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Expository Writing to Communicate Mathematics

Expository Writing to Communicate Mathematics

Ivars Peterson, Underwood Dudley, Paul Zorn, and Keith Devlin
June 30-July 3, 2008
MAA Carriage House
Washington, DC

Registration Fee: $550 by May 17, $700 after

The importance of communicating mathematics clearly and effectively is evident in the many ways in which mathematicians must write, whether to pro­duce technical reports, expository articles, book reviews, essays, referee's reports, grant proposals, research papers, job applications, or evaluations. Expository writing, in particular, plays a crucial role in the transmission of ideas and the introduction of new mathematics to the community. With a focus on exposition, this workshop offers faculty members an opportunity to improve their writing skills.

Each participant will be expected to select a topic, research the subject, create a preliminary outline in advance of the workshop, then prepare a manuscript, with the goal of producing an expository mathematics article suitable for publication in a journal or magazine.

The three-and-a-half-day workshop component will allow participants to develop confidence and gain experience in expository writing, under the guidance of accomplished writers and journal editors. They will obtain tips directly from award-winning authors and other experts on effective bibliographic research, writing (and rewriting), manuscript preparation, presentation, and publication. The workshop will also provide faculty members with insights into how news media cover mathematics and science and how they, as educators, can contribute to the public understanding of mathematics.

Participants will assist in the creation of a course wiki for posting article ideas and outlines, sharing tips, compiling a list of bibliographic resources and online tools, and commenting on drafts. There will be opportunities for general discussions and manuscript critiquing, both at the workshop and in online forums before and after the workshop. Each participant should bring a laptop to the workshop.

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Questions about PREP? Contact Olga Dixon at 202-319-8498 or