Brilliant wiki pages are written for people who are curious about math, science, or engineering, by people who know a lot about a topic. They are a way to share knowledge and satisfy your curiosity.
This page contains guidelines for writing a great wiki page. For many, writing a wiki page is a rewarding creative process. What you create has the potential to help other mathematicians, scientists, and engineers around the world. For help with Markdown and LaTeX syntax for wiki formatting, see the page on Wiki Formatting.
A Brilliant wiki page has a brief overview of a topic, followed by tons of relevant examples and practical applications. It should also have the following attributes:
- Engaging perspective - The topic is introduced in a way that explains why a person should be interested.
- Illuminating examples - Key concepts are illustrated through examples that build intuition and quickly convey a practical knowledge of how to solve common problems.
- Visual appeal - The page is well-organized, easy to read, and integrates helpful images, GIFs, and videos.
- Interactivity - The page contains quizzes and problems for the reader to try, to see if they understand the concepts and techniques in the wiki.
Brilliant wiki pages are written at the reading and comprehension level of an advanced high school student. They are not meant to comprehensively teach you a topic from scratch, but to assume some prior knowledge and act as a resource of practical and interesting examples.
Great wiki pages that are a pleasure to read take time and iteration. These are key elements that editors look for in the structure of every page:
- The first sentence of the page should define what the topic is.
- The remaining sentences in the first paragraph should build understanding in a way that motivates the topic.
- The page should be well-organized into sections and have a table of contents.
- Each section should explain topics by showing them to the reader – e.g., how they work, what they do, examples – rather than listing a series of facts.
Brilliant wiki pages should aspire to be pages about math, science, and engineering that people love to read. An important way to accomplish this is to show rather than tell.
Offer perspective on what makes facts significant and interesting. For instance, on the gamma functions page, after the first sentence containing the definition, Brilliant says:
“The gamma function is defined for all complex numbers except the nonpositive integers. It is also useful in analytic contexts, and is used heavily in identities and proofs.”
The page also contains a number of examples showing how to apply the gamma function.
Cite a complicated series of facts without motivating those facts, or relating those facts to their function:
“The gamma function is defined by a convergent improper integral for complex numbers with a positive real part. It is defined for all complex numbers, except for non positive integers. Using a technique to extend the domain of an analytic function, known as analytic continuation, the convergent improper integral for complex numbers can be extended to all complex numbers (except for non-positive integers). It yields the meromorphic function referred to as the gamma function.”
There are many different ways to get started. Here is a simple process of writing a great new wiki page, that is applicable to numerous pages.
- Brainstorm 10 key concepts and examples that are relevant to your topic
- Identify important or interesting ones
- Organize the page into logical sections and subsections
- Add images if they can help illustrate a concept
- Remove irrelevant information
- Submit for review