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Re: How to write a "proper" math document

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  • Subject: [mg119918] Re: How to write a "proper" math document
  • From: "E. Martin-Serrano" <eMartinSerrano at>
  • Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2011 05:30:12 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>


A possible alternative is the Presentations package by David Park.  Get in
touch with the author at  djmpark at or check for more info at

Presentations is (IMHO) a must for Mathematica graphics development and
technical documents creation. It will save you plenty of time, ...  and you
know that time is money. The problem is that only those who own a license of
Mathematica could read your "live-documents" so created,  except if you
distribute them through Mathematica Player. See details for MathPlayer at


E. martin-Serrano

-----Mensaje original-----
De: McHale, Paul [mailto:Paul.McHale at] 
Enviado el: martes, 28 de junio de 2011 13:56
Para: mathgroup at
Asunto: How to write a "proper" math document


I am an engineer who lacks the audacity to claim any special awareness in
math, but do find what skills I have very useful.  One of the tasks
engineers have is to leave a trail of bread crumbs for others to follow.
This document ends up being design calculations (minimally) and a process of
discovery (ideally).  I have found myself and other engineers often
understand what we are doing, but are far worse at communicating it.  I
agree this indicates a gap in understanding to some degree.  I think it is
also true that we can think of Moby Dick but don't have the proper writing
skills to convey it as a novel.  The result is a mixture of ineffective
writing styles to document work.

Does anyone have a set of rules or a style document for how to write a
document that will be mathematically oriented?  I have found some
information. A common set of tasks I do include:

1. Highlight original datasheet pdf using PDF XChange (free) 2. Use screen
hunter to capture relevant part of PDF and past into notebook 3. Use above
information to as input data to perform calculations 4. Mix calculations
with explanation of what and why

1. Describe existing solution or foundation from which we are going to
extrapolate 2. Explain (charts, data, verbage) why this is insufficient 3.
Show what we are changing to achieve better results

Maybe the discovery could almost be called a white paper.  What I am looking
for is rules such as when to refer to an equation by number (can Mathematica
do this?) or when we should just "in line" the equation within a sentence.
Any such rules would be appreciated.  Once document I have found is:

While very good, it is not mathematica centric.  I.e. Is there way to
quickly open and close cells since programming cells reduce document
readability for the Mathematica un-challenged :).

I'm sure there is much more to the Mathematica front end than what I am

Paul McHale  |  Electrical Engineer, Energetics Systems  |  Excelitas
Technologies Corp.

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