Questions tagged [writing]

For questions about student writing in mathematics, including considerations about assigning, grading, motivating, and improving students' written work.

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3
votes
2answers
377 views

Why are proofs written in flowery language incomprehensible?

Let's take an example in Wu-Ki Tung, Group theory in physics: Theorem 3.4: Irreducible representations of any abelian group must be of dimension one. Proof: Let $U(G)$ be an irreducible ...
18
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10answers
2k views

How to Write Steps of Solving Equations?

This is a common way to write the steps during solving equations: But in GeoGebra the steps are shown this way (the highlighted part): I'm going to use GeoGebra to teach equations. Is it OK to let ...
7
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5answers
663 views

How to write variables on the board, which are supposed to be italicised?

We know that in writings in mathematics, variables are usually italicised. Now the question is, in handwriting on the board, how should we write the variables differently? As an example, say I want ...
15
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3answers
209 views

How to teach students the value of concrete counterexamples?

I teach exercise sessions for a Linear Algebra course for 1st semester students in Europe. Students have to prepare some exercises at home. In class, I call on students to present their solutions. ...
14
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4answers
197 views

Teaching the proper syntax of “such that”

I'm teaching a college course in discrete math, where students are writing their first proofs. One of the phrases we use a lot in mathematical English is such that. I notice that students don't seem ...
8
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5answers
736 views

Electronic devices to replace pencil and paper

My question is similar to this one: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/1833459/math-without-pencil-and-paper Except I'm not physically disabled. Pencil and paper have been used for centuries to ...
16
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2answers
193 views

What are some strategies to remedy and accommodate dysgraphia?

I have a few students that have difficulties writing. To generalize, these students have nearly illegible handwriting, they take a very long time to write, they become anxious or fatigued when writing ...
7
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1answer
158 views

Native language, writing, and mathematical problem solving

This question is meant to explore the intuition that mathematical thought does not most naturally proceed from writing in one's native language. The hackneyed and not entirely satisfying slogan that ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Tips to improve blackboard writing

During the internship I recently finished I came to realise how important it is to have a good and structured use of the blackboard when teaching mathematics to 12-14 year pupils. Circumstances forced ...
12
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1answer
203 views

How important is the act of writing his own script for the learning outcome?

There are several styles of delivering a lecture: The lecturer uses the blackboard and the students write their own lecture notes. The lecturer uses the blackboard and also provide a script so that ...
18
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3answers
332 views

Critiquing Proof Style During Class

I would like to spend a day with my students analyzing mathematical writing. One way I might accomplish this is to offer multiple proofs (some good, some poor) of the same simple statement and ask ...
7
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1answer
128 views

Has anyone written anything notable on the relation between mathematical progress and the simplification of proofs overtime?

The author of an answer on math.se remarked that much of mathematical progress is a factor of the accrual of both, theorems, which other mathematicians can use in their proofs, and more efficient ...
8
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1answer
383 views

“Probable” vs. “Likely”; Choosing the Appropriate Word

In some school textbooks, before introducing the probability as a number between $0$ and $1$, the words "likely", "More likely", "less likely" etc. are used to indicate the likelihood of an event. ...
23
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8answers
1k views

How to write like a mathematician?

I learned to do math proofs in college. But recently I have begun studying more advanced math books and I've noticed some mathematicians frequently make assumptions that I don't. When I write proofs, ...
14
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3answers
397 views

Calculation versus writing in mathematics

Writing mathematics is an important activity of the mathematician. In trying to write one's mathematics, one finds ways to balance intuition and rigor and to efficiently communicate concepts and ideas ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What are some good final project prompts for a calculus class (where they have to write a “paper”)?

This is very similar to a question I asked at MSE a while back ago but I think it is far more appropriate here. https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/632139/examples-of-open-ended-calculus-class-...
10
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3answers
240 views

In math courses with writing requirements, how should large papers be graded fairly?

In a course I am teaching this semester, I am required to have my students write a large (6-12 page or so) paper worth 40% of their grade. Many other colleges have courses with similar requirements, e....
9
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2answers
181 views

Peer Review of Mathematical Essays

Background I find that the best way for my mathematical modeling class to understand the modeling process is by having the experience of modeling some real world situation of their group's choosing. ...
19
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4answers
2k views

Students' Messy Sheets: The Big Problem of Exams and Homeworks

Students' messy exam and homework sheets (which are messy because of a bad handwriting or an irregular logical argument in proofs) cause many serious problems. e.g. Reading their arguments takes ...
29
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7answers
919 views

How can we help students learn to write about their mathematics?

As a guiding example, imagine an undergraduate Calculus II course where students have to complete a guided "research project" and write a "paper" about their work. This can be a shockingly new ...
13
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2answers
131 views

Ideas for term papers in a graduate or advanced undergraduate class

In my graduate courses, I often have my students write term papers on original mathematical topics. I explain the process in this answer over at MathOverflow. It works fairly well for me. But I'd be ...