Tour the Math Images Project
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. Topics on our site 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. 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.
Most of the content on our site is organized into two types of pages: image pages and helper pages. An image page is focused around one central topic, and provides a combination of explanations, applications, images, interactive applets, and historical information about the topic. Helper pages are used to supplement the content of image pages by providing additional information about a related topic. Links to helper pages can be found in many image pages. Some readers might choose to use a helper page as a reference in order to better understand an image page, while others use them just to learn more about an interesting topic.
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!
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)
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.
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 :
- 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.
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.