Chemistry on the Web and in Publishing

25 Jul 2019


George, franco, SteveNoble, Dan_B, jasonjgw, Avneesh, Volker, Cary
Dan, George


<George> ACTION: George to provide links to zakim and rrsagent documentation.

<George> chair: Cary

<George> Scribe: George

previous Minutes


<franco> scribenick: Franco

george: if you have people who want to join, have them come to this page. i have only been sending invites to this mailing list...
... its a good size, but just please spread the word. i'll continue contacting people who have expressed interest

github page for group

george: if we have anybody who can help with the github site, i would love some help. I am in the process of learning...
... github for the past year and still struggling.

volker: i'll be happy to help

george: first task: move old site that was started by charles in the DIAGRAM center space over to our space

accessible chemistry experience

cary: we decided to focus on a general chemistry context, in particular on the high school level
... the more we make that content accessible, then we can work on the advanced stuff later.
... we talked about reading of elements within specific chemical equations
... how should NaCl be pronounced? sodium chloride in descriptive mode, and spelled out in a different mode

dan: it has been brought up by others that somtimes we need it read one way or another. we think it is important pedagogically...
... they should be able to have both of those options available to them.

steve: taht is exactly the model that was followed in math player. if you have math player installed on your machine, under the chemistry settings, you can switch the reading...
... there is precedence for that.

cary: it would be good if we had an assessment. teachers would want their students to know that NaCl is sodium chloride
... we want visuals to be well described
... there is an advantage to someone having content knowledge that writes long desccriptions of chemistry. but if theyre not trained in writing descriptions, they may not ...
... be useful.
... we were brainstorming ideas of workshops to train content experts to write long descriptions. first they would be available in textbook form and then in additional contexts
... we start with the baseline of what we know.

dan: you need the 30,000 foot view sometimes. like a benzene molecule is described in a certain way (six sides, carbons, alternating single double bonds, etc)
... so then they have that basic structure and then a tool that takes you part by part through the molecule more closely.

Elaine: ive been using daisy books for years. targeting dyslexic students. what we would do for the early students ...
... by the time they get a little bit higher, just say a benzene ring

george: the fundamental thing we need to pay attention to is the extended descriptions of various chem constructs. we've seen different efforts. the national science foundation ...
... wgbh descriptions in a project. im not sure that they focused on chemistry. trying to provide the same kind of guidance. i imagine that the number of items that need to be described...
... are infinite. having said that , ive talked to in DAISY community. every example is a variation on a typical theme.
... newton's second law of motion is represented in different ways but the principle is the same. trying to get the principles down would be good.
... if we could get a collection of really good descriptions that would help people.

dan: ultimately we want someone describing an image in Kansas describing it the same way in someone on the other side of the planet. when i study chemistry, everyone described things a bit differently
... it worked for someone like us who wanted to learn it. but what we are seeing is if we can get these kinds of rules going early on, it wont be as disruptive when you move from one level to the next and possibly materials ...
... coming from another place. those descriptions will be identical. the content may be laid out differently. it may use different pedagogy for teaching, but the descriptions of the equations and molecular formulas will be identical

cary: at least that is the goal. there has been a common naming system for organic chemistry molecules. it may be possible that there is an extension that could be made for long descriptions

volker: at the time when we put together a system, effectively we had it automatically named the structures. i would be happy to offer those as a starting point. the IUCAP rules are far too complicated with complex molecules.
... with the navigation

jason: on the first part that was discussed, we had a very good meeting with the mathml community group. they were interested in adding semantic enrichment to the next revision to the next mathml spec to be able ...
... to identify chemistry elements. typesetting and accessibility advantages were noted. this would be in presentation mathml.
... the mechanisms for doing that are in proposal state. these enrichments would be not just for chemistry but for other math elements
... this would simplify some of the heuristics needed by speech engines. it could clarify the semantics. it seems that we are headed toward a solution
... regarding diagrams and structures: that is where i have less expertise, but based on volker's project generating svg from recognized images but also chemistry related mark up, it seems to me...
... it should be possible to generate navigable structures
... we have in principle solutions but we have some details for rulesets to be established

cary: descriptive overview i think should come first before the atom by atom navigation info. there will come a point where a student is advanced enough to not want that view. we want to have that flexibility.
... more in depth navigation can be overwhelming

dan: and often unnecessary. unless youre in an organic chemistry class, usually you are just being presented with these molecules without the need for detail.

