Information Retrieval: “Making Search Engines Understand Math”
From EE Times:
Any MCU/MPU hardware or software engineer whose work involves the use of any of a number of complex mathematical algorithms knows that traditional search engines are useless when you want to find specific references to a particular expression or equation. This inability to correctly identify and find mathematical expressions is common across almost all commercial online and personal desktop/laptop search engines.
But now, researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology have created an enhancement to traditional search engines that will make searching for mathematical expressions as easy as searching for text. Principal investigator Richard Zanibbi, associate professor of computer science at RIT, told EE Times that eventually this research may find its way into traditional tools such as Google, but a lot of work remains to make it both easier to use and faster.
Called Tangent, the search engine created by graduate students David Stalnaker and Nidhin Pattaniyil allows experts and non-experts to search effectively for formulas by entering them in the LaTeX scientific markup language, or just by drawing the formula.
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Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.