Writing In The Applied Math Discourse Community

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  • Topic: Mathematics, Applied mathematics
  • Pages : 11 (3141 words )
  • Download(s) : 255
  • Published : March 18, 2016
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Luc Brubaker
Final Project
Rhetorical Arts
Writing in the Applied Math Discourse Community

A discourse community that I would like to be involved in is the Applied Mathematics discourse community. Although James Paul Gee claims that it is not that simple to join a discourse community, it is even more so in the applied mathematics discourse community because of how broad it is. A lot of the time, people engulfed in the Applied Math discourse community are usually part of another discourse community. For example, Angela Gallegos, a math professor at LMU, got her PhD in Mathematics but also focuses on applying that to Biology. She is not only in the Applied Math discourse community, but in the Biology discourse community as well. Fitting into a discourse community takes a lot of time and effort according to Gee, so in order to finally reach integration into the discourse community, you must know everything about it. The first place to look in order to start the process would be to look at the discourse community’s core values and goals. The department of Science and Engineering at LMU states that their mission is to provide “outstanding educational opportunities in science, engineering, and mathematics in a mentoring environment to an increasingly diverse student body. The College emphasizes development of the whole person through its focus on ethical behavior and service to society.” Along with the mission statement, LMU also states numerous goals. For example, LMU claims one of their goals is, “to encourage the student to recognize the wide applicability of scientific, engineering, and mathematical methods and to become skillful in their use,” and “to prepare the student for a world of accelerating scientific and technological change.” However, a discourse community can’t just be fully understood through their goals and values. Another area that should be studied is the writing that is done by others already integrated in the discourse community. Tersea Thonney generated a theory that all academic writing contains a set of specific features that she sees as rules. This study will utilize Thonney’s theory in order to analyze the techniques used in three Applied Mathematics academic articles, giving a better idea of what writing looks like in the Applied Mathematics discourse community.

The first article analyzed was titled “Using Linear Algebra for Intelligent Information Retrieval,” written by Michael Berry, Susan T. Dumais, and Gavin O’Brien and published by Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics on May 26, 2006. This article studies uses a retrieval method called latent semantic indexing in order to call upon specific documents located in a group of 200-300 diverse documents. The second article that was analyzed is titled, “Two continuum models for the spreading of myxobacteria swarms,” written by Angela Gallegos, Barbara Mazzag, and Alex Mogilner and published in the Bulletin of Mathematic Biology on January 10, 2005. This article analyzes the diffusion of Myxococcus Xanthus through the narrowing reticulum of cells on the surface mathematically and derives formulae for the spreading rates. The last article that was examined was published on May 22, 2013 by the World Applied Science Journal, and was titled, “A Class of Linear Partition Error Control Codes in y-metric” and was written by Sapna Jain. This article formulates the concept of linear partition codes in the γ-metric and derives results for the random block error detection and random bock error correction capabilities of these codes. In Thonney’s article, “Teaching the Conventions of Academic Discourse”, Thonney theorizes that there are six rules every piece of academic writing across all academic discourses follow (Thonney 348). The first rule that Thonney talks about states “academic writers respond to what others have written about their topic” (349). What she means by that is that academic writers are always responding to ideas that have been...
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