Various aspects of writing mathematics such as style, notation, grammar, frequently used phrases and common mistakes.

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22
votes
8answers
3k views

LaTeX/TeX Vs. Mathematica for Typesetting [closed]

I know Mathematica like the back of my hand, but I do not know a speck of $\LaTeX$ or $\TeX$. With regard to mathematical typesetting, is there something significant I can do in $\LaTeX$/$\TeX$ that I ...
12
votes
5answers
239 views

Checking that a $3$-D diagram is commutative

When proving certain results I need to use commutative diagrams, some of which quite complicated. My question is: Do we need to check every small square all the time to make sure that they are all ...
0
votes
1answer
12 views

Definition of a function whose codomain is set of probability measure over cartesian product with dependency between sets in the product

I am thinking about the following function: $$ p : A \to \Delta \big( F(x, y(t) ) \times T \big) ,$$ where $t \in T$ denotes continuous time, and $\Delta (X)$ denotes the set of all probability ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

$\mapsto$ functional notation and probability distributions

I have a question concerning mathematical writing. If we have a function $f: X \to Y$, we can write it \begin{align} f: \ & X \to Y \\ & x \mapsto f(x), \end{align} where $f(x)$ can ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Expressing Math Equations Image Shifting

I'm confused how to express the following expression in math equations for scientific publication: imagex = shifted version of imagey left with z pixels. I thought about this: imagex ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

How to simplify the equation of combination?

If there are three random variables and three related thresholds, how to simplify the following expression by summation or multiply or other operators? Thank you. ...
2
votes
2answers
39 views

Concise description of why rotation quaternions use half the angle

I'm currently writing the report on my master thesis project, where I use Android sensors to perform inertial navigation in a heavy industrial environment. In my application, I make use of quaternions ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

LaTeX template for NSF attachments? [migrated]

Does anyone have a nice LaTeX file template for the preparation of NSF attachments, please? I hear they are picky about margin sizes, etc. Thank you all.
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Proper way of adding a glossary to an article

I am thinking of adding a glossary to an article of mine, I was wondering if there is an etiquette regarding adding a glossary of symbols and notations? To be frank I have not seen one in any recent ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Formulation: Smooth vs. finitely often differentiable

I treat the cases $f\in C^\infty$ and $f\in C^k$ in different sections of my thesis. While I am happy with the title smooth functions for the first section, I am not so sure if finitely often ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Referencing a Theorem in a Paper?

I'm making the final edits for a paper and I have a question more about the etiquette. I want to use a theorem from another paper and its obvious I have to cite it, but do I need to prove it too? I ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Article writing: How to represent a matrix by its elements?

Intuitively I guess that parantheses with subscript and superscripts is a way of representing a matrix or an array by its elements, e.g., $$ A = (a_{i,j})_{i,j=1}^n $$ (This is taken from here) ...
9
votes
3answers
380 views

Should I cite the original source or a book?

In the introduction to my thesis, I cite a lot of classical results from the 19th and early 20th century. Should I try and cite the original source for these results, or does that look like I am ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Two questions regarding mathematical writing

I am a German mathematics student. I have two questions: First question: When writing several equivalent equations, we usually write this as: $x^2 = 4$ $\Leftrightarrow x = \pm 2$ I have never ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

How to formally express a negative statement (in the wording or formulation of a theorem, for instance)

This is a doubt about English mathematical formal language. I would like to know the best way to express a negative hypothesis, in the formulation or statement of a theorem, proposition, etc., using ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Huge case analysis in an article

I am writing this article on a graph related problem. In an important lemma dealing with classification of a type of graphs, I am undergoing this huge and tedious case analysis involving ...
12
votes
4answers
623 views

How to learn/speak “mathematical english”?

