Who is OME

- October '18

Alonso Salas Infante - Public Service

His nominator writes:
Alonso spent summer 2018 UROPing under the guidance of Mechanical Engineering PhD candidate Pranay Jain. Jain, having worked with blind students and accessibility technologies, proposed to him a problem: blind students are not able to advance past algebra/introductory calculus and physics as the inherit 2D nature of math expressions are too complex to read without the help of a sighted teacher, especially in regards to reading LaTeX expressions through conventional computer screen readers. Alonso spent the next 3 months designing and implementing a Python LaTeX-to-spoken-math program which can read complex math equations and allow users to comprehend and explore such equations in an interactive and intuitive way. With the help of Pranay, he met with blind computer users, a sighted teacher for blind students, and, in the future, he will meet with a focus group of a few blind students in order to gain invaluable feedback for his program. He hopes the program will be easily and widely accessible, as today many more students are using computers in the classroom than ever before. Blindness is not in any way correlated to one’s intelligence or genetic ability to learn mathematics, and it is a shame that most blind students never get to explore mathematics and engineering due to the current lack of accessible technologies. Alonso hopes his program will make an impact in the blind community and open up the world of mathematics to blind students.