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so I have $m\times n = n + n + \dots + n$ in my text right now, but I would like to put a curly brace under the \dots to emphasize that there are m n's involved. How would I do this?

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Try to use \overbrace or \underbrace with a _ or ^ as appropiate. Also, I would try to put the curly brace under the whole sum. It seems clearer, in my opinion:

  n \times m = \underbrace{n + n + \dots + n}_{m}
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I think you mean $\underset{_{\{m\} }} {\ldots}$ but you may also mean $\ldots_{ \stackrel{\{ m \}}{}}$ . I think I generally recall the latter way being the way most frequently seen in texbooks. But changing the font in this spot is a little tricky. You can change the font in math mode \mathsmaller or something like that.

Either one of these work for you?

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