How the Mathpix helps solve handwritten Mathematics Problems

Humans, it seems, are so lazy, they’ll make an App to do anything that they find unpleasant.

Yet another App that can solve Mathematics called Mathpix (Lumb, 2016, May 19) exists. This App, available free for download only for the Apple iPhone, is now a friend to anyone toting a Smartphone and holding a grudge against mathematics.

MICO Wars - How the Mathpix helps solve handwritten Mathematics Problems - 22-05-2016 LHDEER (2)

There is already another App called PhotoMath App (Deer, 2014, October 29) from Microblink, a company that specializes in Banking Security. They made is as a way to demonstrate their OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology used for securely reading cheques.

So how does Mathpix improve upon the PhotoMath App? 

Mathpix solves Handwritten Math Problems – Dream of a free TI-84 Graphics Calculator fulfilled

Created by Stanford PhD student Nico Jimenez with assistance from Stanford grad student Paul Ferrell and High School students Michael Lee and August Trollback, it claims to be the first App to visually recognize and solve handwritten math problems. Here’s a demonstration of the Mathpix App in action as shown on Mr. Jimenez YouTube channel.

The Mathpix App reminds me of my BlueFox project (Deer, 2011, February 13) I was working on at Glenmuir High School back in 1996. Back then, I had the crazy idea of writing a computer program using Turbo Pascal to create a Graphics calculator program that could work on a regular computer.

I partially succeeded, as it was able to solve and graph Quadratic Equations, but It couldn’t do high order polynomials or integrals. So personally, it feels good that twenty (20) years later, the idea has finally being brought to life by Nico Jimenez and his team.

Recognizing handwritten problems (Singleton, 2016, May 20) may be the advantage over the PhotoMath App, which can only recognize printed math problems or problems written properly in block capitals. The interface is also a lot more familiar, looking like a typical camera interface just before you take a picture. Simply point, Aim and solve.

You still need to write your equation properly, as it won’t be able to decipher your chicken scratch writing. However, like the PhotoMath App, it’ll give you the answer with step-by-step instructions on how to solve it and display graphs and charts when a graphical solution is required. A lot of math problems, such a Third order differentials, integration and solving polynomials with powers higher than two (2) require more computing muscle than the Smartphone can produce.

MICO Wars - How the Mathpix helps solve handwritten Mathematics Problems - 22-05-2016 LHDEER (1)

To this ends, the Mathpix App taps into a Server to solve more mathematically demanding problems, making having an Internet connection necessary.  Due to my prediction of a high demand for this Mathpix App, it’ll eventually come to Google Android sonnet than later; right now it’s Summer, so few students want to hear anything math related.

Come September 2016, this App on your smartphone will make buying a TI-84 Graphics calculator completely unnecessary, saving Jamaicans money on getting specialized graphics calculators.

Here’s the link

Mathpix on the Apple iTunes Store

Mathpix Website

References

  1. Deer, L. (2011, February 13). IBM and the Watson. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/ibm-watson/
  2. Deer, L. (2014, October 29). How Microblink’s PhotoMath App Solves Algebraic Math Equations and makes Online Banking Safer. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/10/microblink-photomath-solves-algebraic.html
  3. Lumb, D. (2016, May 19). Point your phone at an equation and Mathpix will solve it. Retrieved from http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/19/point-your-phone-at-an-equation-and-Mathpix-will-solve-it/
  4. Singleton, M. (2016, May 20). Mathpix will solve handwritten math equations for you. Retrieved from http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/5/20/11723200/Mathpix-will-solve-handwritten-math-equations-for-you

 

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