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Author Topic: Taking "digital" notes during a lecture  (Read 3015 times)

TPReal

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Taking "digital" notes during a lecture
« on: October 24, 2007, 06:11:18 AM »
I've recently bought a new computer, a notebook. I'm a student so I thought about using the computer to take notes during the lecture. But it's a technical university, so there's always a lot of mathematical mambo jambo on the blackboard, and that's my problem: I do not know any program that could be used efficiently to take notes during a technical lecture.

I'd like to have a program, where I could write a text like this:

Determine the stability:
[x1';x2']=[2 3;5 2]*[x1;x2]+[0;2]*u
y=[2 4]*[x1;x2]+1*u

or similar, and the program should display a nice formatted text and the mathematical expressions with matrices. Also things like sqrt x, or x^2, or x/2, and similar, should get a nice, mathematical and readable look.

The Microsoft Equation program (installed with MS Word) is very very inefficient, because to write anything you will most likely have to use your mouse several times, and this is much slower than just typing the formulas. The tool in OpenOffice is no better for me (and I dislike the whole OpenOffice thing also). So my question is: do you know any tool that would do what I described? Or do I have to write it for myself? :)

tsaint

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Re: Taking "digital" notes during a lecture
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 07:23:54 AM »
You could look at:
http://www.efofex.com.au/fxequation.php or http://www.rapid-pi.com/ which both allow for more or less typing only (no mouse action).
An alternative which may or may not be feasible is to take photos of the whiteboard/blackboard and process them using something like "whiteboard photo".
(I use a very old, now abandoned piece of software called whiteboard photo, but I've come across - without noting the name(s) - other software to do similar.
Google it if interested.
tony

Deozaan

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Re: Taking "digital" notes during a lecture
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 09:02:34 AM »
I've recently bought a new computer, a notebook. I'm a student so I thought about using the computer to take notes during the lecture. But it's a technical university, so there's always a lot of mathematical mambo jambo on the blackboard, and that's my problem: I do not know any program that could be used efficiently to take notes during a technical lecture.

I'd like to have a program, where I could write a text like this:

Determine the stability:
[x1';x2']=[2 3;5 2]*[x1;x2]+[0;2]*u
y=[2 4]*[x1;x2]+1*u

or similar, and the program should display a nice formatted text and the mathematical expressions with matrices. Also things like sqrt x, or x^2, or x/2, and similar, should get a nice, mathematical and readable look.

The Microsoft Equation program (installed with MS Word) is very very inefficient, because to write anything you will most likely have to use your mouse several times, and this is much slower than just typing the formulas. The tool in OpenOffice is no better for me (and I dislike the whole OpenOffice thing also). So my question is: do you know any tool that would do what I described? Or do I have to write it for myself? :)

My Math teacher did an experiment yesterday and pulled out his drawing tablet. Combining that with Powerpoint and a projector screen, we now have all the notes he writes to teach the class. Plus, he can upload the digital file online in case we miss a day.

But anyway, I suggest a drawing tablet for funky math mumbo jumbo.


kovi2

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Re: Taking "digital" notes during a lecture
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2007, 01:21:56 PM »
You may give a try to Mathematica (http://www.wolfram.com) where it's very easy to typeset any technical text (even nontechnical). Price is high, howere there are student-licences and depending on the university you are attending it's also possible to have access in frame of site licence.
There is an other nice package called WorkLife FrameWork (http://www.scientificarts.com/worklife/) for Mathematica where you can organize your work (and notes, too).

If you rather are a text-geek :) then you can simply type your text into LaTeX and then 'texify' into beautiful typeset documents.

TPReal

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Re: Taking "digital" notes during a lecture
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2007, 03:50:41 PM »
Thanks for your ideas.
I think I'll learn LaTeX one day, it seems to be the best idea of all those. But for now, at least for some simple equations, MS Office 2007 is good. The new MS Equation is much better now than it was in older versions of Office.
TPR.