Questions tagged [mathematics]

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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9answers
2k views

How to say “a<b<c”? [closed]

In the mathematics, a < b I think it should be said as "a is less than b" So, does can I say the title ("a < b < c") as b is larger than a and less than c or is there a better way to say?...
0
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0answers
4 views

Correct form of writing hints for match charts [migrated]

I have a math chart (there are multiple curves btw) and want to write some hints below. Here's a sentence that describes what it means when one (or many) of the curves is/are green: "green - ...
0
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1answer
72 views

Why is natural logarithm abbreviated to ln? [closed]

In mathematics, the natural logarithm operator is abbreviated as ln. There is no letter n in the word logarithm, so why do we abbreviate in this way?
0
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1answer
35 views

Assume by/by way of /toward contradiction

What is the correct/best way to start a proof by contradiction? The following three ways are quite common: Assume by contradiction that... Assume, by way of contradiction, that... Assume toward ...
0
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1answer
89 views

Serial comma in academic papers in mathematics and computer science [duplicate]

Is there a predominant style in academic papers in computer science concerning the usage or the omission of the serial comma? What do ACM and IEEE do in general? I failed to find it out on my own. Is ...
2
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2answers
197 views

Where does the mathematical use of the word 'root' come from?

Is there any connection between the mathematical and biological meanings of the word root? Where does the mathematical use come from?
0
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1answer
97 views

What does “assume by contradiction that a<=-2” mean?

I want to prove the following statement. If a+2>0, then a>-2. What does "assume by contradiction that a<=-2" mean?
0
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1answer
86 views

How to read apostrophe in math [closed]

For example, I have one function called f. Now I make some change to f and create a new function called f'. But how do native people read the "f'"? Like "f apostrophe"?
1
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1answer
76 views

Are there words like “Percent”, but for other quantities?

If "Percent" is based off of the pseudo-latin "per centum", then it stands to reason that one could use numbers such as ten (decum) or thousand (mīlle) to construct similar words as "perdec" or "...
1
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1answer
70 views

Saying “into” instead of “times” when talking about multiplication

I'm studying a series on algorithms taught by "Abdul Bari" on youtube Here is when he says "A into B" to talk about multiplying A by B I know why some say "a times b" when talking about ...
0
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1answer
57 views

Writing equations in line with text

I'm not sure if this belongs on math.stackexchange, but If I were to write: We know a > b, c > d, e > f, and f>g. without the extra space, We know a > b, c > d, e > f, and f > g ...
1
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0answers
52 views

“by induction hypothesis” or “by THE induction hypothesis”

One of the techniques for proving statements in mathematics is "mathematical induction" (wikipedia entry). Very informally and not precisely speaking, when conducting a proof using this technique, (1) ...
0
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1answer
33 views

How to write arithmetics inline in a sentence?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the following sentence (this is about maritime and ports): If you are fixing a 10 days port call in a month having a 0.5 ratio would result in (10 x 0.5 = 5 days) ...
0
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0answers
35 views

Term for a value that is not equal to one, but can be a zero or positive value

While we can use the term 'non-zero' to identify a value which is positive or negative but not equal to 0, I need a word or a term to identify a value which can be zero or more, but not equal to ONE. ...
0
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0answers
25 views

Two Types of Collection Metrics

What are general adjectives or adjectival phrases that contrast economic or mathematical metrics that describe a collection as a whole (i.e., total, mean, GDP) with those that indicate how the whole ...
0
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1answer
81 views

How to describe two numbers are different and has difference of 2?

For example, I want to describe that 2 and 4 has a difference of 2. Is this a correct sentence? What about "2 and 3 is different by 2"?
1
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0answers
61 views

Word for very long and/or very complex mathematical expression?

In some Latinamerican countries (Spanish speaking) the word "chorizo" is sometimes colloqualy used to refer to a very long and/or very complex mathematical expression. This use is almost slang and it ...
1
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0answers
82 views

Using “respectively” in parenthesis in mathematical writing

In general, I know how to create a correct construction using respectively. But in the specific case when respectively is used together with double parentheses, I'm a bit lost. Which of the following ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Is there a name for numeric bias?

In the national lottery 6 balls are drawn with numbers 1 to 49 on them. My father could never believe that the numbers 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 had exactly the same odds to come out as any other set of six you ...
1
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2answers
134 views

Understanding “what fraction of” in a math problem

I am faced with a very problematic wording of a math problem. I can infer what the author meant from the solution, though, I was wandering for the correct linguistic interpretation of the sentence. ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

'Then are equivalent' (followed by a list) in mathematical writing

In mathematical writing, I've often seen people use the expression 'Then are equivalent' to introduce a list of conditions that are logically equivalent to each other (and I've used it myself a few ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Apostrophe to indicate the plural of a mathematical object [duplicate]

I have a question on the use of apostrophe to indicate the plural of a mathematical object. Consider the sentence: "There are many values of X such that the statement is true". In math, often we re-...
1
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1answer
27 views

The use of conjunction “and” to avoid repetition

I apologize if my question seems trivial for people who study literature and English language in depth. My question is basically related to the following statements: The existence of X The ...
0
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3answers
85 views

Is there a better alternative for “remainderless”?

