Help:New User Guide

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This page contains basic explanations of how to browse images, create an account, upload images, and create image pages. If you have further questions that aren't answered here, check out the resources at the bottom of this page for more information, or check the FAQ.

What the Page's Tabs Mean

In addition to the typical MediaWiki tabs, our wiki has some extra tabs. Here is a description of the special tabs our site has:

  • The 'slideshow' tab, which brings a slideshow over the page you are currently viewing (see the list below, under Browsing the Images, for more information on using the slideshow)
  • The 'ask dr. math' tab, which lets you ask Dr. Math Images questions about any math images you have problems understanding, and also contains answers to previous questions asked about the math image of the page you're on
  • The 'edit with form' tab, which allows users to easily edit pages that use forms to create the page (such as our math image pages)
  • The 'refresh' tab refreshes the page you are on

Browsing the Images

The wiki's slideshow, which can be reached by clicking the slideshow tab above, is the most streamlined way to view many images, which are organized by the field of mathematics to which they belong. We recommend you try it out, if you haven't already, since it is the best feature of this site! [According to its creator.]

How to Use the Slideshow

  • Click on the "slideshow" tab at the top of the page to begin the slideshow
  • Select a gallery to determine which images are displayed, based on the field (or you can select to see all images, regardless of field)
    • You can later change the gallery you are viewing by clicking "Gallery Selections" in the upper left corner of the slideshow
  • Click on the image itself to go to the image's page
  • Click "Math Images Home" at the bottom of the slideshow to return to the Main Page
  • Click "Close" in the lower right corner to close the slideshow and return to the page you began watching the slideshow on

The Thumbnail Gallery

Another quick way to see many images is to go to the Thumbnail Gallery (which is always accessible from the navigation menu in the sidebar). The thumbnail gallery features thumbnails of images, which can be sorted by their field of mathematics. The main page of the gallery only shows 5 images per category (field or author) at a time, but you can see the rest of the thumbnails for that type by clicking on the category itself (for example, click on the title "Fractals" to see the rest of the fractal thumbnails).

Other Ways to Browse Images

There are more manual ways to search for images as well. If you are looking for a particular image and you know its name, simply type the name into the Search box on the sidebar. If you are looking for images by a certain author, you can browse an alphabetical list of authors here. Typing the author's name into the search bar will also get you a list of image pages by that author. You may also search by field, which sorts the image pages into the categories of math to which they come from. All of these options are also listed under the "Browse images by..." section on the sidebar. Don't forget you can always just jump in and go to a random page... however not all of these will be images pages! You can also browse the Community Portal for images other users have posted about and take a look at the image.

Discussing Pages

  • For talking about what you think the future of a page should be, or your suggestions on what should be done to improve a page, use the 'discussion' tab.
  • To ask questions about the page for when you have trouble understanding some parts of it, try using the Community Portal:

Using the Community Portal

  • The Community Portal on this site is a forum built into this wiki that users can use to communicate with each other.
  • There are 5 main sections to the forum:
    • Discuss the Images
    • News and Events
    • K-12 Students' Corner
    • College and Graduate Students' Corner
    • Teachers' Corner

Discuss the Images

This is where you can go to talk about image pages! There is a subsection for discussing specific images, but also the very important section concerning image pages which need more content. So come to this part of the community portal to talk about your favorite math images, ask questions about those you didn't get, or to collaborate on adding content to less well developed math image pages.

News and Events

The News and Events section is a good place to go to find out about recent changes to this wiki, although there is also a subcategory to talk about related events in the real world.

K-12 Students' Corner

Students through high school seniors can come here to discuss math images with each other or to just talk about math in general with each other.

College and Graduate Students' Corner

Undergraduate and graduate students should come here to discuss math with each other.

Teachers' Corner

This is a place for teachers to talk about how to best use the Math Images Wiki to teach their students. There is a general section for discussion, but also a lesson plans section for a specific lesson plan based upon an image or group of images, teaching the math behind them.

Want to Contribute?

Creating an Account

Creating an account is as simple as can be. Click on the text Log in/Create an account on the top of the page, and then again on Create an account. Choose a unique user name and password. Once your account is created you can begin contributing immediately! Of course, you can create an account and not use it to contribute right away (but we encourage everyone to contribute when they feel ready). There are other benefits to having an account, such as being able to make comments and discuss math images with other users on the site without having to solve CAPTCHAs.

