Tour the Math Images Project

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Introduction to the Math Images Project


Welcome all those who enjoy interesting images, to the Math Images Project!

The image of Newton's Basic is totally random. What about a caption that somehow helps explain what the image is and why it's there (it's clearly not just there to look pretty -- if it was, you might have considered using an image that had nothing to do with the Math Images site, but I would bet you didn't consider doing so). (Abram, 7/22)

Our goal is to give people a new and enjoyable perspective on mathematics through beautiful and intriguing images available on the web. Each topic explained on our site is accompanied by images and real-world applications, so we hope you can learn something interesting even if you haven't enjoyed math in the past. At the same time, we do include detailed mathematical explanations of the same topics to provide advanced readers with an opportunity to research and learn.

Not all pages have real-world applications (or, even if most of them do now, that's something we generally want to require). However, it would be accurate to say something like, "Topics are never presented simply as a mass of equations. Instead, images, animations, and plain-English explanations help clarify ideas, while applications, related puzzles, historical contexts, and the like make it possible for you to learn something interesting even if you haven't enjoyed math in the past." (Abram, 7/22)

This tour will show new users how to find information by searching for specific topics or simply perusing Image Pages, like the Fibonacci Numbers page. Additionally, we'll show users who wish to interact with the site how they can make a suggestion, ask a question, or contribute their own knowledge. The Math Images Project is a collaborative learning environment for all, so we hope that you explore our site to the fullest in whatever way you choose!

"Image page" is never defined. What about including a short (i.e. 2- 3 sentences) paragraph before this one that explains the two main kinds of pages: Image pages and helper pages . (Abram, 7/22)


Main Body

An image page is created under an template that facilitates easy browsing and learning. Every page has a a main image on the top right corner with the field of mathematics which the image falls under and its origin. On the left side of the image, there is usually a small paragraph explaining the basic ideas underlying the image.

Next comes the main body of the page with a content box to facilitate easy navigation. A page usually comes in 8 parts, 1. Basic Description,2. A More Mathematical Explanation, 3. Why is it interesting?, 4. Teaching Materials, 5. About the Creator of this Image, 6. Related Links, 7. Notes and 8. References.

It seems like we've agreed to re-write this in a more general way, or a way that clarifies that this is a very basic template. (Abram, 7/22)
1. Basic Description This section gives a brief introduction and outline of the rest of the page so as to give the reader an idea of what to expect and what are the topics that are being covered. It usually starts with some interesting questions or facts relating to the main image and gets the readers curious to read on.
These explanations will also be made more general. (Abram, 7/22)
2. A More Mathematical Explanation This section is hidden by default to make the page more user friendly. It gives a mathematical explanation of the topics relating to the image. It usually starts with a simple ideas and gradually introduces new and harder concepts. Sometimes, derivations of formulas and proofs of theorems are given but they are hidden by default so as to keep the page less sprawling and navigationally friendly.
3. Why is it interesting? This section usually does not give mathematically explanations. Most of the time, it provides curious and interesting facts, applications, unsolvable problems, and historical anecdotes relating to the main images. Even if you have not leaned much in the More Mathematical Section, you can at least take away some knowledge.
4. Teaching Materials This section is for teacher and tutors to share lesson plans and materials relating to certain topic. Right now, this section is unemployed.
5. About the Creator of this Image This section gives information about the software used to create the images in the page.
6. Related Links This section gives links for further learning.
7. Notes This section contains the shortened footnotes in the page.
8. References This section contains all the literature that is cited or referred to in the page. They are in APA style.


Sidebar.png Navigation
* Home Takes you to the Home Page of Math Images Project
* About Math Images Takes you to the Overview of the project and its history
* Math Image Tools Takes you to a list of all the image pages using interactive learning softwares.
* Math for Computer Graphics Takes you to a list of topics that are related to computer graphics.
Browse Images by...
* Title Sorts pages alphabetically by title
* Field Sorts pages by the fields which they fall under. A page can fall under multiple fields and it will appear under both fields
* Thumbnail Gallery Sorts pages by their main images. "Sorts by"? It's not sorting, exactly. (Abram, 7/22)
* Upload a file Directs you to procedures to upload a file/image for an image page you have created.
* Create an Image Page Directs you to a template to create an image page.
* Community Portal Directs you to a forum where discussion of certain topics an take place. It is unemployed as of the moment
* Recent Changes Shows you all the recent changes done to all pages by all users.
* Help Directs you to a page with categorized help information
* Wiki Tricks Directs you to a page that provides information on how to format and write a Math Images Page
* Helper Page Directs you to a list of pages that provide background information on certain topics that ars mentioned in an Image Page but not comprehensively discussed and explained in the main image page.
* Ask Dr. Math Images Directs you to a page where you can ask Dr. Math Images a question which will be answered by someone from Math Images.
* Leave Feedback Directs you to a page where you can leave feedback.
* What Links here This will direct you to all the image pages that use a particular helper page, if you are on that helper page,
* Related Changes It lists the last changes on all pages that are linked to the particular page that is open.
* Special Pages Gives you a list of template and special pages. You do not need to use this unless you are a programmer.
* Printable Version Generates a page that is printable.
* Permanent Link Generates a permanent link to the page in the URL box of the internet explorer.


