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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3answers
43 views

How to verbalize a mathematics expression in English?

How do we express a simple mathematics equation in a way that could be understood by most people bad in mathematics? I have a formula like this: Processing Fee = Base Fee x ( Your Bid / Original ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Starting a sentence with “And so” in a mathematical proof

Inspired by this question, I thought of something more. As Tim says, and I ageree, one more often sees repeated use of "Hence", "Therefore" etc. in a mathematical proof, and not very often do people ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the proper term for a ternary digit?

A binary digit is a bit. Is there an equivalent term for a three-state digit? (e.g., a digit representing true, false, or unknown)
3
votes
3answers
50 views

Correct use of bound/bounded

I am not sure how to correctly use the word bound in this context: All partial sums of two given sequences are bounded by a positive constant. All partial sums of two given sequences are ...
3
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
127 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". ...
0
votes
1answer
27 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

“Parametrise” or “parameterise” a curve?

In British English, which one is correct? Does one parameterise a curve or parametrise it?
1
vote
3answers
53 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.
12
votes
5answers
8k views

Does “either A or B ” preclude “both A and B”?

In mathematics, "A or B" includes "A and B". Does "either" mean "A or B but not (A and B)" or does it include the possibility of "A and B"? The context might be mathematics, formal logic or ordinary ...
1
vote
1answer
37 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?
1
vote
1answer
50 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 ...
80
votes
3answers
11k views

Why does “quadratic” describe second power while “quad” usually describes “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 ...
2
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
58 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
181 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?
1
vote
1answer
130 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
votes
4answers
135 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
769 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
71 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
52 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
70 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
1k 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
80 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
88 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
0answers
194 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'?
1
vote
3answers
98 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
2k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
703 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
186 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
votes
1answer
352 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 ...
78
votes
26answers
6k 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”?
3
votes
0answers
35 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
60 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 ...
31
votes
6answers
20k views

Use of “I”, “we” and the passive voice in a scientific thesis [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Style Question: Use of “we” vs. “I” vs. passive voice in a dissertation When the first person voice is used in scientific writing it is mostly ...
3
votes
4answers
455 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
250 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
3
votes
3answers
94 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
82 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
111 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
149 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
273 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
203 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
530 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
97 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, ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

“Lower number” vs. “smaller number”

Is −9 a smaller number than −8? And is −9 a lower number than −8? What is the difference between lower and smaller here?
3
votes
5answers
144 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
249 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
216 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
1answer
256 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, ...