This tag is for questions about the usage and meaning of mathematical terminology and the names for mathematical entities in English.

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0
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1answer
72 views

Indefinite Article for “s-t-path” [duplicate]

I am currently writing a (mathematical) paper, which considers so called paths in graphs. The start of a path is usually denoted by the letter s and the end of the path is denoted by t. The whole path ...
7
votes
3answers
530 views

“That… be” construction

We will make the convention that exact categories be skeletally small. Is this construction (used in a mathematical context) correct? There is something that strikes me as odd in that "be". ...
1
vote
3answers
249 views

Uniformalize vs uniformize

In my standard college dictionary "uniformalize" is listed as rare, while "uniformize" is not listed at all, yet wikipedia is the opposite.
1
vote
1answer
81 views

“The Hypercube algorithm is so …” or “Hypercube algorithm is so…”? [duplicate]

I have an algorithm inspired by mathematical concept called hypercube. I use Hypercube algorithm as a name. Now when I write about it, do I need "the" article in front of the name "Hypercube ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

What is the correct word to describe something that is like a frustum?

Does such a word exist? I came across this question while writing some software that used frustums, making certain parts of it... eh... frustumy?
0
votes
4answers
81 views

Use of “the” before a defined entity?

Should we write: "x is an element of vector X" or "x is an element of the vector X"? I have always been taught to use the former formulation, but now am asked to use the latter. Am confused. Any ...
1
vote
2answers
439 views

Why is the letter 'X' given importance in mathematics? [closed]

In mathematics the letter 'X' is always given importance over other letters. Why is it so?
111
votes
3answers
14k views

Why does “quadratic” describe second power when “quad” means “four”?

In mathematics, quadratic means "involving the second and no higher power of an unknown quantity or variable". But the prefix quad- usually describes something that has to do with four, such as ...
3
votes
3answers
846 views

“Scratch-work” synonym

Mathematicians often have to perform calculations on paper (maybe often is an understatement). To describe this, I have always referred to it as "scratch-work". Is there any alternate way I could ...
4
votes
2answers
140 views

Which ordinal indicator, if any, should be used on symbolic math variables? [duplicate]

Consider: “the n-th root of x,” (or nth) “the a-th derivative of b,” (or ath) and even more troublesome: “the ϑ-th something…” (or ϑth… thetath?) Is there a rule for which ordinal indicator to ...
1
vote
1answer
354 views

Etymology of “chain rule” (calculus)

In calculus there is a formula known as the chain rule, used for differentiating composite functions. What is the origin of this expression?
0
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3answers
622 views

Equivalent of the word “quadrant”

What would be the equivalent of the word quadrant when referring to 1/2 and 1/8 of an area? I'm looking for a more specific term than simply a half. To give more detail, I'm looking for a term which ...
5
votes
3answers
33k views

“an hour and a half” or “one and a half hours”

Are both "an hour and a half" and "one and a half hours" correct? If so, is either more appropriate in different contexts? Example context: "The Superbowl starts in less than one and a half ...
-3
votes
2answers
170 views

What is the Metric version of “Empirical”? [closed]

Most of the Anglosphere uses the metric system, but I cannot find the term for an "empirical" metric. Does such a word exist, if not, why has "empirical" continued to be used by countries that have ...
0
votes
0answers
208 views

An 'x' or a 'x'? [duplicate]

Suppose that 'x' is a variable in a Mathematics text. What is more correct to say: a. Pick an 'x' or b. pick a 'x'?
0
votes
4answers
363 views

Is there a name for a “non-rectangular matrix”? [closed]

According to Wikipedia a matrix in the mathematical sense is a rectangular array of numbers. So this: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 7 8 9 10 would be an example for a matrix, while the following would ...
1
vote
3answers
393 views

What is a word that means “starting from one”?

I'm looking for an adjective that means "to start from the number one." This is so I can describe a sequence that starts from the number one. I want to be able to say something like "Choose any ...
4
votes
7answers
14k views

Does “less than” really mean “subtracted from”, or is it bad English?

I got involved in a discussion about some Math problems provided in the local primary school education: 20 more than 543 is 563 25 less than 261 is 236 155 less than 310 is 155 355 more than 1233 is ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

How do you call the largest unsigned item in a list? [closed]

What is the clearest way to refer to -10 in the example vector v; v = (1, ⅔, -10)? I initially was going to refer to it as the largest entry of v but don't want to run the risk of having the reader ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Adjectives that describe the general shape of fishes

My question has to do with the adjectives one can use to describe the very general shape of a fish if we think of these three axes: tail-to-head axis back-to-belly axis side-to-side axis Question ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

Should a mathematical variable at the beginning of a sentence be capitalized? [duplicate]

If a sentence starts with a mathematical variable which normally is lower case, should that variable be capitalized? Or is it better to just avoid starting sentences with variables? x and y ...
0
votes
1answer
173 views

How to use of “the” with some equations? [duplicate]

I am thinking which one you should use A Lorem ipsun which is the Wigner-Ville transform. B Lorem ipsun which is Wigner-Ville transform. Some says that the first but I like the last one ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

A word meaning “to set equal to one” in a mathematical application?

How do I describe the process of setting something equal to 1 in a mathematical application? I often deal with numbers and figures that are set equal to zero when certain conditions are met, and the ...
1
vote
5answers
2k views

What do you call a sequence of repeating numbers

For example, I have a sequence 77777777777 Is there a word in the dictionary to represent a sequence of repetitive/recurring numbers
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Is 'times it by' or 'minus it by' correct?

