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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5
votes
3answers
325 views

Collection of mathematical formulas

What is the correct term for a collection of mathematical formulas in the form of a (small) handbook? I'm looking for a translation of the German noun “Formelsammlung”. Several dictionarys suggest ...
3
votes
2answers
477 views

Is there a term for “distinguishing between different concepts through the use of different, though synonymous, words”?

Background: A friend mentioned that he wanted to organise a board gaming tournament with 21 players. He opined that there ought to be a way to schedule seven 3-player games so that each player plays ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

“integer multiple” vs. “integral multiple”

Nine is an integer multiple of three. Nine is an integral multiple of three. Which is more common? If both are accepted, what's the subtle difference between them?
0
votes
2answers
58 views

“books” vs. “more books”

I have a 2nd-grader and I am trying to help him with his math work but I think I might be making things a lot more complicated than they need to be. The question asks: Meg needs _ books to have as ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

What is an adjective for a very large negative number?

A number that is very large (but not infinite) such as 1,000,000,000,000,000 could be called huge, enormous, large, big, gigantic, etc. A number that is very small such as 0.000000001 could be called ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

Is it appropriate to state a mathematical fact with the word “whenever”?

From time to time, in Math textbook, I encounter the statement using whenever, e.g. on page 12 of Horst Herrlich's Axiom of Choice "A has an upper bound in X whenever each pair of elements of A has an ...
1
vote
3answers
303 views

Noun form of “umbilical”?

In Differential Geometry (a branch of mathematics) there exists the notion of an umbilical point. Is there a noun corresponding to the adjective umbilical? Could I write something like "It follows by ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Using the word “difference” in the meaning “result of subtraction” taking into account the negative values

The result of subtraction is called "difference". At first glance it might seem that it shouldn't cause an ambiguity over the value denoted by this word; until we stumble upon subtractions that ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

Alternative to “minuend” and “subtrahend”

In math, I just learned that when performing subtraction, the terms for each number are as follows: minuend − subtrahend = difference I have never heard of minuend and subtrahend before, and I'm ...
-3
votes
1answer
22k views

What does “evaluate” mean when used in Mathematical problems? [closed]

When solving Mathematical problems, I usually come across with titles like: Evaluate the expression below. Evaluate this: ∜[(log2(48 / 3) + 1)2 - 9] Evaluate the following integral. When I ...
7
votes
8answers
55k views

Why is “a 100% increase” the same amount as “a two-fold increase”?

and is such interpretation the norm? When something went from 4 units to 8 units, most authoritative sources seem to agree with the use of "a two-fold increase", even though what was actually ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Why abbreviation for “Definition” as “Def^n” (math context)

I've seen in math and physics lectures delivered in English, that people use to abreviate the commonly very used word "Definition" by "Def n"(Def superscript n). What's the meaning of this n? That is, ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Hyphens after the prefixes “non-” and “anti-” in mathematics

Is there a convention when to attach the prefixes non- and anti- to mathematical terms using a hyphen and when without? One uses non-zero but also noncommutative. Likewise for anti-. I no longer ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

“Hence”, “therefore” and “so” in mathematical proofs

It seems to me that "so" is seldom used in math proofs. Instead, "hence" and "therefore" are used very often, even repeatedly appearing in several sentences in a row. So I wonder if my feeling is ...
1
vote
3answers
16k views

What's the difference between perimeter and circumference? [closed]

What's the difference between perimeter and circumference when they mean the total length of the boundary of a two-dimensional geometric shape?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why don't years have commas?

For example, if one asks "what's two thousand plus two thousand", one could write it like this: 2,000 + 2,000 But when one writes the date: January 2, 2000 So why do we put commas when ...
0
votes
3answers
755 views

Five percent VS The five percent [closed]

Five percent VS The five percent. Which one is correct and why? Because i.e. this page exists http://www.thetwopercent.com/ or the famous slogan ;) "we are the 99%.". However, on the official apple ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

How to read parentheses equation [closed]

I have problems with reading mathematical equations in which there are parentheses; could anybody help me? For example: (x−a) (x+b) = 5 (x−a) + 2 (a+10) = z 2 + (10−a) d ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

What do you call the maximum number of recent values used for calculating an average [closed]

A sensor measures some physical quantity (like temperature). The measured value is tapped every 100ms or so. An average is calculated over the x most recently measured values. I.e. with every new ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

“Parametrise” or “parameterise” a curve?

In British English, which one is correct? Does one parameterise a curve or parametrise it?
-4
votes
1answer
669 views

What's the word for the property of being divisible by a particular number? [closed]

Example: Since x is even (i.e., divisible by 2), its --word-- is true. Since y is odd, y's --word-- is false. The description suggests 'moddity', but there was another word for it... BTW, I ...
3
votes
1answer
391 views

“Both of” vs. just “both” with mathematical symbols

In mathematical writing we use letters to denote the mathematical objects we are writing about. I wonder how to use "both of" in the following phrase: Both of I and I' are irreducible ideals. ...
6
votes
2answers
207 views

word for bringing a number to its absolute value

In mathematics, the absolute value of a number n is either −n if n is negative or n itself if otherwise. Is there a single word or shorter description for the replacement of n with its absolute ...
2
votes
1answer
247 views

Inverse proportions, but the other way around [closed]

The title sucks, I know... Anyway: As part of a game I'm making, one of the buildings decreases the time it takes to build other things. Like so: At level 0: Full time At level 1: Full time / 2 At ...
22
votes
4answers
22k views

How to read exponential expressions, e.g., “2^16”?

