Publishing with Mathematica

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Publishing with Mathematica

Postby scottr » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:18 pm

I am extremely excited by the amount of interest in publishing with Mathematica these days. Not only does Mathematica 7 give us to opportunity to create interactive notebooks for everything from lesson plans to courseware to electronic delivery of text content, it truly is an evolution of electronic publishing. But the publishing industry is just now seeing the opportunity that electronic content really has when it is dynamic, engaging, and assists in the educational process beyond what is capable without technology like Mathematica.

There are a few early examples of our technology at work in publishing electronic content. Pearson Education is releasing the very first major electronic college-level text in Mathematica. "Calculus" by Bill Briggs and Lyle Cochran will be available this Fall and was composed and delivered using Mathematica 7. To see a preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiFigxpKaNs

And to hear how the Mathematica-based e-book really works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN2gu47o ... re=related (e-book begins at 2:30).

Also, for the best in visually stunning electronic content, check out Wolfram's own Theodore Gray and his iPad application, "The Elements: A Visual Exploration" , which utilizes several Wolfram Technologies to create a stunning tour-de-force, including Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha:
http://www.apple.com/ipad/apps-for-ipad/#elements

I think that Mathematica's place in electronic publishing is still being determined, but I am highly encouraged by the work thus far and see nothing short of amazing possibilities given the creativity and innovative nature of the Mathematica user base. I would be interested to hear other's opinions on the current uses or proposed uses in publishing, whether it be courseware, journals, textbooks or other works.

-Scott
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Re: Publishing with Mathematica

Postby jagfnz » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:41 pm

I too am excited about the possibilities of publishing using Mathematica. But I have had absolutely no success (yet) in getting professional journals in Economics (my field) or Statistics to "accept" thi snew form of publication. I think part of the problem is that they do not have, not seem willing to develop, a platform say like The Wolfram Demonstration Project that can combine text and interactive player material. My current strategies now are oriented to developing useful webcasts (recording of the screen with a coordinated voice over ) that illustrate and explain - with voice and (heaven forbid) moving pictures - not static text how and why the Mathematicaa dynmaic player platform is SOOOO....good.
Click on the following link as is an example:
http://uctv.canterbury.ac.nz/modules/jo ... user_key=0
The basic interactive module is a fairly simple explanation of Bayes theorem in the context of a very useful teaching tool/decision aid called a natural frequency representation of a 2x2 discrete probability distribution .
My journal publication strategy is to develop a suite of such webcasts around the Demonstration project style material I develop, then write short text artilces explaining how the interactive Mathematica program can be used in Economics and Statistics education, then submit the text - with hyperlinks - to a journal publisher.All a bit circuitous, but necessary.

ANy thoughts on how to improve this proces would be appreciated.

John Fountain
Senior Lecturer in Economics
University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand
“A theory is something nobody believes, except the person who made it. An experiment is something everybody believes, except the person who made it.” Einstein

John Fountain
john.fountain@canterbury.ac.nz
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Re: Publishing with Mathematica

Postby telefunkenvf14 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:30 am

ANy thoughts on how to improve this proces would be appreciated.


John:

I'm also in economics... Here are a couple ideas you might want to try.

(1) see my reply to 'Presentations in Mathematica for Lectures': http://www.wolfram.com/faculty/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=79#p203 Toward the bottom I mention 'Prezi', which might be something you'd be interested in. You could, for example, export a MMA animation as flash and use it in Prezi.

(2) the video link you posted took a while to load on my machine (which is odd, because it's not that large of a file). Anyways, one suggestion I have is to break the video up with various bookmarks or chapters so the user can immediately jump ahead to something they might be more interested in. In my classes, I have students watch a 'video key' and grade their own quizzes and the quizzes of 3-4 other randomly selected students. The key explains the answer to each question and exactly what points to take off for various errors (screencast of me inking on my tablet PC); students then submit all the scores via Blackboard. In this case, the 'bookmarks' are set up to reflect the different questions on the quiz.

The program I use is Microsoft Expression Studio (specifically the Expression Encoder), which makes it easy to import a raw video, do some editing and bookmarking and deploy the final product into a player with a menu. You might check around to see if your college/dept is a member of MSDNAA; if so, you'll probably be able to get Expression Studio for FREE. (Also, I'm not sure if it runs natively on Mac, so you'd have to run a VM in that case.) I've also used Camtasia, which has some nice features, but I actually prefer Expression.

-RG
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Re: Publishing with Mathematica

Postby telefunkenvf14 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:44 pm

...interest in publishing with Mathematica these days...


Another issue with Mathematica as a publishing environment is the lack of integration with a citation manager. (BibTeX, EndNote, JabRef, etc.) Sort of a 'two steps forward' (hey, a live document!!), 'one step back' (no obvious way to best manage citations when publishing in MMA, bummer).

Because I've used MMA for a while now, I can envision how one *might* craft a solution. In a nutshell, users would have to program a connection to their own citation database (many/most are in SQLite, no?), and employ cell tagging to link back to these references. Final formatting of references presents another hurdle.

Unless you're an advanced user, this seems like a lot to expect---the cell tagging interface is somewhat clumsy and MMA's SQL interfacing capabilities aren't likely the first thing to jump out at users, especially users unfamiliar with SQL.

Just a suggestion. I can imagine the todo list at WRI is pretty long... trade-offs, trade-offs.

-RG
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Re: Publishing with Mathematica

Postby scottr » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:07 pm

Thanks for the good feedback!

There are a couple of things this brings to mind:
1) True interactivity is defined differently in different areas of publishing. For example, embedding a video in an enhanced .pdf or other format can be considered 'interactivity' because the reader/user pushes play and watches. But if you are teaching with Mathematica you understand the difference. Most enhancements in the last year or so in e-publishing have created 'dynamic' documents (links, embedded video, etc) but it is not really interactive.

Truly interactive publishing means you are interacting/engaging with the content in a meaningful way. Mathematica and WolframIAlpha create many ways to do this. Students actually observe behavior changes when they move a slider or enter a value that is immediately calculated. Embedded WIA widgets on a website allow users to input their own data and make calls to our curated data for immediate use/calculation. This creates valuable interaction that is as individual as the student using it.

2) If you are working on publishing your work from Mathematica, we have a growing interest from publishers to work with this type of content, and I would be very interested in hearing more details from anyone in this position. Specifically we have been talking with some of the leading journal and textbook publishers and have been also working internally on some future capabilities in this area. Actual applications and examples would help us to make sure our direction is correct, so please contact me, or send an email to publishing@wolfram.com and mention the Faculty Program.

3) We are advancing citation and bibliographic capabilities, so it should be something in our future development.

Keep the ideas and use cases coming. I always appreciate the unique insight and foresight of Mathematica users and how they utilize our technology.

-Scott
srauguth@wolfram.com
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Re: Publishing with Mathematica

Postby Bruce_Butler » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:02 pm

Not sure who is interested in this sort of thing, but I’m trying to create a textbook (right now the old fashioned static kind), and using the TextBook stylesheet. I’ve got some questions regarding its capabilities and was wondering if anyone else out there is also trying to create a complete book using Mathematica.

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