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Audio for Wikipedia math articles

by Stephen Tashi
Tags: articles, audio, math, wikipedia
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Stephen Tashi
Aug25-14, 12:05 AM
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The Wikipedia has a project for creating audio articles. What would be a good way to use audio in mathematical articles?
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Aug25-14, 09:36 AM
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I would start by thinking of how you might describe mathematical concepts to a blind student.

Today we will talk about the Pythagorean Theorem.

The Pythagorean theorem describes a relationship between the sides of a right triangle and the hypotenuse of the right triangle. Algebraically the theorem states that the sum of the square of the sides is equal to the square of the hypotenuse.

Graphically imagine a right triangle where each side and the hypotenuse is an edge of a square area then the theorem is saying that the sum of the two side areas is the same as the hypotenuse area.

There are a lot of assumptions here where an article might add in hyperlinks but that can't be done in an audio recording and so this may have to be handled by having an audio search capability like the student could say "right triangle" and a description of it would be played.
Aug25-14, 10:52 AM
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Quote Quote by jedishrfu View Post
I would start by thinking of how you might describe mathematical concepts to a blind student.
That might be a solution looking for a problem. I expect most blind students that have access to computers and the internet already use text-to-audio readers for accessing "standard" web pages. (And they soon learn to understand computer-generated speech at incredibly fast speeds.)

Specialized software for tasks like turning LaTeX math notation into "spoken equations" might be useful if it doesn't already exist, but that's irrelevant to the OP's question.

Note: the Wiki project seems to have the narrow objective of recording existing Wikipedia articles verbatim, and lists the (small amount of) progress. I guess the OP's question was more general than that.

Stephen Tashi
Aug25-14, 11:04 AM
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P: 3,314
Audio for Wikipedia math articles

I wonder -Would I have to learn entirely different ways of doing things in order to present advanced mathematics to blind students? For example, is the verbal presentation of mathematics to the blind related to how it is wrtten in Braille?

The project says that the audio articles need not be directed toward blind persons. It mentions that sighted people may prefer to listen to articles rather than read them. However, it seems even harder to present advanced mathematics in audio to sighted people than to blind people. Most sighted persons are not trained in special tricks to understand math just by hearing it.!
Aug25-14, 11:21 AM
P: 3,097
I had a work seminar once that talked about the three ways we learn visually, orally and by kinesthetics.

So the idea of the seminar was to determine what type of learner you were through some simple tests and then to show you how to present to an audience of visual, oral and kinesthetic learners.

Basically they said you need to have stuff to show, speak clearly and concisely and to use hand motions and body positioning to engage the audience fully. Being a physical comedian with PPTs helped too...

With respect to AlephZero's comment:

The OP asked how one might approach this and so I suggested the blind approach where you need to add in more description because there may be no accompanying visual to along with the recording or people may be listening to it while driving or resting.

A crafted recording with a human speaker may be preferable to software that simply reads the page. That's why audio-books are so popular today.

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