SIAM Books Available Worldwide from Eurospan

SIAM books are now available to individuals, bookstores, and other retailers outside North America from Eurospan, who have taken over the role previously carried out by Cambridge University Press.

This is significant news for those of us outside North America for two reasons.

• Shipping is free, anywhere in the world.
• SIAM members get a 30 percent discount on entering a special code at checkout. This code was emailed to all SIAM members in March 2017. If you are a SIAM member and do not have the code, you can get it by contacting SIAM customer service at siambooks@siam.org.

Check out the landing page for SIAM books at the Eurospan website.

SIAM members outside North America now have three options for ordering SIAM books.

• Eurospan: 30 percent member discount; pay in GBP in the UK, euros in Europe, Australian dollars in Australian territories, US dollars everywhere else; free shipping.
• SIAM Bookstore: 30 percent member discount; pay in US dollars; free shipping (at least for the near future).
• Amazon: unpredictable, sometimes very small, discount; pay in currency of the particular site.

Dot Grid Paper for Writing Mathematics

As I discussed in Writing Mathematics in Pencil, and Why Analogue is Not Dead, there is a lot to be said for writing mathematics on paper, at least for early drafts before the material is typed into LaTeX.

There are essentially four types of paper that you might use.

• Plain paper. Readily available: you can always raid the printer or photocopier. A plain sheet of paper places no constraints on your writing, but it can make it hard to maintain straight lines and a consistent letter height.
• Ruled paper. The most popular choice. A drawback is that it may be hard to find the perfect line spacing, which can depend on what you are writing or even what pen you are using.
• Graph, or quadrille, paper. Although aimed at those needing to draw graphs or designs, this paper can be used for general writing, as long as the lines are not so prominent as to be distracting.

There is a fourth type of paper that is less well known, but is becoming more popular: dot grid paper. This paper contains a rectangular array of dots. It is particularly popular with bullet journal enthusiasts.

Could dot grid paper be the perfect choice for writing mathematics? The dots are sufficient to keep your writing straight, but there is less ink on the page to distract you in the way that rules or a graph pattern can. If you need to draw a diagram or graph then the dots are most likely all the guidance you need. And you can draw boxes through groups of four dots to make a to-do list. As explained on the Baron Fig website, dot grid is “there when you need structure, quiet when you don’t”.

A popular supplier of dot grid paper is Rhodia, whose Dot Pads have lightly printed dots at 5mm intervals. The pads are stapled at the top, with the cover pre-scored in order to help it fold around the back of the pad. They also have micro-perforations that make it very easy to tear a page off. Their paper is much-loved by users of fountain pens for its smooth quality and resistance to bleed-through.

For general comments on dot grid paper from the online stationer Bureau Direct, some great photos, and even a flowchart (written on dot grid of course), see 3 Reasons To Switch To Dot Paper.

Here is a sample of mathematics written on Rhodia dot grid paper, using a Tombow Mono 100 4B pencil.

Of course, you can generate your own dot grid paper with suitable LaTeX code. The following code is adapted from this post on Reddit; it produces this A4 sheet.

\documentclass{article}
\pagenumbering{gobble}
\usepackage[a4paper,hmargin={0mm,3mm},vmargin=5mm]{geometry}
\usepackage{tikz}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}[scale=.5]
\foreach \x in {0,...,41}
\foreach \y in {0,...,57}
{
\fill[gray!75] (\x,\y) circle (0.06cm);
}
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}


Give dot grid paper a try. It could be just what you need to unleash your mathematical (or other) creativity.