I'm always hearing math instructors, and students, use ‘times it by’ to describe multiplicative operations: “…To find the ratio, you times it by one hundred…” To hear other students phrasing ...
4
votes
3answers
149 views

Name for Variable satisfying an inequality with equality

In mathematics we often have statements like a x <= b, where a and b are constants and x is a variable. Now there may be variables satisfying the inequality (that is the statement is true) as well ...
0
votes
1answer
280 views

Word for something partitioned into 16 parts?

On a two-dimensional Cartesian plane we can naturally subdivide the space into four quadrants at the origin. In three-dimensions, the partition into eight parts are known as octants. In ...
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4answers
196 views

What word am I looking for (similar to “subset”)

If... (A) is a subset of (A) (A,B) is a subset of (A,B,C) (B,A) is not a subset of (A,B,C) because order matters. (B,C) is not a subset of (A,B,C) because I only want to compare the front of each ...
8
votes
1answer
229 views

How to punctuate math fractions?

I was doing the Writing and interpreting decimals exercise on Khan Academy and was asked the following question: What is nine and three hundred two thousandths in numerical form? I read it as ...
1
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2answers
734 views

Antonym of all: none, not all, both?

If you ask someone what the opposite of "all" was, most times the answer will be "none", such as the example of "no one" is the opposite of "everyone". There are three antonyms for "all" on ...
4
votes
1answer
636 views

What is the suffix in indexed math symbols

I've been watching some online courses and I'm having a difficulty understanding what exactly are they saying. The courses are scientific in nature and rather often an indexed symbols appear. The ...
0
votes
4answers
127 views

Let Ω be a domain in/of Rⁿ

What is the correct preposition in the sentence: Let Ω be a domain in/of Rⁿ. Is there a different meaning for "in" and "of"? Both seem to be commonly used, Google gives about 200.000 hits for both, ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Use of an Apostrophe in Maths Place Values

In mathematics, when you're discussing the concepts behind different number bases, it's often necessary to refer to a digit's place. For example, in the following "base 10" number (the number system ...
3
votes
5answers
383 views

Is there a word that means “both micro and macro”

I am looking for a word that means "micro and macro". For instance, if I was describing an economic phenomenon that can be observed on both the micro and macro levels of the economy, I could call it a ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the name of the Division line? [closed]

What is the name of the horizontal division line? Is there a name for it other than "division line?
3
votes
7answers
246 views

Find or invent a term for “Completely intersecting minus one”

I'm writing a paper that frequently references regions on a string, and these regions often intersect. I need to succinctly describe regions that almost completely intersect. For example, given the ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Which is the correct form: “Parameter set”, “parameters set”, or “parameters' set”?

I have sets of parameters like (1, 2, 3, 5) or (3.14, 2.73, 1.44, 1.73). They are named, but I do not think it makes any difference. Which form is the correct one to call one general case or example ...
1
vote
3answers
225 views

Term for pertaining to the polar direction

I am discussing a system (in a scientific context) which is described with spherical polar coordinates. This has a radial coordinate r, a polar angle θ and a azimuth angle φ. A diagram can be found on ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Taking a tenner from neighbour

Let's define the first number as "ab" and the second number as "cd". In "ab"-"cd" proces, if "b" is smaller than "d", we add 10 to "b" and reduce 1 from "a". In Turkish, we called it "taking a ...
1
vote
1answer
955 views

“Function defined on/over the set A”

For the mathematically inclined fellows: If f is a function whose domain is the set A, do you say that f is defined on A or over A? Do both prepositions apply here or is the use of one of them ...
0
votes
1answer
138 views

A fraction less than something? [closed]

I encountered a question which is phrased: A book store stocks 1/5 of its books as fiction works, and 1/3 less than the fiction books as self-help books. What fraction of books are fiction and ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

The Condition Holds vs is Satisfied vs Obtains

In mathematical/scientific texts, conditions that are true (within context) are said to hold be satisfied obtain (the last one was news for me) My question is whether there is nuance in meaning ...
2
votes
1answer
311 views

Circle is to cylinder as ellipse is to what?

What do you call the geometric shape obtained when you give an ellipse thickness? Or in other words, a circle is to a cylinder as an ellipse is to what?
2
votes
2answers
280 views

Correct phrase for “Chain of equations”

In math, one often writes a = b = c = d to prove that a=d. How is such a sequence of equations called in English? In German, there is “Gleichungskette”, but the direct translation “Chain of ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

Understanding smaller parts without understanding what they mean when put together

I am looking for an which adjective/adverb/phrase which refers to understanding all of the smaller components of something without understanding what they mean when put together. "We understand every ...
0
votes
3answers
393 views

What is a word similar to “multiplier” but for addition (or subtraction) [closed]

A multiplier is a number by which another number is multiplied. What do you call a number by which another number is added or subtracted?
0
votes
2answers
86 views

An expression similar to “frame of reference”

I am trying to explain a mathematical point that is used for comparison such that all values are compared to it, like a "frame of reference". I've also thought of "pivot of comparison". Are any of ...
-1
votes
1answer
778 views

Need we use “sums” in sentences whenever they describe the sum of plural objects? [duplicate]

Need we use sums in the case that the sentence describes the sum of plural objects? For example, “100 centimeters sums to one meter” versus “100 centimeters sum to one meter”. They both seem make ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

dividend/divisor vs. numerator/denominator [closed]

From Wikipedia: In the expression a ÷ b = c, a is called the dividend or numerator, b the divisor or denominator and the result c is called the quotient. What's most common (in the context of ...
2
votes
1answer
672 views

Capitalization and hyphenation for prefixed adjectives derived from proper names in mathematics

In mathematics, it often occurs that the last names of famous mathematicians are used as adjectives with mathematical meaning. Most of these adjectives are written with a capital letter. Then, ...