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22

I am not a native English speaker, but I don't think this is important here. The appropriate thing is not what an English professor or a poet suggests, but what is standard in the particular field. And from my experience, "we" is the standard in theoretical computer science. As noted by usul in his comment, you can interpret the "we" as the author including ...


21

The pronoun used is not in reference to the author or authors but about the reader, about the audience. We is used to include the reader in the process of discovering and understanding the result. Write the paper for the audience, not for you. This seems like a good place to plug Knuth, Larrabee, and Robert's notes on writing style in Mathematics. Pretty ...


17

Simon Peyton Jones has an excellent web page devoted not only to advice on writing introductions, but whole papers, and there is a cool video as well. On page 18 of his slides he says that the purpose of an introduction is to: Describe the problem. State your contributions. He then goes on for a while to explain what precisely that means in pracrtice. But ...


14

There are venues that are interested by elegant proofs of existing results, see for instance the Symposium on Simplicity in Algorithms. So yes, in some cases an elegant proof can be considered as a contribution, especially if it offers new insights.


9

As far as I can know, Yuri's imaginary student Quizani (no typo, but the name was later changed to Quisani) was first introduced by Yuri in 1988. It was for his first Logic in Computer Science column of the Bulletin of EATCS. This column, entitled On Kolmogorov Machines And Related Issues ( Bull. EATCS, No. 35, June 1988, 71–82.) was later published by World ...


8

Sure, here's a basic checklist. It would make for a very dry read to actually follow these to the letter, but maybe you should first try to write extremely formally, then see where it's reasonable to relax the writing without risk of misunderstanding or vagueness. Preface. The high-level goal of formality is to make your proof closer to "machine-checkable". ...


7

I'm not a native English speaker but this is what I do in single-authored papers. (Or rather, what I would hypothetically do if I wrote single-authored papers :) ) 1) Throughout most of a technical paper, I use "we" to refer to the joint effort of the author and reader. That is, my interpretation is that a sentence in the abstract such as "We show that C=D....


7

Entropy waves, the zig-zag graph product, and new constant-degree expanders conveys a lot of intuition about graph products and expander graphs and the ideas are accessible to anyone with basic knowledge of linear algebra.


7

In the 'Great proof outline' category, these are my favorites: "Undirected Connectivity in Log-Space" by Omer Reingold. "Geometry, Flows, and Graph-Partitioning Algorithms" by Sanjeev Arora, Satish Rao, and Umesh Vazirani.


6

Luca Trevisan's extractor paper is beautifully written -- the idea, at that time, was revolutionary, and Luca's exposition of the intuition was great.


6

I remember really liking Luca's paper giving a spectral approximation to Max Cut: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0806.1978v5.pdf. Except for the clear exposition, he nicely paints the bigger picture: why is any better-than-factor-of-2 approximation to MaxCut hard, why one would expect that spectral techniques could work, how his algorithm relates to Cheeger's ...


5

here is a new collaborative online Latex editor called WriteLatex that looks promising, as a near one-stop shop for many scientific writing needs/requirements. works on mobile has realtime preview easy/private sharing finds latex errors allows add on latex libraries/styles cloud storage the coauthor John Hammersley posted an announcement in tcs se meta ...


5

Not sure if it qualifies for TCS, but the classic paper by Kleinberg is a good example for good writing. At least this is what I use as an example when I am asked this question. Authoritative Sources in a Hyperlinked Environment by Jon M. Kleinberg http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/kleinber/auth.pdf It is also quite interested to contrast this paper with the ...


4

I'm also not native english. However, I serve as a referee for about $20$ papers per year in theoretical computer science both for journals and conferences since a lot of years. This what I experienced up to now: I never came across a paper speaking in the first person, even when it was authored by a single person; even the first plural person ('we') seems ...


2

I recently discovered sharelatex.com and used it with my collaborator to coauthor a paper. I liked it so much my current plan is to use it for all my projects. Some notable features: Real-time in-browser TeXing (like Google Docs, but made for TeX, syntax-highlighting and all). In-browser compiling and PDF viewing Supports projects with multiple files Has a ...


1

This is my (biased) list of tools: Isabelle/jEdit for editing the source (both formal .thy and informal .tex, while .thy is the majority). Isabelle document preparation (which uses pdflatex at the bottom) for the formal to informal transition and typesetting. The same with foiltex for slides. Mercurial (sometimes SVN) for version management. Note that ...


1

You might take a look at GePhi.


1

For drawing it is also convenient to use Inkscape instead of tikz: it can embed latex code with the plugin Textext, and you can directly draw what you want instead of starting worrying about coordinates. I use both depending on the particular task at hand.


1

I use beamer + pdfpcnotes.sty to present with pdfpc which has the following features (according to their website): Shows current and next slide Support for notes, both as text and on slides (as generated by LaTeX beamer) Support for overlays (e.g. as generated by the beamer LaTeX package) Timer or countdown showing remaining time in the presentation ...


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