Stephen M. Watt
University of Waterloo, Canada
As is true in many other areas of study, mathematical knowledge had been produced for centuries and will continue to be produced for centuries to come. The records have taken many forms, from manuscripts, to printed journals, and now digital media.
Unlike most other fields, a much of mathematical knowledge has a high degree of precision and objectivity that both gives it permanent utility and makes it susceptible to mechanized treatment.
We outline the technical challenges and a path toward assembling the world’s mathematical knowledge. While initially in the form of a comprehensive digital library of page images, we expect evolution toward a knowledge base supporting sophisticated queries and automated reasoning. It is the aim of the nascent International Mathematical Knowledge Trust to provide a framework and to foster a community to make progress in this direction. We can foresee that such a knowledge base will enhance the capacity of individual mathematicians, accelerate discovery and allow new kinds of collaboration.