MathMLCloud Project Planning

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Executive Summary

Mathematical expressions pose a unique challenge for students with print disabilities. Even when the text of a STEM educational resource is accessible and can be used with assistive technology, the equations themselves are often completely inaccessible, having been produced as images, as described above. Simply adding a description of the equation to the published content would allow readers to understand what the equation says so they may begin to learn, explore, and comprehend the concepts in the STEM materials. Therefore, what is needed now is a solution that allows publishers to distribute books with automated text descriptions of math expressions for use in the majority of reading devices that do not read MathML.

Original Proposal

Design Proposal

  1. Quality Level
    1. Intrinsic = 2: Most new stuff tested by QA. Partial regression tested. Medium probability of high severity errors occurring.
    2. Extrinsic = 2: Complete for basic tasks, with some documentation. Intended for internal use, external beta testing, or controlled demo only. 
  2. Acceptance Criteria -
    1. quality of outputted components @ 80% accuracy
      1. must have samples from K-12 and higher education content
      2. must have samples across at least 3 disciplines: basic math, algebra, geometry, statistics, calculus
      3. input modes supported: single equations - ASCII, MathML, LaTeX; bulk files - HTML5
      4. output modes supported:
        1. zip folder containing: PNG image, SVG graphic, text description, URL, MathML, SVG Markup
        2. bulk HTML5 with injected replacements
    2. # of unique adopters (target = 2-3 pilot partners tested integration)
    3. tested for accessibility
    4. load performance for bulk processing is acceptable & stable
    5. complete Vagrant installation package for MMC & Azure
  3. Success Metrics
    1. 2-3 partners interested in continued collaboration beyond Phase 1 in efforts to:
      1. improve speech styles & rule sets
      2. improve visual rendering
      3. create a more complete end-to-end math solution
    2. outputted components > 80% accurate
    3. 5 distinct entities try out the demo & provide feedback on how to further improve MathML Cloud tool
  4. Minimal Viable Product List

End-User Personae

User Persona
Descriptions & Notes Target Partners
Oliver - Large Publisher
  • highly technical with abundant financial resources
  • looking to support math accessibility throughout the production pipeline via MathML
  • wants to host tools and service internally
  • mostly likely to want customized and/or add-on services
  • greatest potential impact for born accessible content
  • O'Reilly*
  • Wiley
  • Elsevier
  • Pearson
  • Harper Collins (minimal STEM content)
Robert - Service Bureau
  • provides math content transcription, editing, and other pre-press value-added services
  • converts bulk files (mostly XML input) with math into the desired output format, per client requests and reader compatibility
  • trying to build tools to help automate these production and conversion processes
  • believes math accessibility is something best addressed up the production stream (at creation)
  • River Valley*
  • Amnet*
  • AMAC
  • APEX
  • Aptara
  • Imagineering Art
Ingrid - Content Platform
  • very technically savvy and looking to incorporate more tools that make math content accessible
  • already have some customized converters to support set style guides (fonts, image sizing)
  • want their authoring and editing tools to be easy to use
  • interested in adopting toolsets to enhance authoring and editing accessible math content
  • possible interest in review of files against a11y best practices, but may not be willing to pay
  • Voice Dream
  • Coursera
  • Metrodigi
  • CourseSmart
  • Inkling
  • Canvas*
  • EdX
  • EdReady*
Connie - Small Publisher
  • very technically savvy and looking to incorporate more tools that make math content accessible
  • already have some customized converters to support set style guides (fonts, image sizing)
  • want their authoring and editing tools to be easy to use
  • interested in adopting toolsets to enhance authoring and editing accessible math content
  • possible interest in review of files against a11y best practices, but may not be willing to pay
  • Connexions
  • Hawkes Learning*

Questions to ask content potential adopters regarding workflows, formats, speech rules, compatibility (browsers, hardware), UI experience

  1. Why are you interested you are trying to solve (specific examples)?
  2. Describe the content production process at your organization and various partners/vendors you interact with throughout the production pipeline.
  3. How are the original math equations created?
    1. Software, tools and format requirements? (MathML vs. LaTex vs. other input tool?)
  4. What formats are currently supported throughout the production process (input and output)?
    1. What components is your process interested in generating: SVG, PNG, XML, Tec, MathML, others?
    2. Is it sufficient to have Math equations input/output one by one or must there be a scalable bulk consumption to make this worthwhile?
    3. What are your thoughts about storage of the components and ad hoc retrieval?
  5. What types of "requirements" is your organization looking to implement for math content in the near future (will MathML or some type of accessible math be required)?
  6. What is the rendering expectation?
    1. Visual: font, size, etc.? (is visual rendering by MathJax and/or the default browser/tool sufficient?)
    2. Audio speech rules? (secondary set of rules for later consideration)
  7. Any data about potential impact of this project
    1. Estimates on how many books and equations are currently produced using accessible math, but lost?
    2. Estimates on the volume of math-related texts produced annually?

