[om-a] ANN: Internet Math Searching Workshop

Bruce Virga brucev at dessci.com
Tue Dec 2 23:19:44 CET 2003


If you are interested in MathML, or involved in research or education, you 
may find this workshop of interest. The full press release is pasted below, 
or you can read it on our site.


Please let me know if you have any questions.

Bruce Virga

For Immediate Release

Design Science Awarded NSF Grant for Enhancing Searching for Mathematics

Spring 2004 Workshop Scheduled to Develop Requirements

LONG BEACH, California - December 1, 2003 - Design Science today announced 
it will lead a project aimed at enhancing search technology for science, 
technical and medical (STM) documents. The kick-off event will be a 
workshop scheduled for April 2004, bringing together researchers and 
managers of STM document collections from academia and industry. The 
workshop and project are funded in part by a National Science Foundation 
(NSF) grant awarded to Design Science through the National Science Digital 
Library (NSDL) program.

The ultimate goal of the project is to facilitate searching for 
mathematical formulas and notations in scientific literature, the same way 
one can now do full-text keyword searches. "With better searching, 
researchers in one area have a much better chance of discovering 
connections with other seemingly unrelated fields. For example, one can 
imagine a heart researcher might find the same equations describing cardiac 
electrical signals turning up in the work of astronomers studying solar 
flares where the problems have already been solved. Without math-aware 
searching, finding such unexpected connections is largely a matter of 
chance. Yet, the history of science shows again and again that unexpected 
connections often lead to major breakthroughs," said Dr. Robert Miner, 
Director of New Product Development at Design Science.

The goal of the workshop is to identify a framework for developing and 
deploying enhanced searching of STM literature. The emphasis will be on 
coming up with practical solutions for the near and medium term that are 
compatible with business constraints of major stakeholders. "There is some 
sense in the industry that there is a window of opportunity to re-examine 
best practices for making STM material more searchable," said Miner. "As 
content providers make the shift to XML-based workflows, there is a natural 
interest in leveraging investments in XML-based content to add value for 
customers. Improved searching is a hot topic in this regard." The workshop 
will be held April 26-27, 2004, and will be hosted by the Institute for 
Mathematics and its Advancement (IMA) at the University of Minnesota. 
Registration for the workshop is limited, but some openings are still 

Math searching is currently hampered by the lack of a standard, 
machine-accessible format for equations. But that is changing as MathML, an 
XML language for representing mathematics developed by the World Wide Web 
Consortium (W3C), emerges as an industry standard. Because MathML is 
highly-structured, and information rich, it has great potential for 
improving searching, as well as other information-intensive applications 
such as the ability to speak math to visually impaired readers. "While the 
first generation of web technology focused on text searching, the second 
generation will bring the world equivalent facilities for working with 
other kinds of data. Because math is the language of science and 
technology, MathML is a key part of that effort," according to Paul R. 
Topping, Design Science's President. Design Science is an industry leader 
in MathML technology, with extensive MathML expertise, several MathML-based 
product-lines and significant market penetration into education and 
research. So developing new ways of adding value to MathML-aware content is 
a natural direction for Design Science.

About Design Science, Inc. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Long Beach, 
California, Design Science develops software used by educators, scientists 
and publishing professionals, including MathType, Equation Editor in 
Microsoft Office, WebEQ, MathFlow, MathPlayer and TeXaide, to communicate 
on the web and in print. For more information please visit 


Bruce Virga                      email: brucev at dessci.com
VP, Sales & Marketing            phone: 562-433-0685
Design Science, Inc.
"How Science Communicates"
MathType, WebEQ, MathPlayer, MathFlow, Equation Editor, TeXaide
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