Style Guide

Sometimes, when there's no unique way to write something, you need to make a decision. Below are certain rules that I abide by. They are surely arbitrary to some degree, but at least I will stick to one way of doing something.

General rule: US English based on Merriam-Webster.

(Please don't take this as a snobby thing. It's literally just a reminder for myself.)

Words I hyphen

  • non-classical

  • real-world problem

  • line-source

  • zeroth-order, first-order, second-order, ...

  • left-hand side

  • non-negative

  • in-scattering

  • pre-collision

Words I don't hyphen

  • path length distribution (not path lengths distribution)

  • ray effects

  • test case

  • phase space

  • cross section

  • preprocess

Referencing and citing

  • From (1.1) and (1.2) follows ....

  • I like Table 1.1.

  • I like Figure 1.1.

  • I like Algorithm 1.1.

  • In Appendix A, ...

  • There are many sections.

  • I like Section A.

  • This dates back to the original work by Doe [12].

  • Ways to solve this problem are presented in [13,132,999].

  • Previous work [9,2,3] used different approaches.


  • The ball's position. (Ball is singular, apostrophe.)

  • The balls' positions. (Balls is plural, no apostrophe.)

  • Thomas's thesis. (No, your English teacher was wrong.)

  • My Boss's ship. (Just to prove a point)

Random things

  • All chapter names have only the first letter capitalized.

  • True, also for "List of figures", not "List of Figures".

  • Ph.D. thesis, not PhD thesis

  • Three things are important: (i) This, (ii) that, and (iii) something else.
    (Use i), ii), ... for inline enumerations.)

  • Bla bla, i.e., bla bla. (Two commas.)

  • Bla bla, e.g., bla bla. (Two commas.)

  • Bla bla et al.

  • An adjective, adjective noun. (An expensive, huge smartphone.)

  • I want to thank you, you, and you. (Oxford comma.)

  • Bla bla---something in between---bla bla. (Em-dash, no spaces around it.)

  • spatial discretization

Math things

  • Small variables for n_x, n_y, n_q, ...

  • Order is usually capitalized, i.e., order N

  • time steps are usually the small n, f^n, f^{n+1}, ...

  • i,j,k for spatial variables

  • q for angular variable

  • If it is an enumeration of equalities, use letter
    a = 1 (1.2a)
    b= 1 +0 (1.2b)
    c= 1 + 2 -2 (1.2c)
    1 = 1 (1.2a)
    = 1 +0 (1.2b)
    = 1 + 2 -2 (1.2c)

  • Same for equivalence relations
    1=1 (1.1a)
    <=>2=2 (1.1b)

  • Use commas this way
    = 1+1,

  • If you read it out, it makes sense.
    First example: It follows 1 equal to 1 equal to 1+1, thus bla bla.
    Second example: It follows a equal to 1 which is equivalent to 2a equal to 2. (This could be debatable though and is a bit motivated by convenience)
    Third example: This is an enumeration: We know that 1 equal to 1, 2 equal to 2, and 3 equal to 3.

  • Do not include a number for an equation that has already been mentioned and just gets recalled.

  • Write non-bold letters for (multi-dimensional) subspaces, e.g. V \subset \mathbb{R}^3.