Creating an Image Page

Once you are logged in, and you have a math image you would like to contribute to our site, you can add it to our wiki! Click on Create an Image Page, under 'interaction' on the sidebar. Enter the name of the Math Image Page you would like to create (so, if I am making a page about an image called Clown.jpg, I might enter Clown as the page name). After clicking 'Add or edit page', a form will come up, which should be empty. If it is not empty, that means that there is already a Math Image page by that name. You should check to make sure that the image you uploaded is not the same as the one on the pre-existing page. If they are different, you should come up with a new page name. Once you have a blank form, fill it in with these guidelines:

  • Image Title- this should be the title of the image (ex., Clown)
  • File- here, click the 'Upload a Math Image' link. A pop up form will appear, prompting you to upload your math image to the site. Click on the Browse button and select the image you wish to upload. Now type in a relevant destination filename (for example, if my image is of a clown, and it is a .jpg file, I would set the destination filename to be Clown.jpg). Now write a quick summary of the image.
  • Short Description- this should be a 1 or 2 sentence long basic description of the image
  • Basic Explanation- this should be a description of the image that is put in terms that pre-college students and other people without a rigorous math background could get some basic understanding
  • More Detailed Explanation- this should be a description of the image that is more in depth so that college students and others with a deeper math background can get gain a deep understanding for the math behind the image
    • What subject(s) is(are) necessary to understand the above explanation (if applicable)- enter what math subjects would be useful for understanding the image (e.g., Linear Algebra or Real Analysis)
  • Who (or What) Created this Image- the name of the creator of the image, whether person or program (if you do not know the author, simply put "Unknown")
  • About the Author- a quick biography of the author or description of the program
  • Image's Site of Origin (name)- the name of the site the image came from
  • Image's Site of Origin (URL)- the URL of the main page of the site the image came from
  • Image's Field of Mathematics- the fields of mathematics to which the uploaded image is a part of (the first one should be the primary one, i.e. the field under which the image will appear in the thumbnail gallery and slideshow)
  • Why is this interesting? (mathematically or otherwise)- what inspired you to make this page
  • How does your main image relate to the topics discussed?- this is more important for abstract images that are harder to link directly to the math discuessed
  • Links to Other Sites about this field- other useful sites about the same field
  • References- please list any references you used in creating the page
  • Things This Page Needs in the Future- help determine the future direction the page could take
  • Is This Page a Work in Progress- although we feel all pages are technically works in progress indefinitely, please check this box when the page still requires significant contributions

Writing Guide

  • Look through the help documents, especially the Wiki Tricks page so you know what resources this wiki has available to you.
  • Make sure you have made an account and log in to create a new math images page (you can edit existing pages without an account, but we recommend making an account if you are going to edit or write on this wiki).
  • We want our image pages to have an attractive image, together with descriptions of the math behind it that can be satisfying to users with many different levels of background. Start out with a very simple overview, likely hiding much of the more advanced material to keep from overwhelming readers (in particular going very light on equations). We've found it useful to keep the names of hidden subsections visible, serving as a come-on, but hiding the subsection contents (although maybe showing an intriguing image or so).
  • In general use short paragraphs of just a couple sentences, and simple sentences. It's a real challenge to write clearly, simply, and still convey the mathematical concepts. Almost everyone needs to have their work read by others and to revise.
  • For Math Image pages, or Helper Pages which double as math image pages, be sure to use the form, as described in the section above, to create or edit pages. For simpler Helper Pages, the form isn't necessary and just a simpler approach, using many of the tricks from the advanced user guide would suffice.
  • Search what pages already exist! There might already be some pages similar to the one you wanted to do, which could help you in making your page or give you related articles to link your page to. If a Math Image page already exists that is extremely similar to the one you were planning, perhaps you could merge your planned page and the already existing one (before such a large overhaul it would be considerate to plan it out with others in the discussion pages, however).
  • Subsections within each section on the form should start out using a triple header, e.g. ===Subsection Name===
  • Whenever a section of math can be particularly overbearing, at least at first glance, it might be wise to hide it (to learn about hiding sections, see the Wiki Tricks page) so that readers have time to read a little bit of background information before being loaded with equations.
  • You can put other images in your page besides just the main one, in fact this is highly encouraged as long as they are relevant
  • For definitions that many users may already know, use a mouse-over balloon to explain it briefly, and perhaps have the mouse-over also serve as a link to any relevant Helper Pages. For more information on mouse-overs, see the Wiki Tricks page.
  • If you don't understand some of the more sophisticated math for a page you are creating, you can leave a section blank and ask in the discussion and community portal for someone who does understand it to help you write it.
  • Be sure to reference any resources you found especially useful in creating your page! At least two references is a good thing.


Further questions?

The basics of using this wiki have been covered on this page. Before posting any questions you may have, though, please check the Advanced User Guide to make sure your question is not answered there.

If you have questions not answered here or on those pages, you can post them here.