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A Primer of Mathematical Writing
 
Steven G. Krantz Washington University, St. Louis, MO
A Primer of Mathematical Writing
Now available in new edition: MBK/112
A Primer of Mathematical Writing
Click above image for expanded view
A Primer of Mathematical Writing
Steven G. Krantz Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Now available in new edition: MBK/112
  • Book Details
     
     
    1997; 223 pp
    MSC: Primary 00; Secondary 01;

    Now available in Second Edition: MBK/112

    This book is about writing in the professional mathematical environment. While the book is nominally about writing, it's also about how to function in the mathematical profession. In many ways, this text complements Krantz's previous bestseller, How to Teach Mathematics. Those who are familiar with Krantz's writing will recognize his lively, inimitable style.

    In this volume, he addresses these nuts-and-bolts issues:

    • Syntax, grammar, structure, and style
    • Mathematical exposition
    • Use of the computer and TeX
    • E-mail etiquette
    • All aspects of publishing a journal article

    Krantz's frank and straightforward approach makes this book particularly suitable as a textbook. He does not avoid difficult topics. His intent is to demonstrate to the reader how to successfully operate within the profession. He outlines how to write grant proposals that are persuasive and compelling, how to write a letter of recommendation describing the research abilities of a candidate for promotion or tenure, and what a dean is looking for in a letter of recommendation. He further addresses some basic issues such as writing a book proposal to a publisher or applying for a job. Readers will find in reading this text that Krantz has produced a quality work which makes evident the power and significance of writing in the mathematics profession.

    Readership

    Advanced high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in technical fields; professional mathematicians, physicists, engineers, chemists, biologists, and computer scientists.

  • Table of Contents
     
     
    • Cover
    • Title
    • Copyright
    • Table of Contents
    • Preface
    • CHAPTER 1: The Basics
    • 1.1 What It Is All About
    • 1.2 Who Is My Audience?
    • 1.3 Writing and Thought
    • 1.4 Say What You Mean; Mean What You Say
    • 1.5 Proofreading, Reading for Sound, Reading for Sense
    • 1.6 Compound Sentences, Passive Voice
    • 1.7 Technical Aspects of Writing a Paper
    • 1.8 More Specifics of Mathematical Writing
    • 1.9 Pretension and Lack of Pretension
    • 1.10 We vs. I vs. One
    • 1.11 Essential Rules of Grammar, Syntax, and Usage
    • 1.12 More Rules of Grammar, Syntax, and Usage
    • CHAPTER 2: Topics Specific to the Writing of Mathematics
    • 2.1 How to Organize a Paper
    • 2.2 How to State a Theorem
    • 2.3 How to Prove a Theorem
    • 2.4 How to State a Definition
    • 2.5 How to Write an Abstract
    • 2.6 How to Write a Bibliography
    • 2.7 What to Do with the Paper Once It Is Written
    • 2.8 A Coda on Collaborative Work
    • CHAPTER 3: Exposition
    • 3.1 What Is Exposition?
    • 3.2 How to Write an Expository Article
    • 3.3 How to Write an Opinion Piece
    • 3.4 The Spirit of the Preface
    • 3.5 How Important Is Exposition?
    • CHAPTER 4: Other Types of Writing
    • 4.1 The Letter of Recommendation
    • 4.2 The Book Review
    • 4.3 The Referee's Report
    • 4.4 The Talk
    • 4.5 Your Vita, Your Grant, Your Job, Your Life
    • 4.6 Electronic Mail
    • CHAPTER 5: Books
    • 5.1 What Constitutes a Good Book?
    • 5.2 How to Plan a Book
    • 5.3 The Importance of the Preface
    • 5.4 The Table of Contents
    • 5.5 Technical Aspects: The Bibliography, the Index, Appendices, etc.
    • 5.6 How to Manage Your Time When Writing a Book
    • 5.7 What to Do with the Book Once It Is Written
    • CHAPTER 6: The Modern Writing Environment
    • 6.1 Writing on a Computer
    • 6.2 Word Processors
    • 6.3 Using a Text Editor
    • 6.4 Spell-Checkers, Grammar Checkers, and the Like
    • 6.5 What Is TEX and Why Should You Use It?
    • 6.6 Other Document Preparation Systems
    • 6.7 Graphics
    • 6.8 The Internet and hypertext
    • 6.9 Collaboration by e-Mail; Uploading and Downloading
    • CHAPTER 7: Closing Thoughts
    • 7.1 Why Is Writing Important?
    • BIBLIOGRAPHY
    • INDEX
    • A
    • B
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • H
    • I
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • P
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • T
    • U
    • V
    • W
    • Back Cover
  • Reviews
     
     
    • This book is about writing in the professional mathematical environment. While the book is nominally about writing, it's also about how to function in the mathematical profession. Krantz's frank and straightforward approach makes this particularly suitable as a textbook. He does not avoid difficult topics.

