[OS X TeX] Mathematics by Chat?

Alain Schremmer schremmer.alain at gmail.com
Thu Dec 27 12:02:05 EST 2007

On Dec 24, 2007, at 1:25 AM, david craig wrote:

> I am seeking a cross-platform solution for live chats which can  
> include mathematics in some fashion.
> I'll be using a Mac; the other end will be a Windows XP box.  Two  
> ways to include math occur -- dropping little pdfs from LaTeXiT; or  
> some sort of tablet-integrated solution where both sides could just  
> write out what they wanted and then ... well, I don't know.   Some  
> sort of "virtual blackboard" kind of thing would be ideal.
> I hope to integrate with video chat so we can see each other (yes,  
> I've thought of just using small whiteboards -- which may be what I  
> end up doing, initially), but a text-based chat may be more  
> reliable/realistic.
> The idea is to make online office hours and remote collaboration  
> genuinely realistic.
> Any ideas, suggestions, inspirations, and, most especially,  
> experience, would be welcome.

I am afraid, no idea, no suggestion, no nothing.

My only experience has been my struggling with my students to get  
them to email me their questions: very little success.

I think that live chats would be good idea but I would rather skip  
the video.

My students are not very adept at writing mathematics: What some of  
them do is to scan a paper to which I respond with pdf written in  
LaTeX with included graphics.

They are of course two advantages to the latter:
- everybody seems to be able to read the pdf responses and
- I can keep the LaTeX source and reuse it in various ways so that  
the initial investment is worth it.

But the issue is still a very real one and, once upon a time, I even  
broached on this list the subject of a minimal LaTeX installation  
that would allow people such as my students to write minimal LaTeX.

The response was not too surprising: it was as if I had suggested  
that LaTeX be emasculated/e-???.

By the way and in any case, I would settle for a local list, that is  
a list limited to the students of a given class and myself but I don'  
t even know how to do this. (In reality, I haven't had the time even  
to inquire as I am trying to finish the current installment of the  
magum opus.)


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