MathDox: Interactive Mathematical Documents on the Web

Author: Jan Willem Knopper

Mathematical documents are documents with mathematical formulas. These become interactive when the content changes depending on the input of the user. An example of an interactive mathematical document is a step by step calculation of the greatest common divisor of two numbers (or polynomials) entered by the
viewer. Another example is an exercise, which evaluates the answer and also gives hints for common mistakes or partial correct answers. To make a
mathematical document interactive it is necessary to be able to input and store mathematical expressions and communicate them with a Computer Algebra System.

To implement interactive mathematical documents for the web, one has to solve several steps. First mathematical formulas have to be displayed. But if the page should be really interactive, then it is also necessary to know the semantics of the formulas, that is what the formulas mean. OpenMath and MathML Content are XML based languages to describe mathematics semantically. To input mathematics in such a format a special editor is required. To do calculations with mathematics it is required to communicate with a Computer Algebra System.

In this talk it will be described how these problems are solved in the MathDox software (LGPL, see After that some examples of interactive mathematical documents and interactive exercises will be shown.