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How to Think Like a Mathematician by Kevin Houston

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CHAPTER 3

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Writing mathematics I

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We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover up all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or describe how you had the wrong idea first, and so on.

Richard Feynman, Nobel Lecture, 1966

As a lecturer my toughest initial task in turning enthusiastic students into able mathematicians is to force them (yes, force them) to write mathematics correctly. Their first submitted assessments tend to be incomprehensible collections of symbols, ...

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