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While most of the posts are aimed at those with a graduate maths background, I will also occasionally have a number of non-technical posts aimed at a lay mathematical audience.  My selection of topics is guided by my own personal taste; I do not take requests for specific topics to post about on this blog.

I welcome comments from people with all kinds of mathematical backgrounds and levels of expertise; my only requests are that the discussions are kept constructive, polite, and at least tangentially relevant to the topic at hand. Comments which are spam, self-promoting, off-topic, or otherwise not fulfilling the above requests will be summarily deleted; repeated offenders in this regard may be subject to blocking.  In particular, comments devoted primarily to promoting one’s own research are subject to deletion.  Also, comments which essentially duplicate previous comments may also be deleted, or used to replace the previous comment, as appropriate.  Finally, comments whose sole purpose is to solicit an answer to a homework problem are discouraged, and will be deleted if they are unlikely to lead to any discussion of wider interest.  (However, questions inspired by a homework problem, for instance inquiring as to further connections between two mathematical topics connected by such a problem, or questions centred on a very specific technical point in the solution of that problem, are welcome.) Of course, I will not be able to personally respond to all the comments made on this blog.

I have enabled the ability to rate comments on this blog.  However, this rating system is unregulated and should not be taken as any sort of official evaluation of one’s comments.  In the interest of constructive criticism, negative ratings should be used sparingly.  To discuss the ratings system, please visit this thread.

Any discussion, feedback, questions or suggestions not related to one of these topics can be placed as a comment to this “About” page, or at my open thread. Comments about formatting and presentation can be made at this page.

Terence Tao

[Update, Mar 31 2007: Opened this page to comments.]

— Some technical remarks —

WordPress has the ability to insert LaTeX math code (e.g. \int_{-\infty}^\infty e^{-\pi x^2}\ dx = 1) into both posts and comments. The format for this is “$latex [Your LaTeX code]$” (without typing the square brackets). See this announcement for details.  Note that LaTeX macros and environments are not supported, similarly, double dollar signs $$ do not create LaTeX displays (one can use \displaystyle to get an approximation of these displays, though.)  Also, line breaks are not allowed within a LaTeX code.

There used to be a number of quirks with the WordPress LaTeX plugin, but they have now largely been fixed.  If you find any problems, please report them at this page.

WordPress also supports a certain amount of HTML. As a consequence, be careful with using the signs in a comment, they may be misinterpreted as HTML tags! You can use < and > instead.

In case a comment really gets mangled up by formatting errors, you can contact me and I can try to manually correct it.

I have heard that it is possible to configure wordpress so that comments can be previewed; if anyone has any specific knowledge on how to implement that feature, I would appreciate knowing about it. [Removed, Apr 8 2007, in response to comments.]

If a comment does not immediately appear after you submit it, it may have been accidentally flagged as spam (this in particular can happen for a post with an excessive number of links). In that case, please contact me and I will de-flag it.

I do not have PDF copies of my posts. However, the “print preview” feature in your browser should convert the post to a format which is suitable for conversion to PDF, with the sidebar and header removed. Also, at the end of some years, I convert many of my blog posts into a book format; see this page.

I have occasionally been asked for the formatting I use for my own posts.  I use the Tarski theme with a modified CSS, in order to do things such as boxed theorems.  (To use the CSS, one needs to purchase a CSS upgrade.) I also use Luca Trevisan’s LaTeX to WordPress converter to write the more mathematically intensive posts.

— Copyright etc. —

Readers are welcome to copy, link to, quote from, or translate reasonable portions of the content of this blog (e.g. a single article) into other media, though for items longer than one or two paragraphs, I would appreciate it if a reference or citation to the URL that the content originates from is provided. If you wish to copy a significantly larger fraction of the content (e.g. an entire series of articles), please contact me about it first.