::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact

Handwriting for math etc

May 28th, 2018
math, tech  [html]
I don't have very tidy handwriting, and for most things this is fine: there's enough redundancy in language that it will be clear from context what is a t and what is a +. When writing calculations, however, there's often a lot less redundancy and so it's more worth it to make sure distinctions aren't being lost. One way to handle this would be to have clean handwriting overall, but what I do instead is use glyphs that are more robust and remain distinct even if written poorly. [1]

Here are what I do with some tricky glyphs:


i j t + l 1 I 2 z 7 ;

It's nice if these are clear to other people, but the main goal is for them not to be confused with each other. Things to help this:

  • i includes a right hook
  • j is normal
  • t includes a right hook
  • + is normal
  • l is loopy/cursive
  • 1 is a straight line
  • I has top and bottom lines
  • 2 is normal
  • z has a cross
  • 7 has a cross
This lets me write thing like:


(zt + 2ij)/7Il

and still be able to read back what I wrote. This is also something I need when transcribing whiteboard coding interviews at work: [2]


for (int j = i; j < t + z; j++)

You might notice that I don't use this for the i or t in int. It's just for variables.


[1] I don't think this is original to me, but it's also something I picked up gradually as I realized that certain forms were more reliable.

[2] Yes, candidates write code on whiteboards, we transcribe it on paper, and then we type it into a computer for others to review. Someday candidates will write on laptops, I guess, but it was weird that we were doing it in 2010, and we're still doing it in 2018, so who knows.

Comment via: google plus, facebook

Recent posts on blogs I like:

Maybe it’s not me– it’s grad school

Just a low effort post. I would love a mutually supportive comment discussion about it (because I’m not on facebook). Twitter replies would be nice, too.  I appreciated this post from Ben Kuhn, Grad school is worse for public health than STDs. In it he ca…

via Holly Elmore December 11, 2019

Grad school is worse for public health than STDs

(The way you can *really* tell something is horribly wrong is that grad students find PhD Comics darkly funny, not just dark.)

via benkuhn.net December 8, 2019

I’m Giving a Talk About Construction Costs Tomorrow

By popular demand, I’m giving the talk I gave 2 weeks ago at NYU, again. The database will be revised slightly to include more examples (like Ukraine, which I added between when I gave the talk and when I blogged about it), and I may switch around a few t…

via Pedestrian Observations December 2, 2019

more     (via openring)

More Posts:


  ::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact