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Mathematical Writing (Mathematical Association of America Notes)

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0883850633
ISBN-10: 088385063X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'The mathematics teacher who is trying to understand what can be gained by using writing or is looking for several examples of how teachers have actually used writing in their mathematics classes will find this book to be an excellent review.' The Mathematics Teacher

Book Description

This is an all-out attack on the problem of teaching people the art of mathematical writing. This book will give aid and encouragement to those wishing to teach a course in technical writing, or to those who wish to write themselves.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Mathematical Association of America Notes (Book 14)
  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: The Mathematical Association of America (June 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088385063X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883850633
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,422,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Michael Greinecker on September 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
The book is based on lecture notes of a course for Stanford CS students. The lecture notes aren't very polished, but the chatty tone makes good reading. The book is incredibly funny, but some people may not like that.
Guest lecturers include outstanding people like Leslie Lamport and Paul Halmos. The content is excellent, especially the parts about writing proofs. Some parts are of more interest to computer scientists, but most of it is valuable to anyone engaged in mathematical writing.
Despite all the good things, this book doesn't really stand alone and should be complemented with other books, like the one by Krantz.
P.S.: A almost complete TEX version of the book can be found on the web.
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Format: Paperback
These are "lecture notes" from a course taught by Knuth. The first third of this pamphlet is extremely useful and should be read by all researchers who are beginning to write technical papers. The remainder of the pamphlet is more spotty in quality and is marred by some needless digressions and ocassional obsession with minutae. In other words, it violates its own advice: it is not concise and to-the-point.

All in all, a useful resource. It is never boring, and as a bonus provides a good idea of Knuth's teaching---which I have never witnessed first hand.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked up a copy of Knuth's mathematical writing notes when I was a graduate student in computer science (really not that long ago, actually). This book is a great starting point for new technical writers, and it is a great supplement for more experienced writers that want to polish their craft.

This manuscript is a series of Knuth's notes that comment on a variety of topics related to making technical writing both precise and readable. Admittedly, some are more useful than others, but everything considered the useful material is definitely worth the cost.

Knuth provides a lot of do's and don'ts for people who do math-heavy writing, many of which stick with you after one read. I could see how this book could be a useful resource for grad students, post-docs, or researchers/teachers in a number of fields. If more effort was put into refining the material I think that it could have been a much more valuable and definitive book on the subject (I'm not aware of any others, but more texts like this are needed). Still, it is well worth the money.
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Format: Paperback
Heartily Recommend. Sure, a TeX version may be freely available. However, if you aren't a starving student. Why not help out the MAA and Don Knuth. It isn't as expensive a Hardbound TeX (Five in the Series) are, after all.
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