Logic for Mathematical Writing

E. Harriss, W. Hodges
2007 Logic Journal of the IGPL  
In the School of Mathematical Sciences at Queen Mary in the University of London we have been running a module that teaches the students to write good mathematical English. The module is for second-year undergraduates and has been running for three years. It is based on logic, but the logic-though mathematically precise-is informal and doesn't use logical symbols. Some theory of definitions is taught in order to give a structure for mathematical descriptions, and some natural deduction rules
more » ... m a basis for writing mathematical arguments. Alongside this logical material, the students have weekly exercises that involve writing informal explanations of simple mathematical ideas for non-mathematicians. We describe a way of using logic to give structure and motivation to a course teaching mathematical students to write English. This use of logic is-to the best of our knowledgeentirely new. Apart from our own preliminary experiments it is still untested. But positive reactions from students and colleagues encourage us to report our progress with this course. Our warm thanks to the organisers and editors of the Salamanca meeting, and also to the audience and referees for their friendly criticisms.
doi:10.1093/jigpal/jzm022 fatcat:uq5ajhclt5aovoow7xp6ozacpm