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11
votes
3answers
1k views

How were formulas / images added to books in post-printing-press / pre-digital times?

I have seen that Euclid's Elements was written 300 BC and first set in type in 1482. Are there scans of that old versions available? How were formulas / images added to the books created with ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Proof or citation?

I'm writing an article. I suppose that I'll submit it to a more or less decent journal (in English). I have doubts about the following: I have a lemma (with quite a trivial proof). I don't want to ...
14
votes
8answers
1k views

Should a theorem be numbered by where it is first stated or where it is proven?

Suppose I am writing a paper in which an important lemma has a proof which is either long and unenlightening or requires additional background of the reader (or both). Thus, to avoid disrupting the ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Choosing Notation for Variable Substitution into Derivative Expressed with Differentials [closed]

Consider function $f(x)$. I've counted 4 possible notations to write a derivative of $f(x)$ at point $x = a$: $f'(a)$; $\frac{\operatorname{d}{f(a)}}{\operatorname{d}x}$; ...
8
votes
3answers
283 views

Punctuation and Other Rules for Variables and Their Verbal Definitions in Math Narrative [closed]

To better understand what I'm asking about, let's immediately define some examples. Imagine that you are writing some paper which involves a lot of math narrative. And you have a term, say, computing ...
1
vote
0answers
179 views

Applied Math author order

In applied math it seems to be more common to list authors according to their contribution rather than alphabetically. This being the case, in the instance where there are more than 2 authors, I was ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Inserting maple or macaulay script in a paper [closed]

I see many wonderful papers where the authors include some script written in Maple, Macaulay or other software that are needed for their proof. How do you insert that in your tex file?
11
votes
1answer
317 views

Quoting mathreviews

I would like to credit a reviewer who made a very nice corollary to the paper he was reviewing. Is there any more or less common standard of quoting MathReviews? I would be most grateful for an ...
6
votes
2answers
145 views

How to write this result (successive Schur complements compose nicely)

There is an easy theorem in linear algebra that "successive Schur complementations compose nicely": for instance, let's say I have a matrix $$ M_0= \begin{bmatrix} A & B & C \\ D & E & ...
3
votes
1answer
367 views

What is the correct preposition? (And is there one?)

I just stumbled upon a linguistic problem I wasn't able to resolve via web search. Suppose we're given some geometric set $A$ and subset $B\subset A$. Isn't there a compact way of saying that there ...
2
votes
2answers
522 views

Authorship, and order of authors [duplicate]

Currently I am writing a paper with several collaborators; although I am the primary author to this (I have done a large (>85%) majority of the work and have actually written the paper) my last name ...
3
votes
1answer
427 views

Equal signs with fancy marks

Some people use $\stackrel{\mathrm{def}}{=}$, $:=$ or $\stackrel{\Delta}{=}$ for definitions. In more informal contexts, I have also seen $\stackrel{?}{=}$, for "I wish to prove this equality, which ...
12
votes
3answers
741 views

Writing Mathematics : Linking words

I'm trying to write mathematics in English and I'm clearly missing something : linking words. I'm writing "so, we get", "Observe that" too many times and I'm afraid to use some expressions : "it ...
17
votes
3answers
779 views

Where to break paragraphs in a proof?

I have some rules of thumb about writing research papers that I can actually articulate. For example, leave all definitions as late as possible (but not later!), so the reader won't fear "Do I need to ...
5
votes
1answer
412 views

What are good ways to present proofs of theorems requiring auxiliary lemmas? [closed]

I am writing an academic paper for submission to a journal. One of my co-authors wrote the following: Theorem Statement of the theorem Proof of theorem We first show the following result ...
2
votes
2answers
277 views

fixedpoint or fixed point or fixed-point

I am unsure which is the right spelling (if there even is a ‘right’ spelling), but maybe native speakers can enlighten me: When should I use fixed point fixed-point fixedpoint when I refer to the ...
0
votes
1answer
290 views

Do you set a one or two commas when using \mapsto?

I am currently revising a paper and I am completely confused about the commas. Is it correct English to write 1) "The canonical map $X \to Y$, $x \mapsto f(x)$, is injective." or is it 2) "The ...
4
votes
1answer
237 views

Can I use both of setbuilder notations in one article?

I am sorry if this question is not for mathoverflow. I asked the same question in tex stackexchange and got an answer that this question is out of topic. If it's the same here, please let me know. ...
13
votes
3answers
638 views

Is there an editors checklist for mathematics?

I always have trouble with editing math papers for publication. I know there are plenty of checklists for English exposition but is there one for math specific exposition errors?
7
votes
3answers
633 views

Formal writing: numbers under 10

I've been tasked with proofreading an Engineering/Mathematics thesis paper. I was always told that numbers under 10 should be spelled out (one, two, three, ...) but I was wondering if this rule holds ...
1
vote
1answer
378 views

About writing of mathematical papers [closed]

Is not it better to use a mathematical language for writing mathematical papers. For example, use the logic of mathematical symbols more tnan additional comment. Is it feasible?
-3
votes
2answers
825 views

Should science authors discourage / boycott the recent push for author IDs [closed]

In recent years, several organizations (publishers, arXiv, universities) started pushing for systems of a reliable author identification, gaining considerable traction with the recent launch of ORCID. ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

the use of parentheses to mean “I won't tell you this again”

A reader of one of my drafts found fault with my use of parentheses; I put the word "bounded" in parentheses in a statement of a certain theorem, and he replied "But the statement isn't true if the ...
1
vote
0answers
324 views

To what extent, one should improve the article in Galley Proof ? [closed]

Galley Proof are the preliminary versions of publications meant for review by authors. Question: To what extend, one should improve the article in Galley Proof ? Situations 1. If all the proofs ...
2
votes
2answers
514 views

When a name is used for two different notions!

