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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44 views

What's “freak lines”?

I have a question about a colloquial students-communication incomprehension. The original colloquial sentences are: "I have been worked on this lab report for my biology class for hours and the ...
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0answers
30 views

I'm trying to solve this but I have no lucky on. Can anyone help me? [closed]

The tower is 500 meters high. Suppose a building is erected such that the base of the building is on the same plane as the base of the tower, the angle of elevation from the top of the building to the ...
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3answers
68 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" ...
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1answer
66 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°.
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1answer
28 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 ...
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0answers
58 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 ...
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1answer
181 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, ...
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4answers
58 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 ...
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5answers
261 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 ...
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2answers
100 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 ...
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1answer
31 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 ...
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2answers
37 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 ."? ...
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5answers
111 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?
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2answers
544 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 ...
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8answers
5k 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.
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1answer
112 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
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1answer
55 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 ...
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1answer
126 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 "...
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1answer
97 views

How to read a letter 'j'? [closed]

Usually I read the letter as 'jot'. But it feels like I am the only one who does. Especially when it comes to maths. I was wondering are there any non-'jay' cases. Guys in comments genuinely ...
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3answers
347 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 ...
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0answers
100 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 ...
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2answers
173 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 (...
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4answers
309 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 ...
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1answer
194 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 ...
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3answers
203 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 ...
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1answer
38 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 ...
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2answers
42 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 ...
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1answer
216 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
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1answer
52 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"?
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2answers
42 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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2answers
521 views

What do you call a '>' relation between two unknowns? [duplicate]

I know that in mathematics, the relation a = 2b is called an equation. Is the relation a > 2b still called an equation or is it called something else?
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6answers
4k views

Why do we call it “combination lock”? [closed]

Variation lock seems more accurate by mathematical definitions Edit(to give it more context) Hey, can you tell me the combination of your lockbox ? Why don't we say variation(or permutation)? The ...
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2answers
128 views

How to read … (dot dot dot)?

For example here the sentence is, "Consider any sequence of data points x0, x1, x2,... in R" It messes up my mind when I can't loudly read something. How is ... (dot dot dot) pronounced in such a ...
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1answer
65 views

What is the correct usage of the tilde symbol with negative numbers? [closed]

The tilde symbol (~) is used in academic texts in place of about or approximately. Generally, it is placed immediately before the number (eg. AUD ~2.4 million), which works for positive numbers, ...
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7answers
5k views

Can I say eight-gon, nine-gon and ten-gon instead of octa-, nona-, and deca-gon?

As a non-native English speaker I struggle with Greek prefixes. Am I allowed to use just normal English numbers in place of them? Is it natural? Or do I have to learn how those Greek prefixes work at ...
3
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3answers
1k views

What's the little number on the top of a number w/ unit?

I want to ask what is the little numbers on top/over any random number? For example, 75 in² and 125 ft3. What is it called and what does it mean is my question. I couldn't find anything online since I ...
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1answer
33 views

Term for “extent/proportion of a population [that meet some condition]”

What is a technical term (perhaps from statistics) for the extent (or proportion) that a specified condition applies to some given population? For example: There is a communicable cancer currently ...
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2answers
63 views

Doubt in some English/math grammar

I'm currently writing a math article in English, I'm wondering if i should writhe " replacing it on equation" or " replacing it in equation". Thank you guys very much.
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1answer
38 views

Which one is correct? vector “b” or “b” vector?

In mathematical writing, when b denotes a vector, which sentence is correct when we want to mention that b is a vector? a) We multiply the b vector by ... b) We multiply the vector b by ...
12
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4answers
3k views

What is a term for an operator/function in which the order of parameters makes no difference?

I'm trying to recall the term for an operator/function where f(a, b) = f(b, a). For example, a + b = b + a for all values of a and b. However a - b != b - a unless a = b.
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1answer
102 views

Why is the word “the” used before different categories of calculus?

I've noticed that, when referring to certain branches of calculus, mathematicians sometimes precede the name of those branches with the word "the". For example, "the lambda calculus" or "the ...
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0answers
47 views

An article after 'called'

In my text, many concepts are introduced (defined) by a sentence with 'called'. Examples are: This condition is called eigenvariable condition. This procedure is called the truth table method. A ...
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1answer
37 views

Proper term for “converting” time domain data to frequency domain

I had difficulty deciding if this should go in stack overflow, electrical engineering or here, English language. Forgive me if it's in the wrong place. I am looking for a word that describes the ...
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2answers
106 views

The meaning of mathematics from an etymological point of view

I study mathematics and I wonder what mathematics means. I've been searching for the definition and until now I haven't found something clear, so I decided to begin from the start. On Wikipedia I ...
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1answer
30 views

distribution/ histogram procedure

How one can describe correctly the procedure of making a histogram. I want to replace the sentence "distributions of reconstructed energies of events taken with the same initial momentum in the same ...
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2answers
82 views

Term for 'branching into separate parts and then recombining' [duplicate]

For example, when a river bifurcates into two separate streams of water, and then these two streams rejoin further along to become a single river once more. Bifurcate itself is not generalized enough ...
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1answer
124 views

Can I “unindex/deindex” a variable?

It is a fairly established terminology in mathematics and programming that one can "index a variable", in the sense of appending a dimension of variability to it (e.g. here and here, respectively). ...
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4answers
160 views

“Sum of integral” or “result of integral”? [closed]

Which is a more correct term for the result of mathematical integration, the sum of an integral or the result of an integral? The first seems more on-point to me, but somehow the second sounds ...
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2answers
87 views

“zenith” for a line graph?

I have a line graph which illustrates beef consumption. Beef sales peaked at 200 grams per person per day in 1986. Can I say that "The zenith of beef sales came in 1986, when they reached the ...
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2answers
64 views

Difficulty with trying to describe the quantity of something

I am trying to write a word problem, and am having trouble with the wording of one part. Let's say for the sake of example that there are 10 apples and 20 oranges. Call them both items. I am trying to ...