steps. Like for example, you
>> might write a chemical equation that is not balanced. Paste this equation
>> underneath it so you have two copies of the same equation. Then, take the
>> first step toward balancing that equation and make those changes to your
>> second copy. Now you have your equation and underneath it, you have the
>> modified version with step one completed, so copied the version with step
>> one completed to your clipboard and paste it underneath. Now you have the
>> original equation, and you have two copies of step one. Modified the
>> second
>> copy of step one based on what you plan to do in step two. Continue this
>> method until you have finished the problem. With a braille keyboard, you
>> should be able to type as fast as someone can speak and even faster. If
>> you
>> cannot or a braille keyboard is not an option, you can record what is
>> being
>> said with a phone or other recording device and you can then go back over
>> it. Another thing you can do is request things in electronic format. Mini
>> American professors do not know how to create accessible math when it is
>> really very easy as you described. You do not have to know any markup
>> languages. You can create accessible math just by using your computer
>> keyboard, and in many cases, if you are a computer science student, your
>> math is in the perfect format to just paste right over into your ide.
>> Maybe
>> Indian professors would be better at creating accessible. If not, you
>> might
>> be able to find someone who can do it. This will be especially easy if you
>> can find some funding. I was not lucky in this regard because other than
>> professors, I never found a dedicated person who knew how to produce
>> accessible math. I finally got to a position where I could no longer
>> receive accessible math because I moved on to a four-year university where
>> the professors did not know how to produce it. It is very ironic that when
>> I started out at a two year university, the professors did know how to
>> produce it. I approach programmers, professors, deans, and department
>> head.
>> No one actually knew how including the programmers who produce accessible
>> math every day. I finally had to end up listening to my math on recordings
>> and writing everything down. It was very difficult. If you want to get
>> math
>> in braille, there is software that can do it called Duxberry. Ironically,
>> my university actually had this software, but no one knew how to use it
>> including the people who worked at disability services. Getting it for
>> yourself will not be helpful. If you get this software, you will need
>> someone who can modify the equations for you. If your professor has files
>> that were generated from a markup language, you could try asking for those
>> source files. Even if you do not know the markup language, math is written
>> very similarly when you are programming computers, so you could probably
>> pick up how to read it. Unfortunately, my professors used PDFs that they
>> got from other sources or pictures of hand written documents so I could
>> not
>> do this. People will try to tell you that Matt cannot be produced
>> excessively on the computer. This simply is not true. Every mathematical
>> formula, function, and number known to humankind can be programmed into a
>> computer using a text based programming language. Also, many of these
>> functions and formulas can be put into XL. If you can put these formulas
>> into XL, then you can produce them accessibly in a word document. If
>> someone is trying to tell you that they can't, then just tell them to put
>> it in a spreadsheet, press F2 on the cells, and read the formulas that
>> way.
>> XL is very good because you can use it to organize data, you can use it as
>> a calculator, and you can use it to create tables and graphs. You can put
>> these documents in your dropbox and you can get the pictures of the
>> graphs.
>> You can then import these pictures into the voice app on your phone and
>> you
>> can listen to them. If you are going to listen to pie charts, to make it
>> easier on yourself to read, use the 3-D exploding pie charts. This may
>> sound counterintuitive, but when you listen to them, there is a bit more
>> separation between each piece. I don't know how you would get training to
>> listen to grass. I just automatically was born knowing how to do it. No
>> one
>> ever taught me. I could always listen to graphs very easily and I could
>> never read tactile graphics. There is also a program called math tracks
>> where you can create audio graphs by entering in equations.However, it is
>> really best to have both the equation and the data because what if you
>> created a graph using any equation, and you need to make some changes to
>> the data? Well, you don't have the data, so what are you going to do? You
>> could probably generate the data from the equation in some cases, but that
>> will take forever. I like to listen to a graph and have the spreadsheet in
>> front of me at the same time. There is also a blind chemist named Dr.
>> sapalo. I'm not sure how to spell his name. I have his card somewhere but
>> I
>> just have to find it. I really wish people would start using those barcode
>> Cards where I can scan the contact information into my phone, but I only
>> know one person who uses those. Anyways, You may want to get in touch with
>> him. He has all of these probes. They do all different things. They
>> connect