What would you do if you see a notion which you used to work with has two names and the same name you use for this notion is used for another notion too. For example, after the work of J.B. Bost, A. ...
9
votes
2answers
642 views

Capitalization of named theorems [closed]

I would like to extend a previous question on the capitalization of theorem names . This time, it's not about numbered theorems like "Lemma 1.1", but about theorems that carry a name. Question: ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

How to balance writing professionally and being able to have a conversation with your reader?

Background. I am someone at the very very beginning stages of my career as a mathematician, and am, for example, almost ready to (re)submit my first paper. I have already read a lot of essays on how ...
4
votes
3answers
285 views

Typographically separating logical argument from explanation and example [closed]

I am currently writing a master's dissertation. In this dissertation I have chosen to typographically separate logical argument, (Theorems, Proofs, and Definitions) from aids to understanding ...
1
vote
1answer
759 views

Do you know readers of your papers ? [closed]

Do you know readers of your papers ? Or - is it true that if paper is not groundbreaking no one (except very few people, working very closely and hence known for you) will read it ? If it is so - ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Graph of dependencies from a Latex file [closed]

This question has been "manually migrated" to TeX-SX: http://tex.stackexchange.com/q/40200/86 Apologies if the question is not very appropiate for Mathoverflow. It seems to me more appropiate here ...
47
votes
14answers
5k views

How to write popular mathematics well?

Recently, some classmates and I were lamenting the fact that our classmates in other disciplines had almost no conception of what we did, despite the large mathematics population at Waterloo. Instead ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the main goal of a paper, really? [closed]

My question, motivated by idle curiosity while sitting in LaGuardia airport, is the following. You've just proved nice result A and it is time to write the paper. What is the real goal of the paper? ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Citation of a paper with a proof you would like to improve [closed]

Imagine that you are in the following situation: You write up a proof which eventually gets published. There you need a result which is not so well-known but it is contained in another paper P; ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

When is it appropriate to entitle a paper “A note on…” or “On the …”? [closed]

I rarely find modern research papers (on mathematics) that are less than 5 pages long. However, recently I came across a couple of mathematical research papers from the 1960/1970's that were very ...
8
votes
1answer
291 views

Tags for theorems, definitions, examples, etc. in monographs

I write many telegraphic reviews of monographs and textbooks. Occasionally I see certain books do something I think should become an industry standard, namely tagging nearly every theorem, lemma, ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

What is due diligence when translating a paper?

EDIT: Part of the community has decided on a less catchy and more representative title than "Socially acceptable plagiarism (with regards to translation)". Let's run with that for a while. GRP.10.27 ...
9
votes
2answers
971 views

Am I allowed to do non-rigorous numerical analysis?

I have a paper where I am trying to show that the growth of a certain function is exponential of the order $a^n$. I would like to compute $a$, at least approximately. The base $a$ satisfies a very ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Notation in Frege's Grundgesetze der Arithmetik: The U with a flourish

In the Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, Frege used a number of strange characters for notation. I would be most interested to know anything about the typography (origin, usage and so on) of the strange U ...
1
vote
1answer
183 views

Style question — approximate exponential bound

This is a question about recommended style for a paper. I am able to show an upper bound of the form $f(n) = O(c^n)$. While I have a formula satisfied by $c$, it is a messy formula and I cannot solve ...
2
votes
0answers
1k views

Pronunciation: Vaughan Jones [closed]

Is it like "Vonn" as given here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vaughan
6
votes
1answer
683 views

Stylistic question

I'm writing up a paper now where I'm the only author and have a stylistic question. Should I write ''I'' or ''we'' as in ''I/we recall the definition...'' etc. I think this simple example will make ...
25
votes
11answers
5k views

What does the adjective “natural” actually mean?

Terms like "in the natural way" or "the natural X" are used frequently in mathematical writing. While it is certainly clear most of the time what is meant, on occasion, I have been confounded. The ...
4
votes
0answers
456 views

Using bibtex files with coauthors [closed]

When working with different coauthors, I have always had some troubles in using bibtex effectively. Everyone has its own set of bibtex entries, with keys in their own favorite format --- for instance, ...
91
votes
107answers
29k views

Most memorable titles [closed]

Apparently, for a large number of readers, the choice whether they select to read a paper or not is often strongly influenced by the title. I was wondering if the MO-users would be willing to share ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

Citing papers that are in a language that you do not read.

I have a basic question that others have definitely considered. Often there are papers that originally appeared in a language that one might not understand (and I mean a natural language here). I ...
5
votes
1answer
487 views

The main ideas in choosing the strategy for numbering displayed math

There are different strategies for numbering displayed math. The most common are 1. Number only the formulas you reference to. It makes your paper more clean and gives more freedom to the editor (i.e. ...
10
votes
3answers
800 views

Which rights do mathematicians usually have on their published works and how do they use them?

Yesterday my first work in mathematics was sent to a publisher, and of course I'm interested in its usefulness. But I know, that sometimes it is hard to get a paper, it is not available for free. I ...
59
votes
8answers
3k views

When should a result be made into a paper?

I recently posted a short (6 page) note on arXiv, and have more or less decided that I should not submit it to a journal. I could have tacked it onto the end of a previous paper, but I thought it ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a reasonable way to refer to a 23 page article with 28 authors?

Most of us have spent time compiling reference lists for papers or longer documents, a task which used to be even more time-consuming before the Internet and TeX came along (all lists had to be typed ...
15
votes
7answers
909 views

How to distribute the source of programs used in a paper?

I have written a paper, which includes an appendix discussing how to obtain numerical evidence for the result of the paper. Now the computation essentially works as follows: Create a large ...