      Zentralblatt für Didaktik der Mathematik
    • Krantz provides brief but helpful advice on writing a survey article, an opinion piece, a letter of recommendation, a book review, a referee's report, a talk, a grant application, a curriculum vitae, a job application, and email. He concludes his book with a chapter called 'The modern writing environment' which discusses the use of computers, TeX, spell checkers, etc. Krantz's book is lively, entertaining and provides many amusing anecdotes ... [an] excellent and worthy candidate for a statistician's library ... more useful on your personal bookshelf than in a shared library, so it can be consulted regularly.

      Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics
    • Krantz, a prolific and distinguished mathematical author, discourses engagingly (yet seriously) on the art and etiquette of virtually all types of writing an academic mathematician is likely to encounter ... Grammatical points, stylistic and typesetting issues, and the correct and effective use of mathematical notation are handled deftly and with good humor ... [Hopefully] senior faculty will consider it mandatory reading for graduate students and even upper-division undergraduates. An enjoyable way to learn some fundamentals of good mathematical writing. Highly recommended.

      CHOICE
    • Well written in a lively style and will be found useful by anybody who is aware of the power and significance of writing in the mathematical profession.

      European Mathematical Society Newsletter
    • [Krantz has] expanded and elaborated the material in Halmos's article [1970] and added discussions of the uses of computer technology in mathematical writing ... enjoyable to read ... worth having on your bookshelf ... written in a very personal style that is meant to engage the reader in a lively conversation ... In addition, he has a chapter on how to write a book and sections on other sorts of professional prose such as referee's reports and letters of recommendation. In keeping with his general approach, he also has more to say about the psychological and sociological aspect of mathematical communication ...

      American Mathematical Monthly
    • [The book] provides a compact set of questions to consider before undertaking the writing process, questions particularly well suited for mathematical exposition. In addition to being of value to faculty interested in thinking about what they write, A Primer of Mathematical Writing would make an excellent gift for a graduate student or junior colleague.

      Journal of the American Statistical Association
  • Requests
     
     
    Review Copy – for publishers of book reviews
    Desk Copy – for instructors who have adopted an AMS textbook for a course
    Examination Copy – for faculty considering an AMS textbook for a course
    Permission – for use of book, eBook, or Journal content
    Accessibility – to request an alternate format of an AMS title
1997; 223 pp
MSC: Primary 00; Secondary 01;

Now available in Second Edition: MBK/112

This book is about writing in the professional mathematical environment. While the book is nominally about writing, it's also about how to function in the mathematical profession. In many ways, this text complements Krantz's previous bestseller, How to Teach Mathematics. Those who are familiar with Krantz's writing will recognize his lively, inimitable style.

In this volume, he addresses these nuts-and-bolts issues:

  • Syntax, grammar, structure, and style
  • Mathematical exposition
  • Use of the computer and TeX
  • E-mail etiquette
  • All aspects of publishing a journal article

Krantz's frank and straightforward approach makes this book particularly suitable as a textbook. He does not avoid difficult topics. His intent is to demonstrate to the reader how to successfully operate within the profession. He outlines how to write grant proposals that are persuasive and compelling, how to write a letter of recommendation describing the research abilities of a candidate for promotion or tenure, and what a dean is looking for in a letter of recommendation. He further addresses some basic issues such as writing a book proposal to a publisher or applying for a job. Readers will find in reading this text that Krantz has produced a quality work which makes evident the power and significance of writing in the mathematics profession.

Readership

Advanced high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in technical fields; professional mathematicians, physicists, engineers, chemists, biologists, and computer scientists.

