Mathematical Writing

Course Description and Grading Breakdown
This course is designed to satisfy the Caltech core writing requirement. Students are to write a professional-looking mathematical paper (perhaps 10 pages) with the help of a faculty mentor and the advice of the instructor (me). There will be several rounds of comments and revision. The paper must have high mathematical content, and it must be technical; that is, it must include definitions, equations, and theorems. It may be a research paper or an expository one at a level understandable by undergraduates. Papers are to be in the style of a journal article, with title page, section headings, theorems properly formatted, some displayed and numbered equations, and references. It is expected that students will use the TeX (or LaTeX) typesetting program. Students are asked to email documents as PDF or LaTeX files.

Course Meeting Time and Location
Organizational Meeting - Tuesday April 3 4:00 - 4:55 pm
122 Math Building (Building 15)

Course Instructor Contact Information and Office Hours
109 Math Building (Building 15)

TA Contact Information and Office Hours
2-F Math Building

Course Schedule and Textbook


Course Policies


Grades will be based upon the written paper. Tardiness will be taken into account. Mentors may be faculty and postdoctoral fellows in mathematics, applied mathematics, or related fields. It is the student's responsibility to find a mentor, but the instructor is willing to discuss possibilities. (Mentors are optional.)



Here is a long document about technical writing from a course at Stanford.  The first (very short) section is especially recommended for basic tips as well as common mistakes to avoid.

This webpage contains many, many resources about the writing of mathematics.  Let me know which, if any, you like and would recommend to others.

Assignments (All assignments are emailed to the TA by 2pm of the due date)
Due DateHomeworkSolutions
April 13A proposed topic and description (a paragraph or two about what you will do). Any format is fine. If you propose to work on editing/refining a formerly written manuscript (of which you are the sole author), send the TA a copy at this time. 
April 27Abstract, partial Intro, some section titles, theorem statements, references. Around 2 pages, in LaTex. 
May 11Partial draft -- around 5 pages. 
May 29Complete draft -- around 10 pages 
June 4Final paper