"Mathematical Notation: A Guide for Engineers and Scientists"
I'll accept the premise, but I still wonder if there are things that can be done to make it easier for someone. In my case, I've been trying to learn some more mathematics recently, and one of the most annoying things is coming across notation that isn't defined in a paper, presumably because "everyone" who can read the paper is familiar with the context and knows what the "skinny long arrow" means (good luck with that internet search). I wonder if there could be a wiki-like / forum / stackoverflowish site, which people could use to discuss and provide running commentary on a paper/book. Especially useful would be the ability for people to be able to annotate the paper by translating the formulas in to a formal language where you could track down the definition of the various operators, and try to figure out why the author used both of → and ↦ in the paper, when they both appear to be for functions/maps. (Just to preempt the easy objections, I'm not trying to suggest that each paper be formalized and proven in something like Isabelle/Coq).
In the ideal form, this website would allow you to see the paper or book page in question, and then see all the people who commented or had questions on each particular sentence (in the margin?). There could be filtering and voting so that experts could bypass the newbie commentary, etc..
I suppose part of my problem would be solved by getting a book like:
...(which I just came across when composing this message).
Maybe someone has a other suggestions for something like this? Maybe a site similar to this already exists?
And on a slightly related note to making things easier to learn, I think learning programming is much easier than math, because even though both are abstract, at least with programming you get a tangible, concrete thing (the program) that you can run and modify and extend, and the computer will tell you when you went wrong (e.g. won't compile, output result is unexpected, etc.).
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