george: trying to get consistent descriptions from humans is never going to work. thats what machines are really good at.
... i think that this description overview for younger students is essential.
... i dont think we should have a goal of having them rigidly defined

cary: i think we are going to have the humans define the rules of how the machine is going to do the work

jason: what do we have by existing guidelines for spoken presentation? are they adequate?
... how can they be formalized?
... that sounds to me like a discrete project

cary: steve noble did work with chemML. did that work go beyond chemical equations?

steve: no. the work was more for linear format and those were for mathml.

volker: we take the chemML and start enriching it with semantics to make our structure diagrams.

steve: i would love to work with cary and volker to submit a proposal to the national science foundation
... it would be a great collaborative work to push that forward.

george: i have put forward to the DIAGRAM folks of this notion for funding for chemistry. i have been thinking of it as a pool of different organizations working together
... NSF sounds like a good spot. perhaps department of education. i think that it would be good for us to collaborate on identifying serious funding. i have said from the beginning...
... this is a huge amount of work. i agree with getting funding. i love the work that volker has done, trying to license that would be a great approach.

jason: for braille we have established codes for formulas. there is a braille code in north america for the structural formatting. i wonder if there needs to be additional work apart from that to enable automation.
... just want to make sure we know the scope of the work.

george: i imagine that 3d modeling is here as well

jason: nascent proposal in the works here: what would be the best appraoch here what would be the objectives? i think there are some very experienced proposals.

cary: steve, jason, volker, and i can meet offline to follow up on this
... to work on research proposal

george: one of the focuses for this group is to acquire funding for research and development. that is the current agenda item.

cary: it is two fold. searching for funding is going to take half a year.
... we need something in the interim

<scribe> ACTION: george to email neil when he wants chemistry people to show up for math meeting

george: someone from this working group has just successfully completed a very long term project. tzviya has a baby. all is going well with her.
... next call is scheduled for august 22. does that work for others?

dan: the biggest thing is getting everyone together because i know like you were just saying george, we look around, dont find it, you start making your own solutions
... that is the biggest pain point even within our own company. we are charged with making things accessible. it differs from department to department how they do it. it deviates from people working on different lessons
... we 're sending people out on these uncharted waters and we get different results even within a program. so i have never been one for thinking there is only one solution. there are probably many but let's just have a solution that everyone agrees on
... or everyone has buy-in into. if we can do that, that would be phenomenal for chemical education in general

george: i think doing this within the w3c, you get more visibility worldwide. otherwise, you do it within your own company, website. DIAGRAM is a good example. theyve done a lot good things but people dont reference these places...
... as much as they do w3c

dan: it's all connected. the digital presence influences the books we make.

george: we havent started discussing things on youtube, for example. but it's the way people learn. i would not rule out that medium for communication and education.

cary: i have seen chemistry taught in unambiguous ways on youtube, but the majority are bad

Summary of Action Items

[NEW] ACTION: george to email neil when he wants chemistry people to show up for math meeting
[NEW] ACTION: George to provide links to zakim and rrsagent documentation.

Summary of Resolutions

[End of minutes]

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Default Present: George, franco, SteveNoble, Dan_B, jasonjgw, Avneesh, Volker, Cary
Present: George franco SteveNoble Dan_B jasonjgw Avneesh Volker Cary
Found Scribe: George
Inferring ScribeNick: George
Found ScribeNick: Franco
ScribeNicks: Franco, George
Found Date: 25 Jul 2019
People with action items: george

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