>> to a computer and they can measure chemical reactions and make graphs and
>> do all this stuff depending on what probe you use. For example, you could
>> use one probe to graph the color changes that occur during an experiment.
>> You could use another probe to track temperature changes like ice melting.
>> I don't really do chemistry, but if I did, I imagine I would want this
>> thing, but I can't remember what it is called. But he is actually a
>> chemistry professor at a university. He is totally blind and he teaches
>> classes and runs labs and does all sorts of things. There are plenty of
>> blind computer scientists, but he struck my interest in particular because
>> I have not heard of mini blind chemists. He also had some good advice for
>> 3-D printing that would work in the United States, but I am not sure if it
>> would work in India. If possible though, you may want to get some 3-D
>> models printed. Another thing is that you want to stay consistent. You
>> want
>> to make sure that you are doing things in the classroom the same way you
>> will do them during testing. In my chemistry class, I did not have access
>> to a lot of 3-D models, but for testing purposes, they made me a 3-D
>> model.
>> This really was not fair because it was made out of a lot of cups and
>> straws. I did not know what it was, and it is not fair to use models for
>> testing purposes that you did not use in the classroom or to use a
>> different method for testing purposes that you did not use in the
>> classroom
>> because this will skew the results. If you use certain accommodations in
>> the classroom, insist on the same accommodations for testing.
>>
>> Sabra Ewing
>>
>> On May 1, 2018, at 5:22 PM, Bhavya shah via BlindMath <
>> blindmath at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>
>> Dear all,
>>
>> I am Bhavya Shah, a totally blind 16-year-old student from Mumbai,
>> India. Having just completed my tenth grade with the same Mathematics
>> and Science syllabus as my sighted peers in a mainstream school, I
>> intend to take up the Science stream according to the Indian education
>> system for Classes 11 and 12 with the subject combination of
>> Physics+Chemistry+Mathematics, and probably take up something along
>> the lines of Computer Science for my undergraduate studies after that
>> (although I shouldn’t overly worry about about finalizing that for
>> now, I suppose). Additionally, I shall be enrolling into coaching for
>> a very competitive pan-India engineering entrance examination over the
>> next two years where I will be delving into particularly advanced
>> topics in to the three afore-mentioned subjects.
>>
>> Till Class 10, I managed an overwhelming chunk of Math either orally
>> or mentally, and from what I have been informed, have dealt with
>> relatively very simple organic structures, general numericals and
>> chemical equations which I have been handling mostly via plain text.
>> It has become increasingly clear to me that this makeshift method will
>> be extremely inefficient and consequently infeasible for the kind of
>> syllabus I am transitioning to. Hence, I am looking for different
>> techniques, tools or methods of typing Math and Science that will
>> allow me to be as rapid a Math&Science typist as I am of the English
>> language (at its peak, my fingers have achieved about 100 WPM) so that
>> I can cope with the daily rigor this coaching demands. I need to be
>> able to type mathematical and scientific content accurately and
>> swiftly not necessarily such that it is visually readable by a sighted
>> professor but more so for my own reference, understanding and purposes
>> of review and revision.
>>
>> So far, I am versed only with two options – ASCII Math, where I would
>> just type Math and Science using standard symbols present on any
>> keyboard such as /, *, ^ and so on to denote different things (perhaps
>> (x+2)/x-1)) in chiefly plain text, or type things in LaTeX using
>> MathType ($\frac{x+2}{x-1}$) and employ Math Player and NVDA to read
>> it. From my basic understanding of this and limited past experience
>> with each of these methods, the former sounds much faster and more
>> efficient to me, but I am open to evidence and experiences suggesting
>> otherwise. There are various other Math typing tools I have heard
>> about over the years such as Infty Reader and Lean Math, but have
>> never adequately researched them let alone used them to any extent.
>> Any information or instructional material on these and other potential
>> alternatives you would recommend would be of great help too.
>>
>> I would truly appreciate any assistance on different strategies you
>> may have used to math your sighted counterparts’ speed in terms of
>> writing and solving mathematical and scientific material, questions
>> and problem sets.
>>
>> Thanks.
>>
>> --
>> Best Regards
>> Bhavya Shah
>>
>> Blogger at Hiking Across Horizons: https://bhavyashah125.wordpress.com/
>>
>> Contacting Me
>> E-mail Address: bhavya.shah125 at gmail.com
>> LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bhavyashah125/
>> Twitter: @BhavyaShah125
>> Skype: bhavya.09
>>
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-- 
Best Regards
Bhavya Shah

Blogger at Hiking Across Horizons: https://bhavyashah125.wordpress.com/

Contacting Me
E-mail Address: bhavya.shah125 at gmail.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bhavyashah125/
Twitter: @BhavyaShah125
Skype: bhavya.09



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