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IMA Hot Topics Workshop
The Evolution of Mathematical Communication in the Age of Digital Libraries
December 8-9, 2006

Thomas FischerState and University Library Goettingen
Patrick IonMathematical Reviews
Robert MinerDesign Science, Inc.
Lawrence MooreDuke University
Robby RobsonEduworks Corporation
Stephen WattUniversity of Western Ontario
Group Photo

Over the past two decades, mathematical communication has evolved rapidly from predominantly paper-based to electronic means for creating and sharing documents. Large electronic collections of scientific, technical, engineering and mathematics (STEM) materials now abound, including a large corpus of digitized and electronic scholarly journals, encylopedias, blogs, databases of assessments and problems, and e-books in accessible formats for those with visual or learning disabilities. The increasing importance of electronic collections has shifted attention to the issues surrounding their management and utilization, with the ultimate goal of knitting them together into thriving Digital Libraries.

Digital libraries present special challenges for mathematical communication. Practices and technologies that are successful for generic textual content are frequently difficult to adapt to STEM material with its greater reliance on mathematical notation, figures and tables. However, because of its formal nature, mathematical communication also promises unique opportunities for enhanced functionality via semantic analysis not yet feasible for arbitrary natural language.

This conference seeks to highlight early successes, showcase promising research, and identify important problems to be overcome for mathematical communication in the age of digital libraries.

Special emphasis is expected in the following areas:

  • Efficient searching and clustering of math and science content
  • Analysis and management of large collections, document matching, plagiarism detection
  • Metadata extraction and semantic analysis, crosswalking, universal metadata formats
  • Math accessibility, multilingual presentation, translation of notational preferences
  • Document validation, symbolic computation, automated assertion checking
  • Support for mathematics in wikis, blogs, personal annotation systems, recommender systems and other social networks
  • Online assessment, answer checking, intelligent feedback
  • Novel applications of mathematical analysis and algorithms to digital libraries, and/or novel applications of communication technologies to math and science content.

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