Mockup

Registration Page:

MathML Welcome Page:

MathML Entry Page - Single Equation:
Choose Multiple
MathML Entry Page - HTML5 File:
Choose Multiple 6 Converting Multiple
MathML Single Processing:

Mathematics Entry Page: (old)

Project Schedule

Date Activity
Notes
3/10/14 (Mon)
Kick-Off
Introductory kick-off with Engineering dev team
3/17/14 (Mon)
Story-Storming
Internal Story-Storming to set initial design & rough scoping of work for next few iterations
March & April 2014
Requirements
Following meetings have been scheduled to better understand requirements from potential adopters
  1. AMAC - Monday 3/4
  2. APEX - Tuesday 3/11
  3. Wiley - Wednesday 3/12 *sample files provided*, 10/21/14, Beta invite-Feb 2015, 4/20/15
  4. Ingram - Friday 3/14
  5. Elsevier - 3/20, 6/11
  6. Ingram & CourseSmart - Thursday 3/20
  7. O'Reilly - 3/24, 4/14 *sample files provided*, 6/18, 10/21/14, Beta invite-Feb 2015
  8. Courseload - Thursday 4/10
  9. Aptara - Monday 4/14
  10. Portland Community College / WeBWorK - Friday 4/18
  11. Metrodigi - Thursday 4/24 
  12. Wikimedia - Friday 4/25
  13. Inkling - Friday 4/25
  14. Connexions - Wednesday 4/30
  15. Coursera - Monday 5/5
  16. Elsevier - Wednesday 6/11 *sample files provided*
  17. Cambridge University Press - last emailed on 7/1/14
  18. River Valley - 8/26, 9/24, Beta invite-Feb 2015
  19. Knowbility - 7/10/14 (on behalf of Pearson Assessments)
  20. Pearson - 11/13, 12/12, 3/6/15, 5/7/15
  21. Voice Dream Writer - 1/22/15, Beta invite-Feb 2015
  22. Amnet - 2/25/15, Beta invite-Feb 2015, 6/2/15
  23. Hawkes Learning - 4/1/15, 5/8/15
  24. EdReady - 4/6/15
  25. Canvas (via SLCC, Berkeley) - TBD
    Additional Partners
  • Microsoft Volunteers (Azure, MS Word) - 6/20/14, 7/10/14, 8/13/14, 9/19/14, 10/15/14
  • Google Volunteers (Google Docs) - Monday, 6/9/14
  • Vagrant (NodeJS/Mathoid/Vagrant setup) - Thursday, 4/24/14
  • Wikemedia (Mathoid) - Friday, 4/25/14
  • ViewPlus (Lean Math) - Wednesday, 4/30/14, 5/28/14
  • Steve Noble - Wednesday 8/6/14


Outstanding Discussions to be scheduled:
  • Cengage - TBD (via Gerardo) - last email exchange 4/15/14
  • INFTY - contact about their speech rules
  • EdX - contacted multiple times about their LMS, but never responded
  • Canvas via UC Berkeley (via Ting) - UCB pitched project to Canvas on 6/1/15
  • Design Science - June 2015: heard they're integrating; check with Neil
  • Twitter - TBD
  • Facebook - TBD
  • Khan Academy - TBD
4.6.0 - starts Mon, 3/31/14
MMC Dev Begins
Begin development work on the MathML Cloud tool
  • design wireframe
  • begin proto dev
  • continue partner discussion on requirements
  • infrastructure setup: Github, Mashery
4.6.1 - starts Mon, 4/21/14
Cont Dev
Complete MMC Prototyping
  • outstanding components: PNG, Alt Text, API for MathML link
  • continue partner discussions on requirements & quality checks for outputted components
  • wrap-up proto design
  • start dev work on server-side support
4.6.2 - starts Mon, 5/12/14
Partner Dev
The work with partners:
  • extraction of MathJax as stand-alone
    • Meetings - 5/15/2014, 6/5/2014
    • Completion date = June 30, 2014
  • extraction of Chromevox as standalone
    • Meetings - 5/20/2014, 7/24/14
    • Estimated completion date = end-Sept 2014
5.0.2 - starts Mon, 8/3/14
Integration
  • MathJax-node integration
  • complete Azure setup, including Vagrant-Azure install package
  • support additional input modes (MathML, LaTex) on back-end
5.0.4 - starts Mon, 9/15/14
New features
5.1.0 - starts Mon 10/2/14
New features & Integration
  • ChromeVox-node Integration
  • API documentation updates
  • Auto-pull github updates into Azure 
  • Begin sample set description output review
5.1.1 - starts Mon, 10/23/14
Enhancements
  • Support bulk HTML5 selection, upload, and injection
  • Quality/Rating Feedback mechanism
  • API Management setup (user registration, usage tracking) 
  • Mongolabs setup for data storage
  • Image output specification: size, resolution, format (additional support? .eps, .gif, .jpeg)
  • Complete initial review and apply speech rules & rule set adjustments
5.1.2 - starts Mon, 11/17/14
Testing
  • Resume integration testing with partners
  • UI/UX review & redesign
5.1.3 - starts Mon 12/8/14
Refinements
 
5.1.6 - starts 2/16/15
   
5.2.0 - starts 3/16/15
 
  • separate math front end App and API
  • a11y review
5.2.1 - starts 3/29/15
 
  • Light Admin module cleanup
  • Add expressions to account (login then add equations)
5.2.2 - starts 4/20/15
 
  • MathML Cloud 1.0 Beta Release (May 13, 2015)
  • Marketing copy updates
  • Google Analytics
5.2.3 - starts 5/11/15
Google Serve
  • Google Serve preparations - custom rule sets
5.2.4 - starts 6/1/15
Google Serve
  • Google Serve preparations - custom rule sets
  • 6.2.2 Patch (MathJax pages were not running)
TBD Marketing & PR
  • Partner updates & outreach
  • Conferences
  • Press Release
2015 & Beyond
Project Wrap-up
  • Wrap-up by 12/31/14
  • Future plans and development?
 
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