How to Read Mathematics

A reading protocol is a set of strategies that a reader must use in order to benefit fully from reading the text. Poetry calls for a different set of strategies than fiction, and fiction a different set than non-fiction. page

Mathematics has a reading protocol all its own, and just as we learn to read literature, we should learn to read mathematics.

Mathematical ideas are by nature precise and well defined, so that a precise description is possible in a very short space. The beauty in a mathematics article is in the elegant efficient way it concisely describes precise ideas of great complexity.


The author develops the analogies between reading fiction, poetry and mathematics.

Six tips follow with explanations.

Then the birthday paradox, 50-50 chance of same birthday in a room of 23 people, is developed as a formula, and, examined as a cautious reader might read it. Most tips are thereby illustrated.

Practice: Random is a website devoted to probability, mathematical statistics, and stochastic processes, and is intended for teachers and students. site