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • CHAPTER 1: The Basics
  • 1.1 What It Is All About
  • 1.2 Who Is My Audience?
  • 1.3 Writing and Thought
  • 1.4 Say What You Mean; Mean What You Say
  • 1.5 Proofreading, Reading for Sound, Reading for Sense
  • 1.6 Compound Sentences, Passive Voice
  • 1.7 Technical Aspects of Writing a Paper
  • 1.8 More Specifics of Mathematical Writing
  • 1.9 Pretension and Lack of Pretension
  • 1.10 We vs. I vs. One
  • 1.11 Essential Rules of Grammar, Syntax, and Usage
  • 1.12 More Rules of Grammar, Syntax, and Usage
  • CHAPTER 2: Topics Specific to the Writing of Mathematics
  • 2.1 How to Organize a Paper
  • 2.2 How to State a Theorem
  • 2.3 How to Prove a Theorem
  • 2.4 How to State a Definition
  • 2.5 How to Write an Abstract
  • 2.6 How to Write a Bibliography
  • 2.7 What to Do with the Paper Once It Is Written
  • 2.8 A Coda on Collaborative Work
  • CHAPTER 3: Exposition
  • 3.1 What Is Exposition?
  • 3.2 How to Write an Expository Article
  • 3.3 How to Write an Opinion Piece
  • 3.4 The Spirit of the Preface
  • 3.5 How Important Is Exposition?
  • CHAPTER 4: Other Types of Writing
  • 4.1 The Letter of Recommendation
  • 4.2 The Book Review
  • 4.3 The Referee's Report
  • 4.4 The Talk
  • 4.5 Your Vita, Your Grant, Your Job, Your Life
  • 4.6 Electronic Mail
  • CHAPTER 5: Books
  • 5.1 What Constitutes a Good Book?
  • 5.2 How to Plan a Book
  • 5.3 The Importance of the Preface
  • 5.4 The Table of Contents
  • 5.5 Technical Aspects: The Bibliography, the Index, Appendices, etc.
  • 5.6 How to Manage Your Time When Writing a Book
  • 5.7 What to Do with the Book Once It Is Written
  • CHAPTER 6: The Modern Writing Environment
  • 6.1 Writing on a Computer
  • 6.2 Word Processors
  • 6.3 Using a Text Editor
  • 6.4 Spell-Checkers, Grammar Checkers, and the Like
  • 6.5 What Is TEX and Why Should You Use It?
  • 6.6 Other Document Preparation Systems
  • 6.7 Graphics
  • 6.8 The Internet and hypertext
  • 6.9 Collaboration by e-Mail; Uploading and Downloading
  • CHAPTER 7: Closing Thoughts
  • 7.1 Why Is Writing Important?
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY
  • INDEX
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • Back Cover
  • This book is about writing in the professional mathematical environment. While the book is nominally about writing, it's also about how to function in the mathematical profession. Krantz's frank and straightforward approach makes this particularly suitable as a textbook. He does not avoid difficult topics.

    Zentralblatt für Didaktik der Mathematik
  • Krantz provides brief but helpful advice on writing a survey article, an opinion piece, a letter of recommendation, a book review, a referee's report, a talk, a grant application, a curriculum vitae, a job application, and email. He concludes his book with a chapter called 'The modern writing environment' which discusses the use of computers, TeX, spell checkers, etc. Krantz's book is lively, entertaining and provides many amusing anecdotes ... [an] excellent and worthy candidate for a statistician's library ... more useful on your personal bookshelf than in a shared library, so it can be consulted regularly.

    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics
  • Krantz, a prolific and distinguished mathematical author, discourses engagingly (yet seriously) on the art and etiquette of virtually all types of writing an academic mathematician is likely to encounter ... Grammatical points, stylistic and typesetting issues, and the correct and effective use of mathematical notation are handled deftly and with good humor ... [Hopefully] senior faculty will consider it mandatory reading for graduate students and even upper-division undergraduates. An enjoyable way to learn some fundamentals of good mathematical writing. Highly recommended.

    CHOICE
  • Well written in a lively style and will be found useful by anybody who is aware of the power and significance of writing in the mathematical profession.

    European Mathematical Society Newsletter
  • [Krantz has] expanded and elaborated the material in Halmos's article [1970] and added discussions of the uses of computer technology in mathematical writing ... enjoyable to read ... worth having on your bookshelf ... written in a very personal style that is meant to engage the reader in a lively conversation ... In addition, he has a chapter on how to write a book and sections on other sorts of professional prose such as referee's reports and letters of recommendation. In keeping with his general approach, he also has more to say about the psychological and sociological aspect of mathematical communication ...

    American Mathematical Monthly
  • [The book] provides a compact set of questions to consider before undertaking the writing process, questions particularly well suited for mathematical exposition. In addition to being of value to faculty interested in thinking about what they write, A Primer of Mathematical Writing would make an excellent gift for a graduate student or junior colleague.

    Journal of the American Statistical Association
Review Copy – for publishers of book reviews
Desk Copy – for instructors who have adopted an AMS textbook for a course
Examination Copy – for faculty considering an AMS textbook for a course
Permission – for use of book, eBook, or Journal content
Accessibility – to request an alternate format of an AMS title
Please select which format for which you are requesting permissions.