Anybody can contribute to the Math Images Project by giving some feedback, editing parts of a page, or making a new image page.

Giving comments & feedback

You can give both general comments about our Math Images website and specific comments on individual pages. If you want to provide some general feedback, find support section of our navigation tool in the left column of our website and click Leave Feedback. Click on + on the upper right corner of the page, as shown by the red box in the picture below. This will allow you to leave comments about our website.


If you want to leave some comments on a specific image page, click on discussion on the upper left corner of a page. The discussion page is the place where individuals leave comments about a certain image page. You can add a comment by clicking + on the upper right corner or edit an already existing comment by clicking on edit next to the + link. This is shown in the picture below.


Editing a page

You can edit a page by clicking edit with form or edit on the upper right corner of a page, as shown by the red boxes in the picture below.


Useful Links gives links to pages that help the writer create a page. It has an overview of a good image pages, addresses issues that writers should be aware of, and lists some of the technical codings that have been very useful in Math Images project.

Creating a page

Creating an image page

To create an image page, you must log in to the Math Images website. You can log in or create an Math Images account by clicking on log in/ create account on the top right corner.

Then, in the navigation tool on the left column, click Create an Image Page under interaction. Enter the name of the image page you would like to create, such as Prime numbers, and then click add or edit. You will be directed to a new page that helps you to create an image page. If this new page is not empty, it means that there is already an existing image page by that name. Here are some guidelines to filling in the form in create an image page:

  • Image Title : this should be the title of the image. This also appears as the title in the Thumbnail Gallery, so the image title does not necessarily have to be the same as the page title. The title can be made interesting to grab the attention of readers.
  • 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.
  • Short Description : this is a short description (1 or 2 sentences) of the main image
  • Basic Explanation : this is a fairly short description of the image that does not involve rigorous mathematics. Anybody should be able to read this section without difficulty.
  • More Detailed Explanation: this will appear as a more mathematical explanation in the actual page. This is a more in-depth explanation of the image and math behind the picture. It may use equations, symbols, or terminology that not all readers may be comfortable with.
  • 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 interesting : this section is should be able to answer the so what? question of the page. It should not involve heavy mathematics so that anybody can read the why interesting section after skipping the more mathematical explanation section.
  • References : please list any references you used in creating the page
  • Things This Page Needs in the Future : leave a note to future users who are willing to edit the page. You can leave suggestions for future directions or things that future users should not add to the page.
  • 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.

The picture below shows where on the page some of the sections appear.


Creating a helper page

Creating Helper Pages does not require any form as the image pages. You can create a helper page while you are working at an image page. You can simply write:

[[Title of the helper page]]

and save your page. Then, the Title of the helper page will appear red. If you click on the red link, you will be directed to your helper page with the title you wrote inside the brackets, and you can write your helper page. No template is assigned for helper pages. Once you click on the red link and write something, the link to the helper page will start appearing blue.

Writing Guide

Useful Links provides a link to some basic wiki formatting pages. It also has various other links to help writers come up with ideas for, and create, good pages, but the list of links is in bad need of updating, and some of them aren't very useful.

Here are some actually useful links for writing a good page

The Checklist for Writing Good Pages provides a reasonably comprehensive list of features of good pages, and it can be helpful to consult during the writing process as well as just before finishing a page.

What Makes a Good Math Images Page gives more detailed information about the items in the Checklist for Writing Good Pages.

Here are some things that writers from summer of 2010 found especially important to pay attention to.

  • Write the page so that it is satisfying to users with different levels of mathematics. Start out with a very simple overview, likely hiding much of the more advanced material to keep from overwhelming readers, like this :
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).To learn more about hiding sections, see the Wiki Tricks page
  • In general use short paragraphs of just a couple sentences, and simple sentences.
  • For image pages, use the form described in the section above. For simple Helper Pages, the form isn't necessary.
  • Search what pages already exist! There might already be some pages which can help you with your own page. If the page you wanted to work on already exists, perhaps you could merge your planned page and the already existing one.
  • 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 balloons. For more information on mouse-overs, go to 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.


Make sure you have the authority to publish the image you've chosen on this site! For more information, see our page on Copyrights and the GNU Free Documentation License.

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. Or you can go to FAQ.