Notations Around the World: Census and Exploitation

  • Paul Libbrecht
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6167)


Mathematical notations around the world are diverse. Not as much as requiring computing machines’ makers to adapt to each culture, but as much as to disorient a person landing on a web-page with a text in mathematics.

In order to understand better this diversity, we are building a census of notations: it should allow any content creator or mathematician to grasp which mathematical notation is used in which language and culture. The census is built collaboratively, collected in pages with a given semantic and presenting observations of the widespread notations being used in existing materials by a graphical extract. We contend that our approach should dissipate the fallacies found here and there about the notations in “other cultures” so that a better understanding of the cultures can be realized.

The exploitation of the census in the math-bridge project is also presented: this project aims at taking learners “where they are in their math-knowledge” and bring them to a level ready to start engineering studies. The census serves as definitive reference for the transformation elements that generate the rendering of formulæ in web-browsers.


Mathematical Notation Cultural Context Imaginary Unit Mathematical Symbol Book Title 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Libbrecht
    • 1
  1. 1.DFKI GmbH and University of SaarlandSaarbrückenGermany

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