Math Inspector Beta

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Math Inspector Beta

Matt Calhoun
Hi Everyone!  I have been using numpy for an extremely long time, but this is the first time emailing the list.  I recently released the beta version of my free open source math app called math inspector, and so far the response has been really amazing, it was on the front page of hacker news all day sunday and went from 15 stars to 348 on GitHub since then.  I wanted to reach out to the community to find out if people like this project, have any feedback/suggestions/feature requests, or would possibly be interested in placing a link to the website (mathinspector.com) on the numpy homepage.

Math inspector is a python interpreter which contains a frozen version of python and numpy, this makes it very easy for non-technical people to get started, it also creates a block coding environment which represents the memory of the running program.  This block coding environment is at such a high level of generality that it's capable of working for all of python.  It also has an interactive graphing system made in pygame which updates and modernizes all of the functionality in matplotlib.  This graphing system is it's own stand alone module by the way.  Math inspector also has a documentation browser which creates a beautiful interactive experience for exploring the documentation.

Everything in math inspector has been designed specifically for numpy, even though it works for all of python.  I started it 2 years ago when I got really confused after searching through the numpy website, and I wanted to build a system where I could dig into the modules in a directory file type structure that was highly organized.  From there everything just took off.

The main goal of this project is to support the mathematics education community on youtube, by providing a free tool that everyone can use to share code samples for their videos, but I believe it has a wide range of additional applications for scientific computing as well.

I have been working really hard on this project, and I really hope everyone likes it!

You can find the full source code on the GitHub page: https://github.com/MathInspector/MathInspector

Cheers!
- Matt

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Re: Math Inspector Beta

Mansour Moufid
Very cool!

But the Mac disk image (mathinspector_0.9.1.dmg) isn't opening ("corrupt image").

It's 145279488 bytes and the shasum ends with f1ed9231.


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Re: Math Inspector Beta

ralfgommers
In reply to this post by Matt Calhoun
Hi Matt,

Very cool, thanks for sharing!


On Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 12:19 AM Matt Calhoun <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Everyone!  I have been using numpy for an extremely long time, but this is the first time emailing the list.  I recently released the beta version of my free open source math app called math inspector, and so far the response has been really amazing, it was on the front page of hacker news all day sunday and went from 15 stars to 348 on GitHub since then.  I wanted to reach out to the community to find out if people like this project, have any feedback/suggestions/feature requests, or would possibly be interested in placing a link to the website (mathinspector.com) on the numpy homepage.

We have an Ecosystem section on numpy.org, we can add it there. There's an Interactive Computing section where it kind of fits (although a place labeled education would be better). There's some discussion on the numpy.org issue tracker (https://github.com/numpy/numpy.org/issues/313#issuecomment-751466980) about moving that to its own tab instead of having it as an entry under "Scientific computing", but for now we could add it there under Jupyter/IPython/Binder.


Math inspector is a python interpreter which contains a frozen version of python and numpy, this makes it very easy for non-technical people to get started, it also creates a block coding environment which represents the memory of the running program.  This block coding environment is at such a high level of generality that it's capable of working for all of python.  It also has an interactive graphing system made in pygame which updates and modernizes all of the functionality in matplotlib.  This graphing system is it's own stand alone module by the way.  Math inspector also has a documentation browser which creates a beautiful interactive experience for exploring the documentation.

Everything in math inspector has been designed specifically for numpy, even though it works for all of python.  I started it 2 years ago when I got really confused after searching through the numpy website, and I wanted to build a system where I could dig into the modules in a directory file type structure that was highly organized.  From there everything just took off.

One thing I realized when browsing through the video on your front page is that the public module layout we have is very unhelpful for this kind of education - it'd be good if we had a way to hide things like core, emath, matrixlib, etc. that we don't want people to import and use directly. Essentially we'd to teach people mostly about the main namespace, and fft, linalg, and random.

If you have other thoughts on what would help you to make NumPy more approachable, in Math Inspector or in general, those would be great to hear.

Cheers,
Ralf



The main goal of this project is to support the mathematics education community on youtube, by providing a free tool that everyone can use to share code samples for their videos, but I believe it has a wide range of additional applications for scientific computing as well.

I have been working really hard on this project, and I really hope everyone likes it!

You can find the full source code on the GitHub page: https://github.com/MathInspector/MathInspector

Cheers!
- Matt
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Re: Math Inspector Beta

Melissa Mendonça
Hi Matt!

This is great timing - we actually talked about mathinspector in our Documentation Team meeting on monday (you can see the meeting notes here: https://hackmd.io/oB_boakvRqKR-_2jRV-Qjg

If you are interested, you are welcome to join our slack space and/or our docs meetings, we would love to chat in more detail.

Cheers,

Melissa

On Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 6:38 AM Ralf Gommers <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Matt,

Very cool, thanks for sharing!


On Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 12:19 AM Matt Calhoun <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Everyone!  I have been using numpy for an extremely long time, but this is the first time emailing the list.  I recently released the beta version of my free open source math app called math inspector, and so far the response has been really amazing, it was on the front page of hacker news all day sunday and went from 15 stars to 348 on GitHub since then.  I wanted to reach out to the community to find out if people like this project, have any feedback/suggestions/feature requests, or would possibly be interested in placing a link to the website (mathinspector.com) on the numpy homepage.

We have an Ecosystem section on numpy.org, we can add it there. There's an Interactive Computing section where it kind of fits (although a place labeled education would be better). There's some discussion on the numpy.org issue tracker (https://github.com/numpy/numpy.org/issues/313#issuecomment-751466980) about moving that to its own tab instead of having it as an entry under "Scientific computing", but for now we could add it there under Jupyter/IPython/Binder.


