## How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class? 823

Posted
by
timothy

from the napkins-and-a-digital-camera dept.

from the napkins-and-a-digital-camera dept.

AdmiralXyz writes

*"I'm a university student, and I like to take notes on my (non-tablet) computer whenever possible, so it's easier to sort, categorize, and search through them later. Trouble is, I'm going into higher and higher math classes, and typing "f_X(x) = integral(-infinity, infinity, f(x,y) dy)" just isn't cutting it anymore: I need a way to get real-looking equations into my notes. I'm not particular about the details, the only requirement is that I need to keep up with the lecture, so it has to be fast, fast, fast. Straight LaTeX is way too slow, and Microsoft's Equation Editor isn't even worth mentioning. The platform is not a concern (I'm on a MacBook Pro and can run either Windows or Ubuntu in a virtual box if need be), but the less of a hit to battery life, the better. I've looked at several dedicated equation editing programs, but none of them, or their reviews, make any mention of speed. I've even thought about investing in a low-end Wacom tablet (does anyone know if there are ultra-cheap graphics tablets designed for non-artists?), but I figured I'd see if anyone at Slashdot has a better solution."*
## paint (Score:5, Funny)

microsoft paint

## Amazing new technology (Score:2, Funny)

## TeX to the rescue (Score:5, Funny)

f_X(x) = integral(-infinity, infinity, f(x,y) dy)Just type

$$f_X(x) = \int_\infty^\infty f(x,y) dy$$instead.## Re:LyX (Score:5, Funny)

Claim you have a disability and get the university to pay someone to write all of your notes.

## Re:Old school (Score:5, Funny)

aren't math people supposed to use pencil?

Only if you're one of those people who make mistakes. Obviously no one on /. would fit in this category.

## Re:LyX (Score:4, Funny)

## Re:TeX to the rescue (Score:5, Funny)

Say, you are doing probability and have to write a bunch of integrals over the real line. Then you can prepare this:

\newcommand{\fX}{f_X(x)}\newcommand{\intii}{\mathop{\int_{-\infty}^\infty}}

or

\newcommand{\intR}{\mathop{\int_{\mathbb R}}}and later use

\[ \fX = \intii f(x,y)dy \]## Re:LyX (Score:5, Funny)

It took me lightyears to explain that to someone.

## Re:LyX (Score:2, Funny)

## Re:pencil/paper (Score:5, Funny)

1. Memorize as you go.

2. Screw lecture, just watch Square One.

3. Have friend audio-record lectures then have other friend convert them to notes then photocopy friend's notes and use OCR.

4. Drop out of school.

5. Prove the Reimann Hypothesis and skip right to that PhD.

6. Hire a plant to continually ask inane questions during lecture, giving you more time to input those equations in LaTeX.

7. Code up a Math Module for Dragon Naturally speaking.

8. ???

9. Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all

Wait... What were we talking about?

## Re:Old school (Score:3, Funny)

I knew a constipated mathematician who worked it out with a pencil.

## Re:1968? (Score:3, Funny)

I once took a class in AI in which the professor showed us a film from the late 1960's that demonstrated just such a tool. You wrote an equation in math notation with a light-pen (or something similar) on to a screen, and it translated your marks (pen movements) into an internal representation and then displayed a formatted version on the screen.

If it could be done for a research project in the late 60's, then surely it's still technically possible and could probably do better.

I remember that project. As I recall, it was all well and good up to the moment the software went sentient and tried to kill the researchers. DARPA dropped funding and began a campaign to convince everyone that AI would never be practical.

## Re:I still don't see it (Score:2, Funny)

Can you please just show the mathematical equation for this curve of which you speak? That way we won't have to use imprecise words.

y = x on a learning curve with a shallow incline.

That's because time slows down if your head is into complicated stuff.

## Re:LyX (Score:2, Funny)

Only Apple could make a linear curve.

I hear the circular volume knob on the new iPod will have a pi of 3.

(Pratchett etc.)

## Re:Pulse Smart Pen (Score:3, Funny)

There is another issue with the Pulse Smartpen: the software is a steaming piece of shit. For instance, if anybody draws a huge penis on the first page of your notebook, you'll stare at it until the end of the year, because you can't delete pages.

And that is just one among many many many issues.

Great hardware. Failed software execution.

## Re:LyX (Score:3, Funny)

Does having Windows Vista loaded on my laptop count?