I am preparing scientific thesis for the degree of PhD. It is a mathematical thesis.
It is usually very difficult to tell your colleagues and friends what are the things you exactly work on with detail. It is a widely spread opinion that mathematics are dull, boring and whatever you try to say to explain why they are important, nobody will even try to make the effort to understand you, because of its bad reputation :P
Well, then I thought, that is enough, even if a PhD thesis is technical and very often out of reach for non-experts, I would like to devote the first part of the introduction (it is divided into three sections) for all audiences, trying to explain with very simple words, ideas and examples what it is about, what I am doing and why it is important. I gave it to a friend and he could understand it without problem and actually he found it really interesting which made me very glad. I think it is good to take all audience into account since many of the people who helped me during this long and tedious trip are non-experts in the field.
My question is simple: is this OK? Is it, or can it be accepted that I devote the first pages of the introduction to try to explain advanced mathematics for anyone in a very informal way? (informal I mean, easy, which you usually don't find in scientific papers, but politely of course) or would a scientific committe think I'm idiot.
I have divided the introduction in three sections: The first part is what I've been saying, the second is the international context of the thesis and lines of research and the third is its structure. (The two last parts are usually what one should include)
What are your opinions? I find it very nice if someone can pick up a random thesis and at least understand a little bit what it is all about.
Last and most important question: What title could I give to this "very informal" section? Any nice suggestions? :)
Thanks a lot for any advice and ideas! Really!