The catch was that you had to rely on transliterated versions of their mathematics and they only had a relatively small portion of their mathematical thought available and transliterated to a humanly understandable writing system. So I put together an alien math, using lots of greek letters just for my stand ins. It would be cool to create totally new characters for an alien math, but that was a step too far, one I didn't know how I would work with, since the tools would be awful for something like that.

So greek characters and simple things like / and \ and using earthling variable names, with the rest being in alien, I had started on an Earth-Alien math translation dictionary that presented common mathematical concepts between the two realms and translating between them. Of course, being an amateur mathematician and not having a ton of time on this, I had left out a lot at that time, but it sparked some interesting ideas and thoughts in my head.

I haven't really continued with the story in Inform, though I may eventually do so in inform, or more likely in some kind of Web interface with a javascript alien math module that I would write.

However, in the meantime, I am fascinated by the idea of creating these different systems of math and arithmetic that nonetheless.

I have gone back to that Alien to Human math dictionary that I started, which I was using Formulator MathML suite to write, and fleshed it out a bit. I was missing a ton of neccesary tools for even the most basic math and proofs, so I worked on it and expanded it, and I still plan on expanding this first alien math system some more. However, I thought it would be fun to show off some of the alien math that I've written in the process.

The fun idea is whether the structure of the alien math is obvious enough to make it clear with a few samples, just what is being done with it. I think with the simplicity of the current system I've wrote, it shouldn't be too hard to figure most of it out, given enough samples. But here is the puzzle and the acid test of that.

In my future Interactive Fiction plans, part of the puzzles would be gaining insight into the meaning of the various symbols in this or other Alien maths. Unfortunately, Livejournal doesn't really support greek characters well, so I have assigned each of my greek letters to an appropriate english capital letter, and I'm using that form to show off a few samples of alien math. The variable names are still earth-based, because I haven't come up with good default variables like x and y in alien math yet. Lower case letters are variables, never my greek operator symbols.

So here goes (hyperlinking is forcing me to space out the repeated slashes and backslashes):

Part of a definition in number theory: WYW \ \\ Q \ WkD U xD// D A y/ Y \\ Q \ WkD u xD// D B y//

An expression: E \\ Q \\ K x / D u yD // D/

An almost tautology that happens to be missing a case: \x A y Y x B y/ Y \x A y Y x B y/