Math in ASL

Discussion in 'Sign Language & Deaf Education' started by me_punctured, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. me_punctured

    me_punctured New Member

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    Before I run off to my calculus morning on this fine morning, I wanted to ask you a question about math signs. This is my first time I've taken math WITH a 'terp, even though in the past, I passed college-level math without the aid of one, much less a real-time captioner or a notetaker. While I am doubtful about how a 'terp can greatly facilitate my (re)learning calculus, I still want to make the best out of it.

    Do you guys have signs for the following words/concepts:

    equation
    expression (as in a polynominal expression)
    algorithm (once a 'terp signed this, it looked like a derivation from the sign for algebra, except the hands ended in flapping the Ls)
    derivative
    function (as in the notion of a function)
    limit (as in the concept of limit of a function)

    And anything else you know would come in handy too! :)
     
  2. Endymion

    Endymion New Member

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    Oooh! Math!

    These are the signs I've been using with my interpreters over the years.

    Derivative: fingerspell "dx" really quick

    Equation: sign for sentence (in the sence that an equation is a statement)

    Expression: same as equation

    Function: (an "F" left and right along your non-dominant forearm) If the function is expressed in terms of a variable (like f(x)), then we sign "f" and then "x" -- often the interpreter will mouth "of" between each letter.

    Limit: We imported the normal sign for "limit" (as in, my career is limited because Jake has a nostril on his rostral fungus).

    And for algorithm, nothing comes to mind.

    What do you use for integral? We've been imitating the integrand with an "i" handshape.
     
  3. Interpretrator

    Interpretrator Crime fighter Premium Member

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    I often sign it with an initialized E.

    That list of signs matches up with mine, although I know there are variations on some of them. I've used "shaky I" for integral but that may have been specific to that class. It seems like I use more nonce signs (signs that are made up and agreed upon by interpreter and client for a particular assignment but aren't necessarily standard) in math than in other classes. There's a lot of checking with the student about how they want things signed -- "variable" comes to mind.
     
  4. Y

    Y New Member

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    May I suggest perhaps we can try video here ?
     
  5. RDC_girl

    RDC_girl New Member

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    I dont know the signs for those, but if you need help with calculus I can help you with that :) I am a math major in my Bachelor of Education.
     
  6. me_punctured

    me_punctured New Member

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    Thank you! You're very helpful. Why am I not surprised to see you here? ;)

    I'd use the shaked I handshape for integral too. Just exactly like what Interpretrator said.
     
  7. me_punctured

    me_punctured New Member

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    There seems to be a lack of standardization when it comes to academic ASL, especially in the areas of math and sciences. I've never had a 'terp in biology or physics, so I have no way of knowing how that'd work out!
     
  8. me_punctured

    me_punctured New Member

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    That's a good idea! But I think some of us don't have webcams set up to make short video clips of math signs in ASL. :(
     
  9. me_punctured

    me_punctured New Member

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    Cool beans! I'll have to keep your kind offer in mind. Trouble hasn't hit the roof yet. ;)
     
  10. Interpretrator

    Interpretrator Crime fighter Premium Member

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    Yeah, and even within one school different interpreters may use different signs. I wonder why it is that these particular disciplines (math and science) have this problem. I guess it has to do with the fact that often students are required to know the English (or Latin) vocabulary itself, not just the concept as represented by a sign or series of signs. It wouldn't do for a deaf medical student not to be able to know the Latin names for parts of the anatomy, for example.

    Can you take ten minutes with your interpreter and go over what signs you'd like to use?
     
  11. jamielee

    jamielee New Member

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  12. Endymion

    Endymion New Member

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    Interesting -- how would you describe this "shaked I" for integral? I'm having a little challenge picturing it.

    And I see I spelled sense as sence. Here's a round of applause for blonde moments! ;)
     
  13. Interpretrator

    Interpretrator Crime fighter Premium Member

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    Oh...in interpreter-land, "shaky [whatever]" just means to hold up the handshape for that letter and shake it back and forth. So in this case it would look the same as the sign INSURANCE. The sign for WHERE could be described as "shaky D" or "shaky 1" (depending on how you sign it), if that makes any sense.

    I like that above website for academic signs but that model seems way too happy about the math signs. :D Still, those signs are definitely not standard. For "pi" I rarely fingerspell it but generally use a sign that looks like the Texas Longhorns sign upside down to represent the Greek letter. There's also a two-handed version that someone showed me but I don't remember how it's signed. I find the less fingerspelling in math, the better, since you're often dealing with variables so it can get confusing to have lots of extra letters thrown in. Luckily it's usually all written on the board too!
     
  14. deconcinin

    deconcinin New Member

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    Terp

    You are correct that fingerspelling in mathematics is visually challenging. Our lesson is algebraic variables as symbols that represent an unknown number. Since the topic of the lesson is variables, I don't even have a letter yet to represent the variable. The teacher is just saying the word "variable" so I continue to fingerspell. It would be helpful to have a sign for variable because "various and change" do not represent the concept correctly.
     

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