When I was a small kid, my grandfather used to teach me how to read English. I was born in India, so we did not get to reading English till we were 6 or 7. His technique was simple. He would mark portions of a sentence with a vertical mark (in pencil). He told us that we need to pause at the vertical bar, at comma and a pause a bit more at the period.
I wish I had seen this article on How to Read Mathematics, when I was young, since it was one of my favorite subjects. This is a profound statement, a quote in the article, made me take a quick read.
“Reading Mathematics … involves a return to the thinking that went into the writing” (ibid page 16).
Here are a list of things to do (in a nutshell).
- Don’t miss the big picture
- Don’t be a passive reader
- Don’t read too fast
- Make the idea your own
- Make sure that you are the intended audience
The Example of Mathematical writing towards the end, is a clear step by step dialog on applying these techniques.
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