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In the following MWE \appendix doesn't change the section numbering to Alph:

\documentclass{book}

\newcommand*{\appheading}[1][Mathematical Appendix]{\setcounter{secnumdepth}{-1}%
  \chapter{#1}\setcounter{secnumdepth}{2}}

\begin{document}

\frontmatter
\tableofcontents

\mainmatter
\chapter{Foo}

\appheading
\appendix
\section{Bar} 

\end{document}
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\appendix does change the chapter numbering style to \Alph, but your code does not contain any \chapter command after \appendix. Insert one and you'll see. –  Jubobs May 30 '13 at 20:03
    
@Jubobs I want an unnumbered appendix header "Mathematical Appendix" and then alphabetically numbered sections and subsections. So basically the way to go is to change the section counter to use alphabetical numbers? –  petobens May 30 '13 at 20:11
    
Normally, appendices are chapters, not sections. Why not simply use chapters? –  Jubobs May 30 '13 at 20:17
    
Something like this: \newcommand*{\appheading}[1][Apéndice Matemático]{\setcounter{secnumdepth}{-1}\chapter{#1}\renewcommand*{\thesection}{‌​M.\arabic{section}}% \setcounter{secnumdepth}{2}}. –  petobens May 30 '13 at 20:27
    
@Jubobs Thanks for your answer! I ended up doing what I said in my last comment. Should I accept your answer or post my comment as an answer? –  petobens May 30 '13 at 20:54
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2 Answers

Normally appendices are chapters, not sections. I wouldn't deviate from that convention, if I were you. If you want an appendix heading, you can use \appendixpage from the appendix package.

Note: I've used the onside option here to get a more compact output (fewer blank pages).

\documentclass[oneside]{book}

\usepackage{appendix}
\renewcommand\appendixpagename{Mathematical Appendix}

\begin{document}

\frontmatter
\tableofcontents

\mainmatter
\chapter{Foo}

\appendix
\appendixpage
\renewcommand\thechapter{M.\arabic{chapter}}

\chapter{Bar} 

\end{document}

enter image description here

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I ended up doing the following:

\documentclass{book}

\newcommand*{\bookappendix}[2]{%
  \setcounter{secnumdepth}{-1}\chapter{#1}\setcounter{secnumdepth}{2}%
  \setcounter{section}{0}\renewcommand*{\thesection}{{#2}.\arabic{section}}%
}

\begin{document}

\frontmatter
\tableofcontents

\mainmatter
\chapter{Foo}
\section{Faz} 


\bookappendix{Mathematical Appendix}{M}
\section{Bar} 
\subsection{Baz}

\bookappendix{Statistical Appendix}{S}
\section{Par} 
\subsection{Paz}

\end{document}
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