Formula Arcana

So there’s a paper that I think I need to read. The title and the abstract sound highly applicable to the research I’m trying to do. The body of the paper is about 15 pages of equations and there’s no conclusion. It’s not math that I’m familiar with and even if it was, I’d still have to create my own key for how each of the many symbols and letters are defined.

And I’m not even certain that the paper is applicable. It might not be.

What’s the purpose of writing such a paper? Has the author learned so much math that they’ve lost the ability to convey the information with words? with analogy? with anything but symbols?

Would a summary of the conclusions and contributions be so much to ask? Could the author at least have the decency to not use “clearly we get” and “easily we derive”?

I wish, I wish, I wish I knew more math and understood it better and I say this as a math major, but I do not have time to spend hours on every little paper I come across with a title that sounds mildly interesting. Is that how I’m supposed to be spending my time?

On a more pleasant note, there’s a probability and general problem solving study group being organized at UNM. It’s essentially going to be an opportunity for grads to share knowledge, refresh their memory, and practice for job interviews. I think it’s a fantastic idea.

Lastly, drop all the mics.

Neal Holtshulte

Neal Holtschulte began graduate studies at the University of New Mexico in 2010. Neal graduated with a BA in Mathematics from Williams College. He works with an amiable and talented group of people including his advisor Professor Melanie Moses. Neal is currently working on automated software diversity with network security applications. Neal makes time to run and occasionally race in the 5k to 1/2 marathon range. He enjoys video games and maintains that while any bachelor can boil noodles, sauteing vegetables officially classifies as cooking.
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