The tool

SearchOnMath is a search engine designed especially for mathematical content from several areas of knowledge. Unlike traditional, text-only search tools, SearchOnMath is able to search for mathematical formulas and/or text. Currently its index has about 11 million different formulas, coming from the following domains:

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.

First SearchOnMath prototype
Figure 1: First prototype interface for SearchOnMath.

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.

First SearchOnMath version First SearchOnMath version
Figure 2: First version of SearchOnMath.

In July 2014, the current version of SearchOnMath was launched. Its web interface was developed by Talysson Oliveira Cassiano and improved by Caique H. dos Santos Matos in the following years. Daniel Fernandes Rey developed some features in the backend.

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

NidusTec Business Incubator

Still in 2015, SearchOnMath joined the Microsoft BizSpark program, becoming a graduate in 2018.

The present

SearchOnMath is in continual development by its current partners: Flavio Barbieri Gonzaga, Valmir Carneiro Barbosa, Gustavo Carvalho Souza, Mario Augusto F. Bueno Filho, José Carlos T. da Silva, and Reuel Ramos Ribeiro.

It currently performs its search (for mathematical formulas and/or text) on several bases of mathematical knowledge available on the Internet. The basic operation of mathematical search consists of two main elements, as follows.

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

A query containing both textual and mathematical elements results in a set of pages containing information of both types. That is, some textual content related to the words in the query and at least one formula with some degree of similarity to the one that was submitted.

We would love to hear about your experience with SearchOnMath. Please let us know, either by email to contact[at], or through our social-network profiles.


We would like to thank the following for financial support: