I agree with both of the above comments. There’s a time when using symbols is a succinct and elegant way of expressing an idea – and there’s a time when using symbols is an unnecessary obfuscation, and is done for no apparent reason other than egotism. And Will Fitzgerald’s comment about CS people wanting to know why they should care, and what the implications of the material is, applies doubly to first year students who are only dubiously math literate.

I completely agree that Math is Good, and that people need to know how to read Math. But mathematicians often find the math itself to be what is of interest; that’s fine, that’s their game. But there are two aspects of any paper that are often overlooked in math-heavy (CS) papers. One is: Why should I care? The second is: What are the implications? Math makes you think hard, and life is oh so short, so you need to give me a good reason to think so hard understanding *your* ideas instead of time working out my *own* ideas.

anonymous cowardsays:

Rigor is the important thing, not symbolism. The best mathematical expository writing is so good because it knows when not to use symbols and formalism.

Yuhong YANsays:

I prefer to read Math for it is more accurate and simple. But only when it is good
math. Sometimes, people just play the game of formalization. And when a paper reviewed,
the reviewer questions whether it is necessary and rejects the paper if they do not understand.
So explanation is still needed, along with math.

Moebius Strippersays:I agree with both of the above comments. There’s a time when using symbols is a succinct and elegant way of expressing an idea – and there’s a time when using symbols is an unnecessary obfuscation, and is done for no apparent reason other than egotism. And Will Fitzgerald’s comment about CS people wanting to know why they should care, and what the implications of the material is, applies doubly to first year students who are only dubiously math literate.

Will Fitzgeraldsays:I completely agree that Math is Good, and that people need to know how to read Math. But mathematicians often find the math itself to be what is of interest; that’s fine, that’s their game. But there are two aspects of any paper that are often overlooked in math-heavy (CS) papers. One is: Why should I care? The second is: What are the implications? Math makes you think hard, and life is oh so short, so you need to give me a good reason to think so hard understanding *your* ideas instead of time working out my *own* ideas.

anonymous cowardsays:Rigor is the important thing, not symbolism. The best mathematical expository writing is so good because it knows when not to use symbols and formalism.

Yuhong YANsays:I prefer to read Math for it is more accurate and simple. But only when it is good

math. Sometimes, people just play the game of formalization. And when a paper reviewed,

the reviewer questions whether it is necessary and rejects the paper if they do not understand.

So explanation is still needed, along with math.