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Introduction

MathML is an XML-based markup language for representing mathematics. It was developed by the W3C to provide an effective way to display math in web pages and to facilitate the transfer and re-use of mathematical content between applications. The great advantage of MathML is that it can encode information about both the meaning and the appearance of mathematical notation. This makes it an ideal data format for storing and exchanging mathematical information. For example, a MathML equation can be copied out of a web page and directly pasted into an application like Mathematica for evaluation.

MathML is expected to have a big impact on how science and mathematics are communicated. As a common and widely accepted standard for representing mathematics, it provides the foundation for many interesting and useful applications. For example, you can use MathML to create dynamic mathematical websites featuring interactive equations, set up a database of technical documents whose contents can be easily searched, indexed, and archived, or develop speech synthesis software for audio rendering of mathematics.

MathML has grown rapidly in popularity since it was first released in 1998, gaining broad support in both industry and academia. It is currently possible to view MathML equations in the leading web browsers, either directly or using freely available plug-ins. As more tools for authoring, viewing, and processing MathML become available, its importance is only expected to grow.

Wolfram Research was a key participant in the development of MathML and is committed to supporting this important web technology. Mathematica 5.0 includes full support for MathML 2.0, the latest version of the language. You can import MathML equations into a Mathematica notebook and evaluate them, or export equations from a notebook as MathML and paste them into an HTML document for viewing in a web browser. There are also several kernel commands for converting between MathML and the boxes and expressions used internally by Mathematica to represent mathematics.