How To Write Mathematics Badly

Monday 26 February 2007 at 10:36 pm | In Articles | 5 Comments

Jean-Pierre Serre (and also see Wikipedia) is one of the most eminent mathematicians alive; he was part of Bourbaki in the later stages, and he has been awarded many mathematical prizes. So it is a pleasure to watch a video of him explaining how to write good mathematical papers. He does this by explaining how to not to write mathematics which is why his talk is entitled How To Write Mathematics Badly.

You can forgive the amateurishness and poor sound quality of the 56-minute video for the sageness of the advice he gives. I don’t know when the talk was given but if it was recent he is doing very well for a man in his eighties.

You can find the video on Google video at Jean-Pierre Serre – How To Write Mathematics Badly and is a must see for postgraduate students who appear to make up the bulk of the audience.

Thanks to ComplexZeta for the link.


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  1. the video is no more on google video! who has made a copy of it!?!

    Comment by charles — Monday 26 March 2007 11:11 am #

  2. Damn! Now I’m wishing that I’d finished watching it all the first time round, and not left it for a rainy day! 🙁

    Comment by beans — Monday 26 March 2007 12:48 pm #

  3. here is the link:

    (thanks to verbovet on google forum)

    Comment by charles — Tuesday 27 March 2007 6:43 am #

  4. Phew! It’s still available. Thanks for that link.

    Comment by Steve — Tuesday 27 March 2007 10:33 am #

  5. Yes, thanks for the link! I’m going to download it this time, so that I can safely watch it on a ‘rainy day’. 😀

    Comment by beans — Tuesday 27 March 2007 1:22 pm #

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