Presentations of mathematics majors

This list from the JMM 2013 Minicourse Teaching and Assessing Mathematical Communication characterizes effective presentations of mathematics majors.

Formal correctness: Definitions and terminology are correct; assumptions and givens are clearly stated; mathematics is correct; grammar etc. are correct.

Organizational structure: Good logical flow; structure of presentation (intro/body/conclusion) is clear; good outline or overview; attractive intro with brief background and good motivation; clear conclusion and summary of ideas.

Micro-organization: Appropriate detail, completeness and emphasis; good examples; avoids tedious details; appropriate mix of generalities and specifics

Preparation:  Topic chosen is interesting and of appropriate difficulty; crafting of presentation shows awareness of audience; demonstrates comfort with own presentation, e.g., not just copying notes; appropriate choice of slides vs. blackboard.

Implementation: Audible, understandable speech; enthusiastic and interactive presentation; attentiveness to audience (notably, eye contact and pauses for understanding if appropriate); appropriate pacing; appropriate personal bearing.

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What is Math Comm

MAA Mathematical Communication ( is a developing collection of resources for engaging students in writing and speaking about mathematics. The site originated in the MIT Department of Mathematics and was expanded through support from an NSF grant.