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

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Dr. Susan Addington

Posts: 21
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Halmos is Spiraling
Posted: Jun 9, 1995 12:42 PM
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At the college level, spiraling definitely works. BUT
the student has to struggle hard with the idea for several days or
a week. Typically, after the student has moved on, about 3 weeks later,
she can't remember what was so hard about the concept.
Unfortunately, college courses tend to be compressed into 10 or 15
weeks, and summer classes are even worse. So the material at the end
often doesn't get absorbed.

The problem with writing a book this way is that Ch. 1 is very polished
and the last chapter is very rough. I have encountered a lot of math
books like this.

Susan Addington (
Math Department, California State University
San Bernardino, CA 92407
World Wide Web:

On Fri, 9 Jun 1995, Alfred Barron (908) 704-4102 wrote:
> 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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