Reading papers that contain equations

I realized something today that I wish I had known a long, long time ago.

When reading a technical paper containing equations, there will be text, and there will be equations. Usually the equations come somewhere in the middle. However, when you come to the equations, you must understand the equations thoroughly before proceeding to the rest of the text.

I used to think that I could still get something important out of the paper without putting the time into understanding the equations, but in my experience that is simply not true.

Be ye warned.