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A Mathematica notebook that converts online lecture videos into LaTeX

Posted 23 days ago
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Hi all, just sharing my project that was created at HackMIT 2018.

The premise of the project was to take online course videos (e.g. those on MIT OpenCourseWare), to feed it into a Mathematica notebook, which would then:

  1. Find the key frames in the video where there is the most writing on the board
  2. Break that frame down into lines of texts/equations in order
  3. Send these cropped images to the API https://mathpix.com/ to convert them into LaTeX equations

Of course the resulting combined LaTeX would not be 100% accurate, but we believed this would save a lot of time in note-taking since modifying incorrect LaTeX is still much faster than LaTeX-ing from scratch. More details are available at https://devpost.com/software/r00t (note that you need your own API key for MathPix to function).

Some possible extensions that might be interesting to work on:

  • Converting the Mathematica notebook to some kind of cloud service to be more easily accessible to the general public
  • Allowing Mathematica to look up videos on YouTube automatically rather than needing to download the video prior to using this software
  • A way to address professors' writing being slanted (up or down) rather than in a horizontal line: the current method of gaussian blurring in the horizontal direction to find individual equations would not work anymore
  • Some form of machine learning to allow more accurate recognition of the equations written on the board
  • Anything else you can think of that would be interesting to work on, really... :)

Thanks for reading!

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