Proposal talk:More Graphs and Less Math=More Approachable

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From Strategic Planning

This is a good insight. Ideally, we would like our materials in technical fields to be understandable to sincerely interested lay-readers, while still being comprehensive and scrupulously accurate (as judged by experts).

We aren't the first to face these competing demands, and we should try to benefit from the experience and best practices of others. This proposal catches one method for doing that, namely, using graphs to supplement, or in lieu of, mathematical formulae. It's commonly said in technical publishing that each formula in an article halves the audience. This plotting idea also ties in neatly with the earlier proposal about Proposal:Visualization methods.

We might consider a more general proposal to develop better methods for ensuring that technical materials are intelligible to lay-readers. At the moment, we seem to rely on ad hoc processes, e.g., lay-reader friends of an expert contributor reviewing the article for difficult passages. Proteins 15:20, 6 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Do you mean "more graphs and fewer symbols"? Maths includes both. Hillgentleman 03:55, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

as a programmer (~10 years (being 24yo), "self"-educated, with very little advanced mathematical insight) i can only sympathize with this proposal and perhaps add that mathemagicans (along with logicians) might try to explain with more of a symbolic/objective language and/or "mind-maping"(*urk*)/spatial represantation explaining and (an exelant way of) introducing the mathematical notations and methods to us lethal normz --Vike2000 09:06, 15 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This project may positively correlate with proposals to add more interactivity, like this one, for instance. For instance, when illustrating the line equation, it would be possible to have sliders to change the slope and intercept. Experimenting the sliders would allow to understand very easily the meaning of these two parameters. Similar illustrators can be written for many physical processes. Audriusa 08:52, 30 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:13, 3 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I use the math

Getting rid of "the math" is a very bad idea. High-level descriptions are useful to those who are new to a topic. Low-level descriptions are useful to those who want to fully understand a topic. This problem is easily solved by having multiple sections. What are you proposing that is new? If you want more high-level content, go make it. Who exactly are you asking to do this for you?