Enhancing Searching of Mathematics
Knowledge workers spend a great deal of their time searching for information,
perhaps as much as 20-30% according to a
by the Delphi Group. Unfortunately, that time is not always well
spent. Information resources are often disorganized, or lack sufficient
adequate structure and metadata. In the area of science, technical,
engineering and medical (STEM) information, these problems are exacerbated by
the fact that mathematical notation, charts, diagrams and images are frequently
completely invisible to standard search techniques.
To address this need, Design Science has launched a project to develop
infrastructure and algorithms for enhanced search capabilities for STEM
documents. The project has three broad goals:
- To formulate, coordinate and disseminate best-practice guidelines for
facilitating the searching and indexing of STEM material;
- To create a test bed collection of documents, including software
infrastructure, on which to conduct usability testing for searching and
- To investigate several specific algorithms for searching mathematics.
Searching Workshop Held
A "Hot Topics" workshop on the subject of Enhancing Searching of
Mathematics was held at the Institute for Math and its Applications at the
University of Minnesota April 26-27, 2004. The workshop brought together
about 40 researchers, content managers and publishers. A Position
Paper summarizing the conclusions and recommendations of the workshop is
In the Press
- The March 2004 issue of
has an article on new NSDL projects mentioning Design Science's searching project.
- The January 2004 issue of Desktop Engineering magazine has an article on
math searching, featuring Design Science's searching project.
Further Information and Resources
This work is supported in part by the National
Science Foundation through the National Science
Digital Library program under Grant No. 0333645. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or
recommendations expressed in this material are those of Design Science and do
not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.