# About

## The tool

SearchOnMath aims to allow students and researchers to find web pages containing, to various degrees of similarity, a given mathematical formula. It's a search engine for the direct lookup of mathematical content.

## Brief history...

The SearchOnMath project began in August 2008 as part of the PhD work of Flavio Barbieri Gonzaga at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. His advisers were Valmir Carneiro Barbosa and Geraldo Bonorino Xexéo.

Later in that same year Flavio joined the faculty of the Federal University of Alfenas. Over the years, while Flavio, Valmir, and Xexéo worked on the major aspects of the mathematical search engine, undergraduate students developed extra features related to the project. A few milestones follow.

In 2009, Geraldo Lucas Jardim Cordeiro put together a comprehensive list of mathematical symbols and operators in MathML. From this study resulted the first prototype interface of the tool.

In 2012 and 2013, Renata Vieira Nobre expanded the set of symbols and operators compiled by Geraldo, by analyzing the formulas of DLMF. This helped in the consolidation of the symbol and operator set that is part of the current version of SearchOnMath.

In March 2013, Flavio finished his doctorate and the first version of SearchOnMath was released. This version had contributions by Jan Victor Soares and Victor Carvalho on the web interface.

In July 2014, the current version of SearchOnMath was launched. Its web interface was developed by Talysson Oliveira Cassiano. Daniel Fernandes Rey developed a plug-in for Moodle, among other features in the backend.

In 2015 SearchOnMath became an incubated start-up at NidusTec, the business incubator of Federal University of Alfenas.

Still in 2015 SearchOnMath became part of the Microsoft BizSpark program.

## The present

Flavio, Valmir, and Xexéo work on improving the search engine continually. Gustavo Carvalho Souza develops the mobile app. Ricardo Mendonça Oliveira develops our most recent distributed system and browser extensions. Herbert Habermann develops our algorithms for importing new databases.

SearchOnMath currently performs its search on several bases of mathematical knowledge available on the Internet. The basic operation consists of two main elements, as follows.

- Lexical analysis. This makes representation independent of notation. For example, variables can be defined with Roman letters (x, y, z, x_0, x_1, …), Greek letters (α, β, …), and so on. A similar type of flexibility is present also in various other mathematical elements, all handled by SearchOnMath.
- Degree of similarity. Following the lexical analysis, a powerful engine compares the structure of the target formula with that of the other formulas contained in the database. Formulas that are more similar in structure tend to appear first on the results page.

The rendering of formulas is carried out by the MathJax tool. SearchOnMath is the first search engine to use MathJax.

If you own a web site containing mathematical formulas, please contact us. We're always looking for new knowledge to incorporate into our database.

Feedback is also always welcome. Tell us of your experience in using SearchOnMath.com.