[NetBehaviour] New calculator makes solving tricky sums easy

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Tue Jun 28 12:46:12 CEST 2005

*New calculator makes solving tricky sums easy*

    * 11:03 27 June 2005
    * NewScientist.com news service
    * Duncan Graham-Rowe

A novel calculator interface makes solving tricky sums easy, as users 
can simply write them onto a screen and then watch the answer appear.

The device could easily be incorporated into stylus-controlled handheld 
computer and its inventors say it reduces the number of errors that 
users make.

This is because the interface does away with the awkward and unnatural 
syntax of conventional button-based calculators, says Harold Thimbleby 
at the University of Swansea, in Wales, UK. These often require data to 
be entered in a non-intuitive order. In contrast, calculations on the 
new interface are written exactly as they would be on paper.

The system also allows a wider range of calculations to be made in a 
faster and more flexible way. To do this it uses custom-built character 
recognition software that works out the relationships between characters 
and symbols by looking at their relative positions.

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