I wrote an ugly master's thesis in mathematics. There were errors and I think it is not worth publishing. However, I managed to prove one theorem in a simple way that I have never seen before. I have seen another proof of the theorem and, in my opinion, it is more complicated than my proof.

  1. What would be a suitable way to get other mathematicians to know the proof?

  2. Is it fine if I post a question to Mathematics Stack Exchange and answer my own question?

3 Answers 3


What would be a suitable way to get other mathematicians to know the proof?

Publish it! Write the proof by itself in a short, self-contained paper, and submit it to a journal.

There are lots of papers in the literature giving "A new proof of ...". You may not be able to publish it in a very top journal, but if it's really new and significantly simpler than existing proofs, some reasonable journal should accept it.

Additionally, you can post it on https://arxiv.org, so that it's permanently available to the community, whether or not it eventually gets published.

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    To the OP: If you provide additional details (such as the statement of the theorem), we may be able to provide more specific guidance, such as which journals may be appropriate for such a paper. Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 18:56
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    I'd suggest arXiv first and publication (i.e. a submission to a journal) directly afterwards. Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 20:06

It is rare that a masters thesis gets published in a peer-reviewed publication in its entirety. When theses and dissertations get submitted to conferences and journals, it is almost always a pared-down (or broken-up) version of what was presented to the committee.

As such, if you feel you could "clean up" your thesis work into a smaller self-contained article, the next step is to find a venue that would be interested in your new proof. Your advisor or another mentor is a huge resource in this endeavor: they have likely read more literature than you and have a better sense for which conference/journal/publication would be appropriate for your particular result.

If your advisor cannot (or will not) help you find an appropriate outlet for your work, then I would consider posting to math.stackexchange.com.

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    No, that's not a place for a new proof (math.stackexchange). Put it on arxiv first, if it is intended to be submitted. Even if it is rejected, the arxiv verison is available and perhaps more permanent than just a post on math.sx Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 20:40
  • I considered counseling that course but figured that the proof was already committed to paper via his thesis. Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 21:01
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    Is it available online? Is it written in English? A rewrite can also help you make it even nicer or find generalizations. Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 21:04

I think asking for advice is always good, but I would rather post a question of the form "Is this proof of X new and/or worth publishing?" That would probably attract attention from knowledgeable people. Note, however, that people may not take you seriously if X is "Fermat's last theore", "P = NP", "Collatz conjecture" or other famously hard problem :)

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