Serge Lang is
an assho mathematician who “writes” (I use the term loosely) textbooks for various branches of mathematics. His texts include “MATH! Encounters with High School Students,” “The Beauty of Doing mathematics,” “Geometry. A High School Course,” “Basic Mathematics,” “A First Course in Calculus,” “Calculus of Several Variables,” “Introduction to Linear Algebra,” “Linear Algebra,” “Undergraduate Algebra,” “Undergraduate Analysis,” “Complex Analysis,” and “Real and Functional Analysis.”
I hold a deep respect for anyone with the patience and knowledge to write a textbook; especially a textbook for a math course. It would seem to me to be a rather cumbersome task. Serge Lang however, did it in one weekend. And then bragged about it. Yes, my friends, he wrote a book in one weekend. Yes, it is blatantly obvious that he has done so.
He is not favoured amoung textbook authors (at least not at SRC), one of the reasons why is his highly condescending writing. “Paper should also be required to be neat and legible. They should not look as if a stoned fly has just crawled out of an inkwell,” to quote his introduction. He also explain that “The truth of mathematical statement is invariant under permutations of the alphabet,” which, though granted it is true, he uses this fact to rather much mindfuck the students unfortunate enough to have to learn from his texts. Midway through his exercises he establishes that “to break the monotony of the letter x, (we will) use another..” His new letter choice is t, which I whole heartedly believe his chose on the basis of similarity between the letter t and a plus sign.
In addition he has also invented a fairly infamous function schmoo which is equal to 1/(x+ sin(x)). This also happens to be the derivative of cow(x). He has also managed, in the FIFTH revision of his textbook, to continually misspell the name of Allen Altman, a professor at SRC, who, in addition to sending in large lists of corrections to the text book, was also his advisee for his doctorate.