Good day! I was wondering if there is a good way to learn "maths in english". I am studying mathematics in Germany (I am from Germany, so english is not my native language) and have recently started ...
20
votes
4answers
620 views

Why do single-author math papers use “we” instead of “I”? [duplicate]

Even when math papers are authored by one person, you will see stuff like "We now prove so and so" or "In the following section, we show that...". How come papers with one author use "we" instead of ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Is there a name for this curve? Or, how should I describe the behavior of this graph (in words)?

I simulated some results that look like this: but I don't want to include the plot (my advisor is keeping me to a strict limit on figures and these are minor intermediate results). Is there a name ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Placement of quantifiers in a symbolic statement

I have the statement: Let $A_n$ be an indexed set of numbers defined by $A_n = n\mathbb{Z}_{\geq m}$ for $n,m \in \mathbb{Z}$. Consider the claim C: For all $n$, if $x,y$ is in $A_n$, then ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

What is an adjective for “weaker than weak”?

I defined a notion (say, some kind of equivalence) in three forms, the first implies the second, which in turn implies the third. I would like to use "strong", (nothing), and "weak" to describe them. ...
0
votes
2answers
27 views

Proper use of indicator function

Given a set $X$ and a subset $A \subseteq X$ the indicator function $\boldsymbol{1}_{A} : X \rightarrow \{0,1\}$ of $A$ is defined as $$\boldsymbol{1}_{A}(x) = \begin{cases} 1 & \text{if } x \in A ...
8
votes
1answer
65 views

Is there a standard name for this “continuous induction” principle?

I am working on a paper, and I want to prove that some statement $P(x)$ holds for every value of a parameter $x \in [0,\infty)$. I plan to proceed as follows: Show that $P(0)$; Show that if $P(x)$ ...
7
votes
3answers
80 views

Formal writing in math: equations

What is the formally correct way to solve a bunch of equations in math? Is it \begin{align} 42x = 4324 \\ x = 4324/42 \end{align} or \begin{align} 42x = 4324 \\ \Rightarrow x = 4324/42 \end{align} or ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

Undergraduate Research Thesis

1. General background information ★ At my university [whose name I will omit] the following practices are customary: ● During their third year of study, students have approximately $4$ ...
0
votes
0answers
148 views

RSA and El Gamal Algorithms

I have to write a short report about RSA and El Gamal algorithms in cryptography. I just need to summarize them (how one would calculate the various components, what their strengths and weaknesses ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

How should I describe this limiting operation in an equation

In the code I've written, I receive a delta between two position vectors, I then limit this delta by a maximum delta and return the value. To be clear: the direction of the vector remains the same, ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Writing finite field notation

I am trying to write about finite fields in a word document, and although usually writing in latex form works, it's not in this case. It works fine here: $\mathbb{F}$: I used \mathbb{F} But it ...
13
votes
8answers
307 views

Mathematicians' manual of style

I know that there are many styles to write citations and footnotes and that they are all equally good (as long as the reference is complete), but I would like to know if mathematicians follow some ...
8
votes
1answer
917 views

What is “observation”?

Often in mathematical writing one encounters texts like ''..we observe that this-and-that..''. Also one may find a review report basically saying ''..the paper is just a chain of observations...''. ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

References of papers published in ArXiv

To prove a theorem I use a result of a paper published in ArXiv. This paper has also been accepted for publication in a journal. In reference I must mention the arXiv or the journal where the paper ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Is there a published standard for the sectioning of math papers?

Most papers seem to use sections (e.g. 3) and sub-sections (e.g. 3.1). Is there a published standard that says what sort of thing warrants its own section and what sort of thing warrants its own ...
3
votes
0answers
129 views

In a math paper, what is a remark?

I sometimes see paragraphs labeled 'Remark.' However, papers that include remarks also include unlabeled explanatory paragraphs (i.e. all the other writing in the article) that seem to be remarks. ...
3
votes
0answers
43 views

Formulating equation for distances between atoms

I'm trying to formulate notation to describe code that calculates the distances between protein atoms (represented as points in 3D space). Fragments consist of residues (amino acids) and each residue ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

The word “onto” - adjective?

