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What is the consensus way to typeset statistical distributions? For the normal distribution I have seen all of:

$X\sim N(\mu,\,\sigma^{2})$



Are there any subtleties for distributions with multiple letters in their name or which use the Greek alphabet, particularly since the latter are not automatically italic in LaTeX? For instance:

$X\sim Exp(\lambda)$

$X\sim\Gamma(a,\, b)$

(My personal inclination would be for all distribution names to be upright, which is particularly convenient for the Greek-letter distributions. But this does not seem to be the norm in my sources.)

A related question is the degree of spacing which is appropriate between parameters for those distributions, like the normal, which take more than one.

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closed as off-topic by Joseph Wright Aug 7 '13 at 11:38

  • This question does not fall within the scope of TeX, LaTeX or related typesetting systems as defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Welcome to! – Speravir Feb 16 '13 at 3:06
I assume you want $X\sim\mathit{Exp}(\lambda)$, not $X\sim Exp(\lambda)$. The italic font you get with $Exp$ would be correct only if each letter was a separate mathematical symbol (for instance, if they were three variables being multiplied together). Also, I don't know what the convention is, but I think that $X\sim N(\mu,\sigma^{2})$ is perfectly readable without any extra space. – MSC Feb 17 '13 at 20:18
MSC: thanks, that is obviously correct - if the italic font is desired in that context, it ought to be done using \mathit. On the other hand I don't think I've ever seen anybody use that! Which suggests the times I have seen e.g. Exp written in italic, it may have been from laziness rather than a conscious style choice. As for the spacing I have seen both with and without a space... – Silverfish Feb 18 '13 at 8:51
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about mathematical notation itself, not how to implement a particular notation in (La)TeX. – Joseph Wright Aug 7 '13 at 11:38