I want to express in one word whether a number has a remainder or not. as an example: 3.5 is not remainderless 3 is remainderless It might seem that something like "3 is whole" or "3 is an integer" ...
0
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1answer
77 views

French: “triangle rectangle” in English? [closed]

How could I say "triangle rectangle" in English? For non-french people, it's a triangle which has an angle of 90°.
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Comma before 'if' in maths definition

I wonder if there is clear guidance about the following construction: We say that a foo admits a bar, if baz is quz. I feel that the comma before if breaks the structure of the sentence, and ...
1
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0answers
66 views

Function defined on/over/from A to B

how should one read in plain English? In the following sentence, for example: "let f be a function defined on/over/from/(other) A to/(other) B"? edit: This post has been tagged as a possible ...
0
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1answer
1k views

“There exist” vs “there exists” for universal objects in mathematics

When stating the existence of universal objects in mathematics, one often has to write something like: For every object X there exist an object Y and a map f : Y -> X such that [...] holds. Here, ...
1
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4answers
79 views

How to define the transitive nature of a relation?

I am writing definitions for some terms used in a requirements document. One of the definitions is as follows: Child account: User account that is created by the account in consideration. For ...
4
votes
5answers
287 views

Parsing an English to Math expression question, is this ambiguous?

I'm an instructor of a College Algebra course. The computer gave the following question, which I saw as ambiguous: Computer question: Write the corresponding algebraic expression or equation for ...
0
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2answers
200 views

Is it ok to say “a big set of nodes” or should i use the word “large”? [closed]

It feels to me as if "big" in this context is focusing on the word "set" and not the number of things inside the set. For example, what if the nodes could be of different sizes and I want to focus on ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Subgroup of finite index in mathematical writing [closed]

I have a question about mathematical writing. A group G can have a subgroup H and every subgroup H has a so called index in G, which is a number (finite or infinite) and depends on both G and H and is ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

Referencing (multiple) objects within a collection of objects

In mathematical writing, when talking about multiple objects within a collection of objects, is it correct to say, "This set contains all objects x from the collection C such that x satisfies ."? ...
3
votes
5answers
135 views

An element “lives” in a space

I have seen the expression, "X is the Hilbert space in which the element x lives". As a native speaker, this seems quite sloppy to me. Is there a more succinct way to formulate this expression?
4
votes
2answers
682 views

Can “semicircle” be used to refer to a part-circle that is not a exact half-circle?

Going through a specification sheet for an engineering device, I glanced upon this phrase: ...the angular scanning range of the device is a semicircle of 300 degrees... A semicircle is usually ...
6
votes
8answers
6k views

How do you say “powers of ten”?

When you have powers of 10, e.g. 102, the base is 10, so when the exponent is 2 you should not say power of 2. I believe "power of" refer to the base not to the exponent.
3
votes
1answer
130 views

A word for an informed guess in mathematics, proved later to be the correct guess

I am looking for a single word, used in mathematics (but not exclusively), meaning to take a guess which will later be proved to be correct. I believe it starts with an 'a', and I seem to remember it ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

What term predated “even” when referring to numbers?

Had this posted on the Linguistics stackexchange, and was pointed here as a more appropriate spot to ask. In doing some poking around in etymologies, I noticed that while "odd" in the sense of "odd ...
-1
votes
1answer
195 views

Why are there vague terms in science and mathematics? [closed]

In the sciences and in mathematics there are a great number of words and terms in use that do not, in any literal sense, describe the concept they are meant to describe. Let's explore the use of "...
0
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3answers
385 views

Why can “dividing a pizza into 4” be different from “dividing 1 into 4”?

Thank you for a question and answers at Divide two into four and Divide two by four However, can anybody explain why "dividing a pizza into 4" is different from "dividing 1 into 4"? 1 pizza and ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

Why are there are so many words for “zero”?

Null, nil and naught are all synonyms of zero, and to my knowledge, zero is the only number that has this many cognitive synonyms, if not more. Why is this? Does it have to do with English being ...
4
votes
2answers
435 views

Umbrella term for maximum, minimum, median and average

I'm looking for an umbrella term for the maximum, the minimum, the median and the average of a sequence of numbers. For the maximum and the minimum, such a term would, for example, be the extremum (...
2
votes
4answers
693 views

How to read (x - y) ^ 2

I don't know how to read this expression: (x-y)2 — sometimes rendered in computer code or plain text as (x-y)^2 According to this answer: How to read x^y I should read that: x minus y to the ...
2
votes
1answer
442 views

“Such that” vs. “Subject to” [closed]

In the attached youtube video, at 13:12, the lecturer gives a footnote on the difference between Such that and Subject to when expanding the initials mathematical abbreviation S.T. in certain ...
5
votes
3answers
341 views

What do you call a number with no repeating digits?

A word with no repeated characters is called an isogram. Is there a word for a number with no repeating digits? For example: 123 is a ____. To clarify further, for a decimal number system the ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Saddle-point problem vs saddle point problem

I work in computer science/applied math, and I frequently see sentences such as "We wish to solve a bilinear saddle point problem." My problem is that this does not seem correct based on my ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Translation, rotation, scalation?

I'm programming a math library and it never ocurred to me before now that most mathematicians say "translation, rotation, scale" to refer to these transformations. Problems arise when I want to ...
1
vote
1answer
259 views

How do ordinal suffixes work with mathematical constants and other non-Arabic numbers?

This question was inspired by a tweet from the FakeUnicode Twitter account, a semi-novelty account sharing various examples in the wild of bugs, glitches and other unintended results from improperly ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

“The number of steps is infinite” or “The number of steps is infinity”? [closed]

In a mathematical paper about random-walks. Which is more correct: "The number of steps in the random-walk is infinite" or "The number of steps in the random-walk is infinity"?
1
vote
2answers
45 views

Meaning of this (convoluted) sentence from the book “Probably Approximately Correct”

As a non native english speaker sometimes, I'm having hard time understanding not conventional sentence as the following. Can you rephrase the sentence (in Bold) in another way? This upper bound ...

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