Deconstructing the mathematical paper

As part of the Reimagining the Mathematical Paper workshop at Bridges 2018, participants were asked to find different methods for taking apart and classifying a few pages of a published paper. Some of the methods they came up with are as follows:

  • Ordering sections according to symbolic content (other participants asked whether there tended to be more symbols in certain sections, and though the group hadn’t paid attention to this as they went, they agreed this might be of interest)
  • Noticing which sentences were in the imperative mood
  • Finding alternative ways to understand particular sentences
  • Noticing the agency of the sentences: often there was an agentless sentence followed by a ‘we’ sentence
  • Finding five different ways to read a paper: backward, first sentence of each paragraph only, figure captions only, etc. This technique is used by a participant in the refereeing process!
  • Considering the exclusive we, the inclusive we, the royal we, passive voice, and so on
  • Reducing the amount of text and instead integrating labels into the image, making it interactive etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s