On college, as engineers, we are exposed to a handful of math courses. On our everyday assignments, we use lots of tools to solve our math problems, some of us used these big expensive calculators (the famous Texas Instruments, I remember), some used wolfram alpha, and so on. But there was always this big tedious task: to input the expression. Just try to type these huge expressions on that tiny text input. Finding the symbols, variables or functions were not so easy. Not to mention that If you missed a single parenthesis or comma, you almost wanted to kill yourself.
So, when we heard that MyScript supported math, we said to ourselves: "We found the missing key!", because it removes all these problems; You are already writing these symbols and expressions on your notebook, for instance, you are used to write a root with symbols, not as "root(x, 3)", Right?... that's how we came up with Appgebra.
What it does
Appebra is an app that helps you solve math expressions, by hand writing the math expression like you would on a piece of paper. By hitting the equals button you will get the result for the written expression, you are also able to retrieve more results, from a simple ones like "give me more digits" to complex ones as "Step-by-step solutions".
Appgebra aims to help the user by simplifying the process, and providing tools to quickly find the solutions and explain them how to get to the result if they need it.
Its seems simple at a first glance, but hides the complex process happening in the background, and that’s what we believe is our biggest strength, making it seem easy for the user.
How to use it?
Steps to create your first paper:
- Open the app
- Click on the green button with a + sign at the top of the screen.
- Write your first expression (i.e. 3x = 1)
- Click on the equals button on the bottom-right corner
- Wait for the results to appear
In the results box, you'll find buttons at the top center section, where you can ask for more kind of results or step by step solutions.
If you write an expression with more than one variable (i.e. 3x + y = 1), you'll be prompted to select which variable do you want to solve.
You can write integrals and derivatives as well.
Where to get it?
The apps are currently LIVE on Google and Amazon stores!
Waiting for review
firstname.lastname@example.org was invited to participate as beta tester for the iOS app, please test it via Apple's TestFlight.
How we built it
Appgebra is built with Meteor+Ionic. It uses MyScript (CDK) to transform the handwritten input into MathML, we parse this MathML to create a Wolfram|Alpha query, we ask for results via Wolfram|Alpha's API, and finally show it to the user. We truly feel we're standing on the shoulders of two giants!
Challenges we ran into
The main challenge was to parse the MathML result to an understandable Wolfram|Alpha query for the supported expressions which are: system of equations (single or multiple), integrals and derivatives (more to come in the future).
Accomplishments that We're proud of
This is our first true MVP! Luis and me, We've always dreamed to ship a finished product, and we finally did it! We have everything, a pro introduction video, a neat website, an app with all the basic features to function, and a plan to monetize it. Appgebra will be available on three of the biggest mobile stores: Apple's Appstore, Google's Playstore, and Amazon's Appstore (Yep, this last one... just think about those affordable kindle fires everywhere).
This app feels like one of those from the big boys! :)
What we learned
It's our first experience with ionic framework. This is also the first true application of an abstract synthax tree you learn in college to build a language parser, in this case, math language to understand an equation (or a system of it), integrals, or derivatives.
What's next for Appgebra
We're currently in beta, so for now, all users have free access to the premium features of the app, but they will be presented with Ads to support the development.
In the near future Appgebra will have:
- Share on social media
- Paid subscriptions (with trials of course), to remove the restriction limit of papers and remove Ads. There will be also special packages for user groups, or entities (schools/colleges) that want their students to have premium access to the app.
- Work on the app's marketing
In the long run:
We plan to support more and more Wolfram|Alpha expressions, to mention a few: Factorization, Limits, Summations, etc; There are a handful of these (you can have a look here). Graphs are also on the road map. Basically, What we want is to bring the Wolfram|Alpha power to your handwriting, that's it.