How do you say the mathematical function in English: x^y (or xy) For example, how do you say 2^16 (or 216) I know ^ means 'power' or 'exponentiate', but that is the name of the ...
82
votes
27answers
7k views

How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”

According to one of the questions already asked on EL&U, “E = mc²” is read as E equals M C squared. How do we read “E = (mc)²” so that it is not mistaken for “E = mc²”?
2
votes
1answer
4k views

“Nominator” or “Numerator”? [closed]

Consider the fraction 3/7. In Mathematics, "7" in the expression is called "denominator" of the fraction. But in the case of "3", some people call it "nominator", and some call it "numerator". Which ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Should I use hyphens with prefixes like “sub” and “semi”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? Some English texts, use the prefix sub put before a given proper word with "-" between them, for ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

When do we use “suppose” and when “let”?

As a matter of fact, these two words are used a lot in mathematical contexts. Often, we use them interchangeably; but I do realize that that might not be correct. What should I do about this matter? ...
16
votes
1answer
10k views

Trapezium/trapezoid — why are the US/UK definitions swapped around?

These are the US definitions... Trapezoid — a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides that has a pair of opposite sides parallel. Trapezium — a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides and NO parallel ...
6
votes
3answers
687 views

Etymology of “magma” in abstract algebra

Magma is one of those beautiful words of Greek origin (μάγμα) that arouses the child and the wild in me, making me think of volcanoes. I just found out, though, that it is also used in mathematics to ...
0
votes
2answers
502 views

Explanation of sentence [closed]

I don't understand this sentence.... I know the meaning of all words except distinct... I looked in dictionary.. but I don't understand..:/ Output the number of distinct values when considered MOD ...
6
votes
1answer
328 views

“Commutivity” or “commutativity”

I see commutivity used in contexts where the meaning appears to be the same as commutativity. Here are an example from physics and another example. Is commutivity incorrect? Does it differ from ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “iff” considered a real word or just an abbreviation?

I wonder if "iff" is considered a real word (as LEO says) or is it just an abbreviation (as in Wiktionary)?
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a prefix for “infinite”?

I was looking for a prefix I could prepend to a word to mean an infinite amount of the thing the word describes. I eventually found someone with the same question, and since there were no answers, I ...
1
vote
5answers
592 views

What is the term or phrase to describe some process is sequential independent? [closed]

By "sequential independent", I mean the process remains the same no matter how you change the order of its subroutines. Better to be some term frequently used in math or engineering.
5
votes
5answers
15k views

Divide two into four and Divide two by four

Why does "divide two into four" equal two, and "divide two by four" equal one half? Correct if I am wrong, but this what I have learned recently.
-1
votes
5answers
20k views

Is it proper to state percentages greater than 100%? [closed]

Technically, "percent" should mean "for every hundred". So, I would think that it's perfectly fine to say "150%". However, in common usage, people rarely say percentages greater than a hundred. Is ...
39
votes
8answers
26k views

X, Y, Z — horizontal, vertical and …?

When working in a 2D coordinate system you could say that X is the horizontal axis and Y is the vertical axis. Extending this to 3D, is there a similar word for the Z axis? (I'm aware of Width, ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What’s the correct usage of “modulo”?

How would we rephrase the following sentence to be grammatical? : 10 modulo 3 equals 1. By "grammatical", I probably mean something along the lines of standard American English. Initially, I'd ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

What does “an A/B metaphor” mean?

I wonder what "an A/B metaphor" means, for example, in the following quote from Wikipedia about formal language: "In some applications, especially in logic, the alphabet is also known as the ...
3
votes
1answer
607 views

Reference for oral expression of mathematics [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to speak mathematics I am a narrator and have been asked to read several technical papers which have mathematics expressions in them. Is there a reference to help me ...
5
votes
5answers
600 views

“Let's/We let A be a variable”

Suppose I am giving a math talk and I am going to write on the board Let A be a variable. What do I say while I write? Can I say Let's let A be a variable or should I write We let A be a variable and ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it correct to say “times” in this context?

Consider the following: Math teacher: "How can we turn 42 into 420 through multiplication?" Student: "You times it by ten!" Is this usage of times correct? I hear it so often that I suspect ...
1
vote
2answers
256 views

Is “underlying” the right word?

I am describing a mathematical model, where the probability density function of a variable is made up of two contributions, two distributions. Mathematically we would say that f(x) = g1(x) + g2(x). ...
3
votes
4answers
563 views

posteriori and posterior

What are the differences in meaning and usage between posteriori and posterior? Particularly in probability, statistics and logic, when should I use which? For example, why are "max a posteriori" ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the name of this letter? [closed]

I came upon this letter when reading a book, I couldn't find its name on the internet, you can imagine how hard it is to search about it. What is the name of the letter that follows "sample space"? ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Word for a piece of a pie chart? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to name a part of a piechart What is the correct name for a shape which is like a triangle but with one edge circular, like a slice of cake?
4
votes
3answers
544 views

Why is the common meaning of logical terms ('and', 'or') incongruous from that in math?

If someone wrote that they want "nuts and bolts", they would get a bunch of hardware they could attach things with. If this was software or math, they would only receive nothing, because things are ...
3
votes
4answers
975 views

“Iterate” and “iteration” as nouns

What are the differences between iterate and iteration as nouns? I don't quite understand the definition of iterate as noun: A quantity arrived at by iteration For example, in computer ...