id: 06468360
dt: j
an: 2015e.00931
au: Loch, Birgit; Lowe, Tim W.; Mestel, Ben D.
ti: Master’s students’ perceptions of Microsoft Word for mathematical
typesetting.
so: Teach. Math. Appl. 34, No. 2, 91-101 (2015).
py: 2015
pu: Oxford University Press, Oxford; Institute of Mathematics and its
Applications (IMA), Southend-on-sea, Essex
la: EN
cc: R75 C25 U75
ut: mathematical typesetting; student’ perception
ci:
li: doi:10.1093/teamat/hru020
ab: Summary: It is widely recognized that mathematical typesetting is more
difficult than typesetting in most other disciplines due to the need
for specialized mathematical notation and symbols. While most
mathematicians type mathematical documents using LaTeX, with varying
levels of proficiency, students often use other options or handwrite
mathematics. Here, we investigate students’ perceptions of the
mathematical editor available since Word 2007. This investigation is
timely as there is anecdotal evidence that mathematicians do not think
that Word is capable of quality mathematical typesetting, and there
have not been many studies in the literature on this topic. In this
case study, we ask the following questions: Is Word a suitable tool for
students to typeset mathematics? And: How does Word compare to other
mathematical typesetting packages students have used? We asked
master’s level students to typeset mathematics in Word and then
comment on their experience, relating to the ease of use, quality of
output and overall experience. We also asked the students to compare
Word to other tools they may have used in the past. The results show
that the current versions of Word are indeed capable of producing
quality mathematical typesetting, that the learning curve is not high,
and that Word should not be dismissed as a tool for typesetting
mathematics. While there were concerns that editing takes longer than
in other tools and that typesetting in general takes time, overall
students were positively surprised by Word’s mathematical features
and commented favourably.
rv: