Pet peeves in mathematical writing

  • When the explanation of a statement is omitted and replaced with the word “clearly” or “obviously.” At least give people it’s not so “clear” or “obvious” to a reference, or refrain from implying the reader is a moron if they do not know the basis from which you’re making your claim.
  • Using the Greek letter mu in a statistics formula to mean anything other than the mean. This will cause, me at least, temporary confusion.
  • When sigma is used as a variable in a formula used by computer scientists. Every time I look at your formula I will have to think more to figure out that your sigma is a variable and not the start of a summation.