According to Oxford English dictionary, the word "onto" is preposition only but I see it used as an adjective in mathematical writings. I think it is grammatically correct to say that "$f$ maps $X$ ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

The use of “consistent with”.

This is a simple question about writing but I'm a little bit confused now about the logic in using "consistent with". The context is as follows: We first derive a formula for a special case, say, for ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

a.s. for all $t$ or for all $t$ a.s.?

Assume that we have some equality, $$ X (t) = Y(t). \quad \quad \quad \quad \quad \quad \quad (1) $$ I imagine that if I say "(1) holds a.s. for all $t>0$" it means that $$ P\{X (t) = Y(t) ...
16
votes
3answers
303 views

Good examples of mathematical writing (structural organization, style, typesetting, and so on)

A very famous question on MathOveflow asks for examples of good mathematical writing. Here, I'd like to narrow down the topic and ask: $\color{#c00}{\text{Question:}}$ Could you point ...
-1
votes
1answer
163 views

Is the phrase “recall that…” an abuse? [closed]

I love how in some proofs delivered formally or informally, you would always encounter the phrase "recall that". The irony here is that you precisely do not recall this notion or formula e.g. the ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

What are best practices when writing (sub)equations?

I wonder when it's preferred or better to use subequations instead of normal equations. I.e. when to use 'normally' numbered equations (e.g. (1), (2), ...) and when to use subequations (e.g. (1a), ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Notation and Quantifiers

I was wondering what is a natural way to write certain formal expressions, without make them look too cumbersome. In particular, what I learned from various books is that, when we deal with the ...
2
votes
4answers
140 views

Use of the word “shall” in mathematical writing [closed]

Sometimes I really want to use the word "shall" in my writing. But I get unnerved because I got a feeling it's pretentious or outdated. Any opinions? Is it a nice variation on "will"? Other ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

$1,2,\cdots,n$ or $1,\cdots,n$?

In mathematical writing, when should one write "$1,2,\cdots,n$" and when should one write "$1,\cdots,n$"? It seems to me that writing $1,2,\cdots,n$ is actually wrong if $n=1$ is allowed. When ...
2
votes
2answers
307 views

Using Comma in if…then Conditional Sentences

Many English grammar books state that in an "if ... then" conditional sentence, the word then should be preceded by a comma. However, in mathematical writing I often see that this rule is ignored. ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

“a” RKHS or “an RKHS” [closed]

I am confused if I should use "a" or "an" before RKHS (reproducing kernel Hilbert space). Since "R" is not a vowel, I think I should use "a". But I saw both on Wikipedia. Can you tell me which is ...
-1
votes
1answer
56 views

A basic question of basic writing

When we define some term by a notation starting with the word "define" or "let", which of the following is correct? Define $A=x+2y$; or, define $A \equiv x+2y$.
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Write theorem conditions concisely

Let $Z$ be a set, $x$ be some object. Let the following statements hold (for some logical formulas $P,P_1,\dots,P_n$ and some logical formula $Q$): $\forall z\in Z:(P(x) \Leftrightarrow Q(x,z))$ ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Name the maps in a commutative diagram

When writing a formal paper sometimes one needs to construct complicated commutative diagrams, such as My question is, should one always give names to all maps in the diagram (perhaps except those ...
0
votes
2answers
117 views

How to write in mathematical symbols the expression “range over”

My question is really simple, how can I write symbolically this phrase: $x=\sum a_mx^m$ where $m$ range over $\{1,\ldots,g\}\setminus\{t_1,\ldots,t_u\}$ Being more specific, I would like to ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

What is the terminology for “lemma of lemma”

Let's say I need to prove a main theorem, to prove which I need three lemmas. Thus in writing the structure is as follows: Lemma 1 Proof Lemma 2 Proof Lemma 3 Proof ...