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I suppose the word "importance" in the equation can allow for some subjective input (some papers might be important to certain people, while to others not so important for their work). This paper, entitled Finiteness of the number of compatibly-split subvarieties by Kumar and Mehta, is only 3 pages long: http://arxiv.org/abs/0901.2098 For those who work ...


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Maybe the paper of R. Brauer and Fowler, K. A. (1955): "On groups of even order", Annals of Mathematic, Second Series 62: 565–583, ISSN 0003-486X, JSTOR 1970080, MR 0074414 deserves a mention since this is generally accepted as the point when it was realised the Classification of the Finite Simple Groups might be a feasible project.


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Pretty late to the party here but Kantorovich's "On the translocation of masses" from 1942 is two pages. It gave a radically new look on the Monge problem of optimal transportation and can be seen as the starting point of an immense body of work on optimal transport and distances in probability spaces.


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An algorithm for the machine calculation of complex Fourier series by Cooley and Tukey, which introduces the fast fourier transform.


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Some general points I find important: focus on the main results don't spend time with proofs (people can read those them self) don't give any hand-outs (this just distracts people; wastes paper) put the important points on the slides, talk about what is not on the slides don't put too much into the slides, make the fonts big and readable humor is useful to ...


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Do: Use black board. Don't: Use computer. This is a good read: www.ams.org/notices/201302/rnoti-p235.pdf


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The following is not my invention, but I cannot recall where I saw it to give a proper credit. Anyway, I myself follow this advice for all of my own talks. Before preparing your presentation, ask yourself: If there were only one thing I can tell the audience, what would this thing be? Now, when you have a clear answer, keep it in mind preparing the ...



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