Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am writing a scientific article with a few mathematical equations. Can I assume that my audience will know what lhs and rhs mean?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Aryabhata, Mariano Suárez-Alvarez, t.b., Qiaochu Yuan Feb 24 '11 at 17:42

Questions on Mathematics Stack Exchange are expected to relate to math within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4  
This question is not about mathematics at all. –  Adrián Barquero Feb 24 '11 at 17:00
2  
Well David, the fact that they suggested you to ask it in here does not imply that it is appropriate for this site. –  Adrián Barquero Feb 24 '11 at 17:07
2  
Agree with Adrián. Voted to close as off-topic. –  Aryabhata Feb 24 '11 at 17:15
3  
This is relevant. It is about how mathematics is discussed. I agree with PEV's comment it should be LHS and RHS. But the first time you use it, just mention left hand side(LHS). –  picakhu Feb 24 '11 at 17:15
1  
The answer to the question as stated depends on your audience. I agree that this is not a mathematical question. –  Qiaochu Yuan Feb 24 '11 at 17:42
show 2 more comments

4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

If you even have to think if your audience knows what a particular abbreviation means, then you must explain it.

In any case, writing LHS/RHS in anything but very informal contexts seems simply unacceptable to me.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I like to define acronyms like:

"The left hand side (LHS) of Equation 1..."

And then use LHS throughout the rest of the paper if it is used frequently. If you only use "left hand side" a few times, it's best to just spell it out.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I think abbreviations like that rarely pay.

share|improve this answer
    
Agreed. I would never use those abbreviations without explanation even when writing for mathematicians! –  Hans Lundmark Feb 24 '11 at 17:32
2  
Ironic answer from someone with your name! –  wildildildlife Feb 24 '11 at 20:41
add comment

I think it should be pretty obvious. Or you can simply say that LHS means "left hand side" and RHS means "right hand side." But many biologists have probably studied some probability or statistics. So they might have seen this notation before.

share|improve this answer
    
good point; is more proper to use capitalization? –  David Feb 24 '11 at 17:04
    
@David: I think it is proper to use capitalization. –  PEV Feb 24 '11 at 17:06
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.