Practical MathML: The W3C Recommendation, Leading Applications, and Beyond

Sam Dooley

The W3C MathML 2.0 Recommendation represents a major step forward in the standardization of mathematical communication over the web, both for end users and software systems and tools. In this tutorial we present an introduction to the Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) and its syntax and scope, illustrate leading software technologies and applications that provide support for MathML in current browsers, and explore how MathML interacts with other web standards to drive the development of languages, tools, and frameworks for the delivery of semantically rich web content that promises to enable a new generation of mathematical applications.

  1. XML Fundamentals [5 min] SGML : HTML == XML : MathML, Elements/Attributes/Entities. Objective: Explain basic XML concepts needed to place MathML in context
  2. MathML Basics [25 min] Presentation, Content. Objective: Survey the scope of what MathML can represent.
  3. MathML Software [30 min] Browser support, techexplorer, others. Objective: Illustrate leading MathML technology and applications.
  4. MathML and Web Standards [30 min] Unicode, XHTML, XSLT, XLink, Schema, DOM. Objective: Explore how MathML interacts with other Web standards.

Target Audience
The tutorial will be self-contained in the sense that no prerequisites are assumed. General familiarity with markup languages for mathematics and with other web standards and tools (XHTML, CSS/XSL, DOM, etc.) will be helpful but not strictly necessary. Attendees are invited to bring laptops and MathML software to explore concepts to be discussed in the tutorial.
  1. Computer algebra system software designers who need standard encodings for mathematics interoperable with other web tools and standards.
  2. Mathematical software application writers who need standard encodings for mathematics interoperable with other web tools and standards.
  3. Web site authors who want to generate and distribute semantically rich mathematical information over the web using MathML.

The Presenter
Sam Dooley is an Advisory Programmer in the Computer Science Department at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. He is the primary architect and implementor of the MathML 2.0 support in the techexplorer Hypermedia Browser that includes complete rendering support for all MathML 2.0 elements and attributes, as well as full support for the DOM Level 1 API that has been used to implement interfaces between techexplorer and a number of other commercial computer algebra systems.

Christopher W Brown
Last modified: Tue Apr 3 16:28:47 EDT 2001