Nobody’s saying the use of TeX is a fully reliable test for whether a paper is good, but here’s an analogy:

Suppose someone handwrites a paper in crayon. Logically, this tells us nothing about the content of the paper, but in practice, it tells us a lot about the author. Very few people who write in crayon have anything interesting or worthwhile to say. It’s not a logical guarantee, but if you see a research paper written in crayon, it’s perfectly reasonable not to take it seriously (since it almost certainly isn’t serious).

Not using TeX in a math/CS paper is not nearly as extreme as writing in crayon, but it is similar in spirit. There are a handful of older or eccentric researchers who have never learned TeX. Other than that, anybody in math or theoretical CS who doesn’t use TeX looks like a rube. This may not be fair, but it’s a true statement about appearances within the community.

]]>Apart from facilitating the typesetting of equations, are there compelling reasons for someone to use TeX who will not be submitting papers to journals?

]]>Craig, it wouldn’t occur to me to use a word processor to format a math paper, because of how messy it would be to enter the equations. With TeX you type them pretty much the way you would read them out loud.

]]>I’m partially shifting into a writing mode so that I can get a lot of work out of my head, software, and notes and into the world. In particular, I have several new algorithms for Graph Isomorpism, Maximal Cliques, Maximum Cliques, and k-Clique Existence that are ready to share.

I have published none of my work beyond my dissertation, so we’re talking about 20 years of research that I need to organize and write up. I believe that some of my work will be of interest. I have no interest in publishing in journals. I plan on posting papers on ArXiv or the ACM equivalent.

I haven’t been planning on making source code available – a lot of work would be required to prepare it and maintain it that I think could be better spent. I haven’t ruled this out, though.

Call me unconventional or attribute it to a personality quirk. I’m hoping that my work will be taken seriously but I’m not overly concerned that it might set off an occasional alarm on first exposure.

I hadn’t thought seriously about learning TeX or how to use TeX-related tools until reading this blog entry. I’ve been planning on posting in PDF to an archive. I have very little need for the typesetting capabilities that TeX offers. I’m inclined to skipping TeX and using a conventional word-processor to generate PDF.

Comments and suggestions on my situation and plans are most welcome.

]]>1.

This affair explains why mathematicians need to learn

some basics of complexity: proving that some thing

is “hard” gives semi-rigorous, conditional

proof of impossibility of “simple” descriptions of the thing.

In other words, it provides implicit counter-examples.

And this strategy is very kosher when indecidability is used.

2. The “mathematical” situation here is very common:

Given a set X, with “easy” membership for its convex hull

CO(X). Is the membership for the convex

hull CO(X \otimes X) “easy”?

Quite often the answer is negative. The good example

for this “quantum” blog is the separability/entanglement

problem. I wonder if there exists some general

statement of the sort? ]]>

1. Job’s “graph hash” is called “complete invariant” in the literature.

2. complete invariants in P imply canonical forms in P, so my “ugly world” is ruled out. The elementary two-page proof is in:

http://research.microsoft.com/~gurevich/Opera/131.pdf

3. GI in P is not known to imply complete invariants in P.

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