A System for Typesetting Mathematics

Brian W. Kernighan, Lorinda L. Cherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper describes the design and implementation of a system for typesetting mathematics. The language has been designed to be easy to learn and to use by people (for example, secretaries and mathematical typists) who know neither mathematics nor typesetting. Experience indicates that the language can be learned in an hour or so, for it has few rules and fewer exceptions. For typical expressions, the size and font changes, positioning, line drawing, and the like necessary to print according to mathematical conventions are all done automatically. For example, the input [formula omitted] The syntax of the language is specified by a small context-free grammar; a compiler-compiler is used to make a compiler that translates this language into typesetting commands. Output may be produced on either a phototypesetter or on a terminal with forward and reverse half-line motions. The system interfaces directly with text formatting programs, so mixtures of text and mathematics may be handled simply. This paper was typeset by the authors using the system described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1975
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)

Keywords

  • compiler-compiler
  • graphics
  • photo-composition
  • printing
  • text processing
  • typesetting

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A System for Typesetting Mathematics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this