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# Materials containing math equations and formulas We are piloting Bb Ally this summer and have two instructors who are unable to use the alternative formats because the original materials contain equations and formulas that Ally does not interpret correctly. I see from the Ally User Group (see NOTE 1 below) that Blackboard is working on converting mathematical equations to MathML and will include that in the alternative formats in the future. **QUESTIONS FOR GROUP**: Have instructors at other institutions been able to create materials that contain equations and mathematical formulas that are currently being interpreted correctly? ·         If so, what tools do they use to create their original documents? ·         If not, what have those instructors been doing with the materials that contain this type of information to avoid giving students access to incorrect information? (see NOTE 2 below for an example) Our mathematics instructor uses a tool called LaTeX to create equations in her documents, which are saved as PDF. The statistics instructor uses the Microsoft Word built-in Equation tool and saves the document as PDF.  Finally, our Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) has a student who uses Braille who will be taking the math class in the fall. SDRC is paying to have the documents converted to Braille using 'Nemeth code'.  In addition to the expense, there is a long lead time necessary to have this done. Ideally, if the documents were initially interpreted correctly in Ally, the Electronic Braille format would then be interpreted in a meaningful way for the student. (That will be exciting!) **NOTE 1**: In an Ally User Group question dated April 3, 2018, the question was asked how mathematical equations are converted for the audio option. Nicolaas’ answer was:  “Ally is currently not doing a special conversion for Mathematical equations and is just reading them as they would be read by a screenreader today. Ally does have a lot of functionality behind the scenes to try to identify where the mathematical equations in a document are and convert these to MathML, which is then embedded into the alternative accessible formats generated by Ally. However, this functionality is currently not exposed as we need to make some additional performance improvements to allow us to do this at the scale that’s required for Ally. This is expected to be enabled later this year though.” **NOTE 2**: Example of the problem in MATH142 An example of a formula on the original document looks like this: ![](file:///C:/Users/susanq.DS/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg =129x43)  The HTML (and ePub) interpretation looks like this: {√ 2n2+7n 5n4−3 }∞ n=1 In our testing, the audio file that is downloaded reads the formula the way it was converted into HTML or ePub – in one line. (It does read the symbols “square root of” and “opening curly bracket” correctly, though.) Thank you in advance for any suggestions or feedback, Susan Q