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"Difference of two squares." "Difference of two cubes." "Binomial formula." "Quadratic equation." "Quadratic formula." "3-D wave equation."

As Henry "Buddy" Gray speaks, complicated mathematical formulas appear on his computer screen, almost as if by magic.

Gray, the C.F. Frensley Professor of Mathematics and Statistics in Dedman College, has developed the first computer software that can convert voice commands into mathematical expressions. Although other researchers have developed voice-recognition software that generates words, Gray is the first to develop a means to generate complicated mathematical equations. His software can type virtually any mathematical symbol and equation.

Gray’s software has three versions. One version, called MathTalk, can be used by professional mathematicians as well as college students who are unable to use a keyboard. A version called MathBrailleTalk can be used by visually impaired students. This version translates mathematical formulas into Braille, which can then be output using an embosser. It also will echo or read aloud any mathematical expression entered by voice.

Gray also created a grade-school version of MathTalk called ArithmeticTalk. An Arlington, Texas, company is marketing all three programs.

Gray, a former dean of Dedman College, began to develop the software three years ago just to help himself and his secretary. He taught himself the computer programming necessary to write the more than 1,000 pages of code that runs each program. He also learned Braille to develop the MathBrailleTalk program.

Metroplex Voice Computing of Arlington, Texas, has copyrighted Gray’s programs and is marketing them to school districts, community colleges, and universities.

Gray was chairman of the Department of Mathematics at Texas Tech University before joining the SMU faculty in 1973. He earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Texas Tech and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. His other research interests include developing data analysis techniques and problems associated with monitoring nuclear tests. He also is developing a methodology to detect heart disease from acoustical data obtained through newly developed sensors. He has written more than 75 articles on applied mathematics, statistics, global warming, and nuclear monitoring.

For more information: Buddy Gray
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