MATH 2705W

This is the Spring 2024 class webpage for Section 001 of MATH 2705W Technical Writing in Math at UConn.

Welcome to MATH 2705W: Technical Writing in Math!

Course description: An introduction to the communication of mathematics through formal writing.

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011, and MATH 1132Q or 2141Q; completion of or concurrent enrollment in either MATH 2110Q, 2142Q, 2210Q, or 2410Q; open only to Mathematics majors.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Write about mathematics clearly, using correct grammar, in a well-organized manner.
  2. Acquire basic skills in \(\LaTeX\).
  3. Discuss mathematical ideas and results in a clear and concise manner that is understood by others.
  4. Understand your audience: who is the reader of your mathematical piece?
  5. Explain a proof in a manner that is easily understood by a reader.
  6. Use clear and appropriate examples to explain ideas and illustrate points.
  7. Develop documents and presentations that effectively and correctly communicate mathematical ideas.

Textbook: Although there is no textbook required for this course, we suggest “Mathematical Writing” by Franco Vivaldi (Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series, 2014th Edition) as a valuable resource for this class. I have also posted lots of helpful supplemental readings on HuskyCT in “Course Content” in the “Resources” folder.

Class: Mondays at 10:10-11:00AM in MONT 113.

Office hours: Mondays at 11:00AM-12:30PM in MONT 322.

General course page: Here is the generic course page for MATH 2705W. It does not have the specifics for this section, but it has more general information and other resources for the course that may not be on this page.

“W” Course Criteria: MATH 2705W is a writing intensive course. According to the General Education Guidelines at UConn, the following is a list of criteria for such courses:

  • Students are required to write a minimum of 15 pages (excluding reference pages) that have been revised for conceptual clarity and development of ideas, edited for expression, and proofread for grammatical and mechanical correctness.
  • The class must address writing in process, require revision, and provide substantial supervision of student writing.
  • The course must make explicit the relation between writing and learning.
  • The instructor must articulate the structure of student writing in the course.
  • There must be an explanation of the place and function of revision in the course.
  • Detail of how the page requirement will be met must be provided.
  • Students must pass the “W” component of the course in order to pass the course.

If you are interested in learning more about the purpose of a writing-intensive course, visit this link.

Class structure

This class meets once a week for 50 minutes. To make the most of our time together, in class I will be doing a combination of lecturing about good mathematical writing and also showing how to typeset mathematics on \(\LaTeX\). I will also dedicate a few classes to going over general feedback and discussions on the first draft of each assignment.

Towards the bottom of this page, I have posted the complete class schedule for the semester. I have written out which topics I plan to cover each class and when we will be doing “feedback and discussions on assignment” sessions.

HuskyCT: All announcements related to the course will be posted on HuskyCT. Assignments and grades will be posted on HuskyCT as well.

Assignments: There will be five writing assignments throughout the semester. The minimum length of each assignment will vary, but the total number of pages between all of them will be at least 15 pages. You will need to submit a first draft and final draft for each assignment.

First drafts will be due on Friday’s at 11:59PM on HuskyCT (so that I have enough time to grade them over the weekend). You will receive feedback on first drafts over the weekend and we will go over general comments/questions in class the following Monday. Final drafts will be due on Sunday’s at 11:59pm on HuskyCT (so you have more time to work on them). Final drafts should reflect that the first draft was revised to address the instructor’s feedback.

Each draft of each assignment must be typeset using \(\LaTeX\), and you will submit both the pdf version and the source code on HuskyCT. You will be writing a paper roughly every 2-3 weeks throughout the semester. Here is a brief description of the assignments (more detailed information will be provided on HuskyCT):

Assignment Topic   Tasks for assignment   Due Date of assignment
1. Irrationality of the square root of 2   - Learn \(\LaTeX\) basics and elaborate on handwritten text   Draft: 2/9
(min. 2 pages)   - Use lemmas, theorems, examples, proofs, etc.   Final: 2/18
2. Quadratic formula   - Statement of quadratic formula   Draft: 2/23
(min. 2 pages)   - Include examples and references   Final: 3/3
3. Math paper with graphics   - Write about a theorem or result where graphs and graphics play a major role   Draft: 3/8
(min. 3 pages)   - Use graphics, diagrams, matrices, arrays, hyper-reference, tables, and bibliography   Final: 3/24
4. History of mathematics   - Write about a famous mathematician   Draft: 3/29
(min. 4 pages)   - Discuss some of the mathematician’s work   Final: 4/7
5. Applied mathematics   - Write about a real-world application of mathematicians   Draft: 4/12
(min. 4 pages)       Final: 4/21

(All grades and assignments will be posted on HuskyCT.)

Grading: The course grade will be composed of five assignments worth 20% each. Each assignment will be graded out of 20 points, where the first draft is worth 5 points and the final draft is worth 15 points. For each assignment, you will have the opportunity to make up the points lost in the first draft in the final draft. The rubric is posted on HuskyCT.

Final exam: There is no final exam for this course.

Class schedule

Week   Date   Topic
1   1/15   - Our class does not meet this week
2   1/22   - The importance of mathematical communication through formal writing
        - Using \(\LaTeX\)
3   1/29   - Basic elements: lemmas, theorems, proofs, examples, equations, numbering, cross-referencing
        - Arranging mathematical ideas using these structures and typesetting them
4   2/5   - Mathematical logic basics
        - Translating symbols and quantifiers into words in writing
        - A proof of the quadratic formula
5   2/12   - Feedback and discussion on Assignment 1
6   2/19   - Types of proofs and examples of proofs
        - Good examples of mathematical writing
7   2/26   - Feedback and discussion on Assignment 2
8   3/4   - Including graphics, images, tables, graphs, etc.
    3/10 - 3/16   - Spring Recess
9   3/18   - Feedback and discussion on Assignment 3
10   3/25   - Using formulas and equations in a proof and mathematical paper
        - The role of examples
        - Writing theorems and papers about theorems
11   4/1   - Feedback and discussion on Assignment 4
12   4/8   - Writing about the work of a mathematician
13   4/15   - Feedback and discussion on Assignment 5
14   4/22   - Summary of the class

(Spring Recess is March 10-16, 2024.)

Student conduct code: Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with UConn’s Student Conduct Code.

Academic Integrity Statement: This course expects all students to act in accordance with the Guidelines for Academic Integrity at the University of Connecticut. Because questions of intellectual property are important to the field of this course, we will discuss academic honesty as a topic and not just a policy. If you have questions about academic integrity or intellectual property, you should consult with your instructor. Additionally, consult UConn’s guidelines for academic integrity.

Students with Disabilities: The University of Connecticut is committed to protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and assuring that the learning environment is accessible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options. Students who require accommodations should contact the Center for Students with Disabilities, Wilbur Cross Building Room 204, (860)486-2020, or

Final Exam Policy: In accordance with UConn policy, students are required to be available for their final exam and/or complete any assessment during the time stated. If you have a conflict with this time you must obtain official permission to schedule a make-up exam with the Dean of Students. If permission is granted, the Dean of Students will notify the instructor. Please note that vacations, previously purchased tickets or reservations, graduations, social events, misreading the assessment schedule, and oversleeping are not viable reasons for rescheduling a final.