# Tagged Questions

**14**

votes

**8**answers

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

**1**answer

148 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

**3**answers

274 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

**0**answers

171 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

**1**answer

81 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?

**3**

votes

**1**answer

353 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

**2**answers

508 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

**1**answer

384 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 ...

**11**

votes

**3**answers

710 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 ...

**16**

votes

**3**answers

775 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

**1**answer

376 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

**2**answers

271 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

**1**answer

289 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 ...

**13**

votes

**3**answers

614 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

**3**answers

620 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 ...

**-3**

votes

**2**answers

804 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. ...

**24**

votes

**2**answers

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 ...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

978 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 ...

**40**

votes

**14**answers

4k 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

**4**answers

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?
...

**21**

votes

**4**answers

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 ...

**87**

votes

**107**answers

28k 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 ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

485 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

**3**answers

785 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 ...

**58**

votes

**8**answers

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 ...

**18**

votes

**5**answers

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 ...

**20**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Community experiences writing Lamport's structured proofs

About two years ago, I came across this paper by Lamport
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/lamport/pubs/lamport-how-to-write.pdf
on writing proofs hierarchically. It changed how I wrote ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

5k views

### Using LaTeX, how can I restate a theorem, with the same theorem number, later in a paper? [closed]

I am writing a paper, and would like to state the main results in the Introduction. Then, when I come to prove the main results in later sections, I would like to restate the theorem before ...

**14**

votes

**9**answers

3k views

### Should one use “above” and “below” in mathematical writing?

I started thinking about this question because of this discussion:
http://sbseminar.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/negative-value-added-by-journals/
about how journals often change a paper (for the worse) ...

**4**

votes

**3**answers

4k views

### “In the sequel” - outdated mathematical jargon or precise technical term? [closed]

Possible Duplicate: http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/907/correct-usage-of-the-phrase-in-the-sequel-history-alternatives
As a non-native speaker of English, I have been perplexed by the phrase ...

**14**

votes

**6**answers

4k views

### What's the notation for a function restricted to a subset of the codomain?

Suppose I have a function f : A → B between two sets A and B. (The same question applies to group homomorphisms, continuous maps between topological spaces, etc. But for simpicity let's restrict ...

**6**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### Typesetting mathematics: how do {\em you} convert text into pdf?

Prompted by this question I would like to ask the community how they convert their mathematics into pdf files. In any given procedure for converting mathematics into pdf I am interested in two ...

**27**

votes

**19**answers

8k views

### Math paper authors' order

It seems in writing math papers collaborators put their names in the alphabetical order of their last name. Is this a universal accepted norm? I could not find a place putting this down formally.

**56**

votes

**16**answers

12k views

### What is the definition of “canonical”?

I just received a referee report criticizing that I would too often use the word "canonical". I have a certain understanding of what "canonical" should stand for, but the report shows me that other ...

**28**

votes

**10**answers

11k views

### Theorem versus Proposition

As a non-native English speaker (and writer) I always had the problem of understanding the distinction between a 'Theorem' and a 'Proposition'. When writing papers, I tend to name only the main ...

**22**

votes

**10**answers

3k views

### Value of “of course” in the mathematical literature

I've been thinking about the value of writing "of course" in mathematical papers (or its variants such as "obviously" etc.). In particular, my current train of thought is, if something is obvious, ...

**55**

votes

**17**answers

18k views

### Periods and commas in mathematical writing

I just realized that I am a barbarian when it comes to writing. But I am not entirely sure, so this might be the right place to ask. When typing display-mode formulae do you guys add a period after ...

**35**

votes

**12**answers

5k views

### Cures for mathematician's block (as in writer's block) [closed]

What kind of things do you find that help you get the "creative juices flowing," to use a tired cliche, when you're stuck or burnt out on a problem? I've read about some studies that suggest listening ...

**29**

votes

**17**answers

5k views

### Great mathematical figures and/or diagrams?

Most math papers have few figures, if any, although sometimes a well-chosen figure can be a tremendous help in understanding mathematical concepts. Does anyone have any examples of notable uses of ...

**17**

votes

**9**answers

3k views

### How to write math well?

Let's learn about writing good mathematical texts.
For some people it could be especially interesting to answer about writing texts on Math Overflow, though I personally feel like I've already ...

**82**

votes

**75**answers

19k views

### Examples of great mathematical writing

This question is basically from Ravi Vakil's web page, but modified for Math Overflow.
How do I write mathematics well? Learning by example is more helpful than being told what to do, so let's try to ...