The mathematical-writing tag has no usage guidance.

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151 views

### Use of ternary operator in formal writing

I would like to write
$$
f(x) = \begin{cases}1&\mbox{if }x = 1\\ 0&\mbox{otherwise.}\end{cases}
$$
However, this eats up a lot of vertical space for a very simple statement. Is there agreed ...

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votes

**0**answers

99 views

### What to do about Secondary Results that are of Independent Interest?

I am thinking about writing an online article about a simplified algorithm for a problem $P$, for which efficient solutions are already known, whose implementation is however challenging.
My ...

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votes

**1**answer

137 views

### Style guide for referring to past work

Has anyone written or expressed a coherent position on how to refer to mathematical results (theorems, proofs) by past authors? Even if there are no hard and fast rules, I find it helpful to have a ...

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votes

**1**answer

117 views

### Correction symbols used for mathematical texts [closed]

When proof reading and correcting a mathematical text, I sometimes see people use special notation symbols in the margin to indicate correction, deletion, replacement and so on. Is there any standard ...

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votes

**0**answers

154 views

### When do you use “s” apostrophe to refer to authors ($e.g.$ of inequalities)? [closed]

I remarked that there does not seem to be a general rule whether one should use or not an "s" apostrophe for inequalities For example, we can encounter Hölder's inequality, but Minkowski or Sobolev ...

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votes

**6**answers

1k views

### How to cite authors from any country correctly?

It has always seemed to me that the Mathematical Community gives a high importance to the act of properly citing an author (Do not write Erdos! It's Erdős. Cauchy must be read as in French, not as in ...

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votes

**3**answers

576 views

### “Let” versus “for all” [closed]

I have noticed that many authors tend to use "let" instead of "for all". For example, they write something like this:
Let $n$ be an even natural number. Then also $n^2$ is even.
I wonder, why ...

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votes

**29**answers

8k views

### Most intriguing mathematical epigraphs

Good epigraphs may attract more readers. Sometimes it is necessary.
Usually epigraphs are interesting but not intriguing.
To pick up an epigraph is some kind of nearly mathematical problem: it ...

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votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Mathematical writing : using an “out-of-date” notation

When I wrote my master's thesis, a professor who read it said that I should not use the phrase "A function of class $k$." but instead "A function of class $C^k$". I am not an expert about mathematical ...

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votes

**2**answers

1k views

### When to postpone a proof?

One possible practice in writing mathematics is to prove every theorem and lemma right after stating it.
A long, technical proof — and sometimes even a short one — can interrupt the flow ...

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votes

**3**answers

3k views

### How to write an abstract for a math paper? [closed]

How would you go about writing an abstract for a Math paper? I know that an abstract is supposed to "advertise" the paper. However, I do not really know how to get started. Could someone tell me how ...

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votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Style of mathematical writing vs. too many lemmas

I work in PDEs. I have now written 3 papers. I find my style is of the form: introduction, statement of results, paragraphs to introduce something, lemma, more text, lemma, more text, lemma, more text,...

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votes

**0**answers

175 views

### When is it appropriate to name something a 'fundamental lemma'? [closed]

The term 'fundamental lemma' refers to many results in mathematics. I don't know too many results referred to by that name, but I am familiar with, for example, the 'fundamental lemma of sieve theory' ...

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votes

**17**answers

11k views

### Parodies of abstruse mathematical writing

Perhaps under the influence of a recent question
on perverse sheaves,
in conjunction with the impending $\pi$-day (3/14/15 at 9:26:53),
I recalled a long-ago parody of abstruse mathematical language
...

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votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Different styles of writing/reading articles

Recently, I discovered a rather unexpected thing. We are writing an article in collaboration and we permanently have some discussions about how to write, in which order, how to organize material etc.
...

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votes

**3**answers

1k views

### How to refer to plural of mathematical symbols - with or without an apostrophe [closed]

Which one is correct, $x_i$s or $x_i$'s?
Example sentence:
The $x_i$s form a sequence.
The $x_i$'s form a sequence.

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votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Collaboration or acknowledgment?

This post is a sequel of: When should a supervisor be a co-author?
This time the topic is about the interaction between two professional mathematicians (in particular junior-senior, but not ...

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votes

**3**answers

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 ...

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votes

**5**answers

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 ...

**22**

votes

**0**answers

659 views

### Good ways to organize old personal mathematical resources

I am wondering how the other Mathematicians organize their old mathematical resources, like calculation drafts, class and seminar notes etc.
These old resources may be related to a wide range of ...

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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 ...

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votes

**1**answer

326 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 $x = a$:
$f'(a)$;
$\frac{\operatorname{d}{f(a)}}{\operatorname{d}x}$;
$\left.\frac{\operatorname{...

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votes

**3**answers

354 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 ...

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votes

**0**answers

285 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 ...

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votes

**1**answer

100 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?

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votes

**1**answer

326 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 ...

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votes

**4**answers

2k views

### What is a good poster for a math conference?

I'm going to participate to a conference and they ask me to do a poster on my research. I've never made a poster for a conference/seen a poster session in a conference. So what is important? What do ...

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votes

**2**answers

168 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 & ...

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votes

**1**answer

495 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 ...

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votes

**2**answers

601 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 ...

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votes

**1**answer

1k 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 ...

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votes

**3**answers

1k 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 ...

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votes

**3**answers

844 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 ...

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votes

**1**answer

1k 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
...

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votes

**5**answers

1k views

### Historical use of figures in geometry

I was surprised to learn from John Stillwell's comment in answer to the
question,
"Can the unsolvability of quintics be seen in the geometry of the icosahedron?",
that
There is not a single ...

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votes

**1**answer

315 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 ...

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votes

**1**answer

305 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 ...

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votes

**1**answer

247 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.
...

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votes

**3**answers

830 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?

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votes

**3**answers

723 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

**1**answer

414 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?

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votes

**2**answers

1k 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. ...

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votes

**2**answers

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 ...

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votes

**2**answers

540 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. ...

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votes

**2**answers

768 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: ...

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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 ...

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votes

**3**answers

300 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 (...

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vote

**1**answer

805 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 - ...

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votes

**2**answers

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 ...

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votes

**14**answers

6k 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 ...