I was just looking at a mathematical topic (Fermat's
Little
Theorem, which was mentioned in one of [Vernon]'s
posts)
in Wikipedia.

I'm not a mathematician, to my eternal regret. I could
follow the arguments,
but had to stop time and time again to track down the
meaning of the more esoteric
symbols.

Because the symbols seem to be rendered as graphics,
there's no easy way to copy-and-paste them into a
Google
search; I also don't know what the symbols are actually
called, if they have names at all. (The Greek ones, like
capital Sigma, are OK.)

Most of them are perfectly simple, if you know the
shorthand (like "is a member of" or "is a subset of" etc),
and there are plenty of sites out there that list and
define
mathematical symbols (though some are context/topic-
dependent).

But wouldn't it be helpful if mathematical formulae had
mouseover-pop-up-things that gave a brief definition of
the symbol, in that particular context?

All very well in its way, but you do realise the possible consequences ? Eventually, this could result in the <shudder> common people reading mathematical works, and where would that lead ? Why, you'll be suggesting that the Bible be translated into English, and that women be taught to read and write next ...

Whatever it is they are called, most importantly they can be destroyed when their organic components are liquified and their spinal columns are ruptured.

I want to give this another (+), it's just not fair.

I love the hyperlink aspect of wikipedia that lets a person wade into uncharted territory without being completely lost. To have the math symbols hyperlink as well would be great.