Welcome to our community

Be a part of something great, join today!

Organizing the notes subforum.

caffeinemachine

Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Mar 10, 2012
834
Hello MHB. I need your vote on the following.

I think the notes subforum is highly disorganized. I think it should be organized the same way MHB's home is organized. It should have subforums like Notes on Analysis/topology/geometry, Notes on Linear and Abstract Algebra, Notes on ProbStats, Notes on other advanced stuff. Inside these subforums one can put his/her notes in the following format <insert name her> notes on <insert subject name here>. Further some especially helpful material should be highlighted. We can have a thread in the notes subforum named 'Notes Hall of Fame' or a better name.
 

MarkFL

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 24, 2012
13,775
Here are my opinions on the matter:


  • At some point, I do agree it may be a good idea to organize the Math Notes topics by category. Right now, there is only one page of topics, so it is not a pressing issue (in my opinion)...yet. I do see the merit in doing this before it becomes a huge project though.
  • I think having the author's name and the fact that the topic contains notes or some indicator that it is a tutorial topic in the title itself is redundant, since the author of a topic is readily visible, and the fact that it is posted in the Math Notes sub-forum indicates that it is tutorial in nature.
  • Could you give an example of what you mean by the highlighting of especially helpful material?
  • I feel our MHB Math Notes Award serves the purpose of recognizing those whose Math Notes topics are exceptional in quality.
 

caffeinemachine

Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Mar 10, 2012
834
  • Could you give an example of what you mean by the highlighting of especially helpful material?
Hey Mark.

An especially helpful material would be something which covers a lot of material on the topic. It should be 'complete in itself'. It should be like a full course on a particular topic. Also it should be well presented, of course.

The following gives me an idea:
  • I think having the author's name and the fact that the topic contains notes or some indicator that it is a tutorial topic in the title itself is redundant, since the author of a topic is readily visible, and the fact that it is posted in the Math Notes sub-forum indicates that it is tutorial in nature.
Why a single author? We can have something like an open source notes scheme. I'd be happy to give my tex file of my topology notes. I have attempted to give as many proofs as possible for non-trivial theorems, many of which I believe are different from those usually found over the internet and in the text books. Now if someone finds yet another proof of some theorem, or wants to add a proof to a theorem whose proof is yet not given there, s/he can do it. Alternative proofs, in my opinion, gives confidence to the reader that 'there ain't just one of doing a proof'. Also, one proof may feel more natural than the other proof (depending on the reader). Such a datebase may help in providing math help too. Suppose someone asks a question which reads "I am having difficulty with this theorem..". Such questions are pretty common. One can straightaway lead the asker to the notes forum saying "See theorem xx from the notes yy". If such a theorem is not already present in the notes, the helper may add it so that things become easier in the future.
 

MarkFL

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 24, 2012
13,775
First, let me thank you for drawing my attention to the Math Notes sub-forum, as you made me realize by creating a commentary topic yourself that there were several topics for which commentary topics had not been created. I am now in the process of making sure all of our tutorial topics have an associated commentary topic. I also notice that many of those that do, need the links to be redone as well. I will be working to fix this as well. (Yes)

How do you suggest that we highlight a tutorial that is said to be complete, or "ripe" in the Gaussian sense?

As far as collaborative topics, I don't see anything wrong with that. It think it should be agreed at the outset that such a topic is to have more than one author, and the details of whose material is to be included and the approval of what material is included could be left up to the lead author(s).
 

caffeinemachine

Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Mar 10, 2012
834
How do you suggest that we highlight a tutorial that is said to be complete, or "ripe" in the Gaussian sense?
Say we have notes titled 'General Topology for Undergraduates'. There is a certain kind and amount of material which is included in an UG topology course (though I am no expert, I have never taken any such course). It should have sufficient material on Metric spaces, Arbitrary Spaces, Compactness, Separation, Connectedness etc. Ultimately, deciding whether the notes are 'ripe' or not is a subjective matter.

- - - Updated - - -

As far as collaborative topics, I don't see anything wrong with that. It think it should be agreed at the outset that such a topic is to have more than one author, and the details of whose material is to be included and the approval of what material is included could be left up to the lead author(s).
Sounds good to me. :)
 

MarkFL

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 24, 2012
13,775
I believe I now have every tutorial linked to a commentary topic where applicable and have cleaned up all the links in the tutorials and commentary topics, but if anyone notices a tutorial that does not have a commentary topic linked to it or a link that looks like a URL rather than a title, please feel free to let me know so I can fix it.

Now, as far as the scope of a tutorial, I believe the title will or should be be a good indicator of this. For example, if someone creates a tutorial called "Optimization" we should expect it to have a greater scope than a topic called "Finding Extrema of Polynomials."

I want to stress to everyone that if you read a tutorial, and you think a key component of that topic has been left out, by all means we encourage you to (politely) let the author know either in the commentary topic or by PM. I can't speak for everyone of course, but I know I would be receptive to constructive criticism and would appreciate suggestions to make our topics as complete and exhaustive as possible. This is beneficial to our readers and improves the image of MHB as well. Everyone wins.
 

caffeinemachine

Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Mar 10, 2012
834

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
I seem to be confused. Why are there 29 topics in the notes section and 39 commentary threads. It just doesn't add up.
 

MarkFL

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 24, 2012
13,775
I seem to be confused. Why are there 29 topics in the notes section and 39 commentary threads. It just doesn't add up.
Some of the tutorial topics are posted in the sub-forums to which they pertain. These are primarily the tutorials whose scope is more general and pedagogical, and so for new users and guests, would be more easily found there.

A good example of this are Ackbach's excellent tutorials on differential and integral calculus. A new member or guest looking for general help in these areas would be much more likely to find them in the Calculus sub-forum rather than in our Math Notes sub-forum.

Links to these tutorials which are outside of the Math Notes sub-forum are given in a sticky topic in the Math Notes sub-forum.