Technology helps a blind student see math clearly

Evening the odds

WFU faculty finds technology to help blind student see math clearly

By Will Ferguson and Bonnie Davis Office of Communications and External Relations


Kathryn Webster listens to her computer spit out a rapid-fire stream of numbers and symbols in a metallic voice.

To the average person, the computer is speaking robotic gibberish. To Webster, an aspiring mathematician who also happens to be blind, the computer is describing a statistics problem.

Despite losing her vision three years ago due to complications from the flu, Webster entered Wake Forest last fall with the specific goal of pursuing a dual degree in mathematics and business. Her future goal is to become an actuarial scientist, someone who applies mathematical and statistical methods to finance and insurance, particularly to assess risk.

“I knew it was going to be a struggle but I wasn’t worried enough to step back from it,” said Webster, now a sophomore. “There are always obstacles in life. You just have to come up with ways to get around them.”

Webster was determined to make sure her lack of sight would not get in the way of her vision for the future.  [ MORE ]

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