Mathematical Study Without Pen and Paper

Mathematical Study Without Pen and Paper: Experiences, Impacts and Options, a workshop at the Manchester Metropolitan University, 20 March 2013.

From the workshop advertisement:

Courses with mathematical content pose specific accessibility challenges due to the nature of the visual and two-dimensional structures through which Mathematics is typically communicated. For many, handwritten working supports memory, verbal communication and mathematical thinking. However, not everyone is able to use a pen and paper effectively. This workshop aims to bring together staff who use or teach Mathematics and Statistics, disabled students who are studying mathematical subjects, and a range of support professionals including Disability Advisers, Needs Assessors, Specialist Tutors and Amanuenses and Assistive Technology Advisers. The discussion will focus on the experiences of disabled students who are studying mathematical subjects. In particular, the impact of working without a pen and paper and the available options will be considered.

A related link: Maxtract,

a tool for converting PDF into formats such as LaTeX, MathML and text. The aims are to provide translation services into standard mathematical markup languages and to add accessibility to mathematical documents on multiple levels.

A TUGBoat paper by Ross Moore, Ongoing efforts to generate “tagged PDF” using pdfTeX. 

[With thanks to Emma Cliffe]

Open Access: a game changer?

US Congress has introduced a bill that would mandate public access to publicly-funded federal research. The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced in Congress February 14 on a bi-partisan basis. The bill would require that federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from publicly-funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. If enacted in law, the Act will have impact on academic publishing, including mathematics education research, all over the world.

Some quotes from the Act

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