Equation Entry and Editing via Handwriting and Gesture Recognition

by Steven Smithies, Kevin Novins and Jim Arvo. Behaviour and Information Technology, 20(1), pp. 84-91, January 2001.


We describe a system for freehand entry and editing of mathematical expressions using a pen and tablet. The expressions are entered in the same way that they would be written on paper. The system interprets the results and generates output in a form suitable for use in other applications, such as word processors or symbolic manipulators. Interpretation includes character segmentation, character recognition, and formula parsing. Our interface incorporates easy to use tools for correcting interpretation errors at any stage. The use can also edit the handwritten representation and ask the system to reinterpret the results.

By recovering the formula's structure directly from its hand-written form, the user is free to use common conventions of mathematical notation without regard to internal representation. We report the results of a small user study, which indicate that the new style of interaction is effective.


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