Math inspector is a python interpreter which contains a frozen version of python and numpy, this makes it very easy for non-technical people to get started, it also creates a block coding environment which represents the memory of the running program.  This block coding environment is at such a high level of generality that it's capable of working for all of python.  It also has an interactive graphing system made in pygame which updates and modernizes all of the functionality in matplotlib.  This graphing system is it's own stand alone module by the way.  Math inspector also has a documentation browser which creates a beautiful interactive experience for exploring the documentation.

Everything in math inspector has been designed specifically for numpy, even though it works for all of python.  I started it 2 years ago when I got really confused after searching through the numpy website, and I wanted to build a system where I could dig into the modules in a directory file type structure that was highly organized.  From there everything just took off.

One thing I realized when browsing through the video on your front page is that the public module layout we have is very unhelpful for this kind of education - it'd be good if we had a way to hide things like core, emath, matrixlib, etc. that we don't want people to import and use directly. Essentially we'd to teach people mostly about the main namespace, and fft, linalg, and random.

If you have other thoughts on what would help you to make NumPy more approachable, in Math Inspector or in general, those would be great to hear.

Cheers,
Ralf



The main goal of this project is to support the mathematics education community on youtube, by providing a free tool that everyone can use to share code samples for their videos, but I believe it has a wide range of additional applications for scientific computing as well.

I have been working really hard on this project, and I really hope everyone likes it!

You can find the full source code on the GitHub page: https://github.com/MathInspector/MathInspector

Cheers!
- Matt
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Re: Math Inspector Beta

Matt Calhoun
In reply to this post by Matt Calhoun
@ Mansour Moufid
> Very cool!
> But the Mac disk image (mathinspector_0.9.1.dmg) isn't opening ("corrupt
image").
> It's 145279488 bytes and the shasum ends with f1ed9231.

Oh no, whoops!  The .dmg file has been code signed with my apple developer id, notarized with apple, and passes all verification checks on my machine when I download it from the website.  Ever since sunday I have been scrambling to support every platform and os version out there basically, and this is the first time I saw this one.  For the sake of avoiding using the mailing list to debug, would be willing to open an issue on the Math Inspector github page?  Thanks!  (btw I checked the file on my machine and its the same filesize with the same shasum, so my guess is there is a pyinstaller issue related to an os version conflict, or a code signing issue, not sure though, I built it on BigSur 11.1)

@ Ralf Gommers 
> Very cool, thanks for sharing!
Thank you!!!

> We have an Ecosystem section on numpy.org, we can add it there

It's really important to me to make math inspector a part of the numpy ecosystem, and since this is the first time I am reaching out to the mailing list, I'd like emphasize that I am more than willing to work with the community to improve the product, respond to bug reports & feature requests, and in general I strongly value constructive criticism.

> One thing I realized when browsing through the video on your front page is
> that the public module layout we have is very unhelpful for this kind of
> education...If you have other thoughts on what would help you to make NumPy more
> approachable, in Math Inspector or in general, those would be great to hear.

I completely agree with your observation here.  It hadn't occurred to me to change numpy to make it better for math inspector, but I think you are hitting the nail on the head when you suggest re-organizing the file structure of the core package.

The main suggestion I have is to update the documentation in a way that leverages the power of math inspector.  The math inspector doc browser is a powerful tool with lots of extra functionality that is not available from the website or in the normal python help() function.  This extra functionality could be used to make numpy more approachable.  For example, replace references to matplotlib in the doc's with mathinspector.plot(), and substitute mathinspector for iPython as the recommended tool.

Thanks for this fantastic feedback!

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Re: Math Inspector Beta

Charles R Harris
In reply to this post by Matt Calhoun


On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 4:19 PM Matt Calhoun <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Everyone!  I have been using numpy for an extremely long time, but this is the first time emailing the list.  I recently released the beta version of my free open source math app called math inspector, and so far the response has been really amazing, it was on the front page of hacker news all day sunday and went from 15 stars to 348 on GitHub since then.  I wanted to reach out to the community to find out if people like this project, have any feedback/suggestions/feature requests, or would possibly be interested in placing a link to the website (mathinspector.com) on the numpy homepage.

Math inspector is a python interpreter which contains a frozen version of python and numpy, this makes it very easy for non-technical people to get started, it also creates a block coding environment which represents the memory of the running program.  This block coding environment is at such a high level of generality that it's capable of working for all of python.  It also has an interactive graphing system made in pygame which updates and modernizes all of the functionality in matplotlib.  This graphing system is it's own stand alone module by the way.  Math inspector also has a documentation browser which creates a beautiful interactive experience for exploring the documentation.

Everything in math inspector has been designed specifically for numpy, even though it works for all of python.  I started it 2 years ago when I got really confused after searching through the numpy website, and I wanted to build a system where I could dig into the modules in a directory file type structure that was highly organized.  From there everything just took off.

The main goal of this project is to support the mathematics education community on youtube, by providing a free tool that everyone can use to share code samples for their videos, but I believe it has a wide range of additional applications for scientific computing as well.

I have been working really hard on this project, and I really hope everyone likes it!

You can find the full source code on the GitHub page: https://github.com/MathInspector/MathInspector

Cheers!
- Matt

Somewhat off topic, but this brought to mind Model Based Design. MBD is a different subject, but I suspect the same underlying tools used for MathInspector might be useful.

Chuck

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