I am an undergraduate CS student but I love Math and spend most of my time doing and reading Maths books. I realise that it's important to get into the habit of reading papers and journals so it will be easier to think of ideas for projects and research.

So, I'd like to know how I should start reading papers and what papers are good for beginners ?

The areas of Maths I really like are Discrete Mathematics, Combinatorics, Number Theory, Mathematical Induction, Problem Solving, etc. I like things like calculus too but I feel papers on Calculus would be too difficult to understand.

Also, are there any particular efficient methodologies for reading papers ? Is knowledge better gotten from books or from papers ?

Note : I want to say that there are already threads asking which papers every mathematician should read, and which every computer scientist should read. The purpose of this thread is slightly different. It isn't asking which standard papers everyone should know. It's asking which papers allow for an incisive entry into deeper knowledge of the subject.

P.S. : For the benefit of anyone who sees this thread later, I did find a wonderful journal called Crux Mathematicorum dedicated solely to problem solving ! They allow free access to their back issues on their website. Other good journals I found were Parabola and Pi in The Sky, both of which can be read online for free.

  • $\begingroup$ Relevant: blog.geomblog.org/2016/01/… and cstheory.stackexchange.com/a/2180/13319 $\endgroup$ – Clement C. Feb 25 '16 at 23:57
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    $\begingroup$ Papers in most subsubfields of math require some relevant background both in general experience with formal mathematics and content knowledge. Sometimes an undergrad intro to combinatorics is enough, but often much more specialized knowledge is required. Without a particular paper you'd like to read, I'd say just start with undergrad/graduate textbooks first and then branch out into real papers. $\endgroup$ – Mark S. Feb 26 '16 at 4:57
  • $\begingroup$ Do you know of any good papers dealing with problem solving, perhaps ? Those problems don't require too much knowledge but test skill. $\endgroup$ – user230452 Feb 26 '16 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure how much research there is on problem solving, and if there were any, I would expect it to belong more to the educational side of the spectrum, rather than being focused primarily on mathematical content. That said, George Polya concentrated quite a bit on problem solving, and you may want to look into any of this books, in particular, How to Solve It. $\endgroup$ – pjs36 Feb 26 '16 at 5:15
  • $\begingroup$ I'm looking for journals/books of a similar spirit as Polya's book. $\endgroup$ – user230452 Feb 27 '16 at 17:36

Since, I have not gotten any answer, I will put my own answer to this question shortly. It my be of help to anyone in the future who finds this.


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