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Topic: Halmos is Spiraling
Replies: 1   Last Post: Jun 9, 1995 12:42 PM

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Alfred Barron (908) 704-4102

Posts: 8
Registered: 12/6/04
Halmos is Spiraling
Posted: Jun 9, 1995 9:48 AM
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Just a quick reference. In a short set of essays
on writing mathematics by Paul Halmos and others,
Halmos pointed out that central to his pedagogy
with the use of spiraling for communicating a set
of ideas. That is, he would present the idea in
the first part, reintroduce it in a different form
in the second part, ect., until completion. More-
over, he claims that he has written all of his
books in this manner; i.e., write the first chapter,
the rewrite the first chapter. Write the second
chapter, then rewrite the first and second chapters.
Write the third chapter, then rewrite the first,
second and third chapters, etc.. So here the method
of spiraling underlies the structure of his book as
well. This is what he started doing when he wrote
his first book (Set Theory).

How did he start doing this ? I don't recall what he
wrote, if anything. But he did note that John von
Neuman wrote and lectured this way (Halmos was his
assistant as a young post doc).

Al BArron
barron@alloy.bitnet have a good weekend!

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