"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.
Grays 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 Grays 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 Bachelors
and Masters 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
Web site: www.smu.edu/~statistics/faculty/gray.html
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