Re: Mathematical Greek Alphanumeric Symbols

From: Philippe VERDY (
Date: Sat May 14 2005 - 17:53:01 CDT

  • Next message: Hans Aberg: "Re: Mathematical Greek Alphanumeric Symbols"

    > De : "Hans Aberg" <>
    > Already in the eighties, mathematicians started writing papers
    > without any handwritten intermediates. It depends much on what you
    > do. Sometimes paper is needed, but as computers becomes better in
    > representing and handling math, less use of paper is needed.

    Computers will be handy only for making finalized documents. But for day-to-day use, it will often be much faster to do the work with a paper and pen (except for repeative calculations for which you'll create a program or macro, or you'll use a basic calculator to compute the various divisions, powers, logarithms and so on...).

    Try asking to a student if he wants to do his homeworks with a computer and a wordprocessor, even if it has a fine formula editor. This is too long, and your paper sheet and pen is so much easier. Now ask to the same student which tool he will use to compose a final report, essay, or project presentation: he will use a computer for most of the text, will print it, but then will insert manually drawn formulas because they are often much prettier than what most computer programs produce, or because they simply don't understand how to use TeX or the formula editor of MS Word, and don't want to learn the tricks about how to use it (or they have been too often exposed to their limitations, meaning that this required too much lengthy work just to produce the desired layout).

    May be when it will be time to produce a publishable version of the document, they will invest time to use these tools. But they are not made for now to be usable for everyday work.

    Same thing for physics formulas and technical schemas, or other mathematical schemas... It's often faster, easier, and sufficient to produce them manually: so you create your document, leave some blank space or page for the schemas, and you finish your work in due time.

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