A week ago I asked for recommendations for texts on

technical/math/CS writing. The responses that I received

are summarized below:

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Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences, N. J. Higham, SIAM Press.

How to Read and Do Proofs, D. Solow, Wiley.

There's a nice little article that appeared in some math society monthly,

but I can't lay my hands on it. It described math writing from the point

of view that equations are sentences, and need to make sense when transcribed

to English. Consequences include things like "respect the equal-sign".

It's hard to convey the spirit. If I run across it, I'll send you a citation.

Matthew Saltzman

Clemson University Math Sciences

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Mathematical Writing, by Donald Knuth (MAA Notes Number 14) is good

for graduate students, but probably at too high a level for

undergraduates. I would dearly love to have something suitable for

them.

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I haven't done an exhaustive study, but I'd recommend the MAA book

_Mathematical Writing_ by Knuth, Larrabee, and Roberts. It's made

up of transcripts from a course Knuth gave at Stanford--easy reading

and informative. I especially liked the guest lecture by Ullman in

which he describes how he writes books.

I would also have the students read the article _How to Write Mathematics_

by Halmos. It's reprinted in a book with the same name by S*rod,

Halmos, et al.

For reference--on reserve at the library, say--I'd suggest Higham's

_Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences_ (SIAM, 1993) and,

of course, Strunk and White.

Rett Bull

Computer Science Program

Pomona College

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Mathematical Writing

D. E. Knuth, T. Larrabee and P. M. Roberts

Dept. of C. S.

Stanford university

Report NO. STAN-CS-88-1193

This text was written in 88 and I'm not shure if it is still in print. Last

year I still could order a copy at the CS library.

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You might consider "Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences"

by Nicholas J. Higham, SIAM press. It's only $12.00 per copy in

classroom quantities.

The book is aimed at students who will be writing papers, theses,

and the like. The includes material on usage, mathematical formulas,

tables, TeX and LaTeX, the publishing process, and doing presentations.

This is *not* a book about writing reference manuals.

If I was faced with the writing requirement for CS students, I'd probably

handle it by requiring them to take a course in writing reference

manuals, since so many of them will end up doing at some point

in their career. However, if you need a course that will be taught

by CS faculty in which students will write term papers, this book

might well serve your purpose.

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I can highly recommend the small book by Don Knuth available as a tech rpt

from Stanford and also through one of the professional organizations I think,

perhaps the AMS. It's class notes from a course on technical writing;

the first few lessons are especially useful just by themselves.

There's also a useful book called Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical

Sciences, published by SIAM Press in Philadelphia. I don't have the author's

name handy. Also Ian Parberry's article on how to present papers in

theoretical CS is relevant for giving talks in CS in general.

Prof. Jeff Vitter, Chair

Department of Computer Science

Duke University

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