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Re: Re: Making parts of formulae blinking

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  • Subject: [mg91412] Re: Re: Making parts of formulae blinking
  • From: Alexei Boulbitch <Alexei.Boulbitch at>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 06:23:34 -0400 (EDT)

I thank very much David Park, David Bailey, Jens-Peer Kuska and David Reiss for their kind answers. 
I believe we all agree ////with David Park that the problem is important and worth thinking about.

In addition to what has been already written about it, it seems that most of us agree that Mathematica potentially offers 
by far more possibilities for making scientific presentations than Power Point. However, for "static" accentuation of 
expressions Power Point offers a solution by few mouse clicks, while Mathematica requires some programming. It is important 
therefore, to simplify and (may be) standardize this to make it easily applicable. Otherwise it will be very difficult 
to often use such an accentuation, say, for university lecturing. Further to my knowledge Power Point does not offer 
any approach for making dynamic accentuation. It seems however, that Mathematica may offer a way for this, though so 
far I cannot find it. 
Because of this I would like to rise this problem once more and to ask you to think about it, if possible. 
Let me explain my point.

The approach of David Park gives a nice solution for a "static" accentuation of an expression. It can be used right away. 
My point is however, that if one could make parts of the expression blinking, this would make a still stronger effect. 

However, all approaches proposed for its "dynamic" accentuation (i.e. blinking) are still not acceptable. You have noted this
yourself in your responses by mentioning that this may cause medical consequences like a headache or epileptic attack. 
These effects are of coarse, not our aim. 

Instead, when we give talks we need to convey information in a most easy-to-catch way. For this reason for example, 
an arbitrary variation of colors in a part of an expression is disadvantageous, rather than advantageous. This is not only 
for medical reasons, but also since these colors are sometimes difficult to see. 

Further, the way of dynamic accentuation which is not limited in time is disadvantageous. Again not only for medical reasons.
When I accentuate some part of expression, I need to do it only for the time interval during which I discuss this part.
As soon as this discussion is finished, the second part of the expression should be accentuated, while the first one 
should become plain, and so on. When I stop the whole discussion all the parts of the expression should become plain. 
Blinking of all the parts of the expression at once will mislead the audience and thus, cause the effect opposite to the one
I want to achieve.

I imagine myself that the dynamic accentuation may look like the following:

By a mouse click on the part of the expression that should be discussed this part blinks 3 to 5 times. 
It is important that the blinking should look like successive variations of color from say, black to say, red and back. 
The size and/or the weight may also vary. After the last (e.g. for instance, the third) blinking the accentuated part of 
the formula should stay statically accentuated. This means that it stays red, while the rest of the expression stays black. 
It would be even better, if the rest of the formula becomes gray, since it is a generally accepted notation of blending. 

Further, by the mouse click one makes this formula part black (or gray), while its next part becomes first dynamically 
and then statically accentuated in the sense described above. 

After the last expression part has been accentuated and discussed, 
the whole formula should be done plain (e.g. in its initial format: Color->Black, Weight->Plain, etc.) by a mouse click. 

I believe that these few blinking will not cause any medical problem, but instead will catch the eyes of the audience 
and help it to easier concentrate on the content of the talk.

Could you please think of something like this?

Best regards and thank you once more,

Alexei Boulbitch wrote:

> In my previous letter for the sake of shortness I have given an oversimplified 
> expression AB+xy. The procedure "Accentuate" works perfectly on it. In reality however, one often 
> needs to accentuate parts of an expression that have different lengths. Further, often there are more than two 
> parts of the same expression that should be accentuated separately. In this case a straightforward use 
> of the operator Accentuate results in a change of the order of the parts of the expression. 
> For example, I need to discuss four parts of the same expression. They should be discussed separately 
> from one another. Here they are: 

My solution to this would be to define a simple function - say acc:

acc[x_] :=
  Dynamic[Refresh[Style[x, Hue[Random[]]], UpdateInterval -> 0.3]]

Now you can write partially accentuated expressions such as


and it will evaluate to a partially accentuated expression.

Please note, however, that the randomly varying hue is meant as a joke - 
I don't want to be held responsible for any headaches it produces!

BTW, I agree very much with David Park that there is enormous value in 
being able to pick out parts of expressions and to move beyond the
'dead' expressions that displayed in textbooks!

Alexei Boulbitch, Dr., Habil.
Senior Scientist

ZAE Weiergewan
11, rue Edmond Reuter
L-5326 Contern

Phone: +352 2454 2566
Fax:   +352 2454 3566


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