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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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A word encompassing both extraploation and interpolation?

Interpolation is predicting values within a range of data. Extrapolation is predicting values outside a range of data. Is there a word that encompasses both meanings, such that I could use it to refer ...
Tashus's user avatar
  • 196
1 vote
1 answer
69 views

Why ternary not ternal?

Why is is the base-2 numeral system called binary, the base-3 one called ternary, when base-8 is octal and base-10 is decimal? The different suffixes, -ary vs -al, are what I am concerned about.
minseong's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
101 views

Sets, setts and settes

In the Oxford English Dictionary, sett and sette are listed as variants of set, and it appears to me, from the links, that such use is attested as from 1387. I want to use sett and sette, in addition ...
Frode Alfson Bjørdal's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is the "convert to decimal form" usage of "decimate" still used?

Recently, I came across a page in an olden-day arithmetic book (early 20th century) It seems that the word decimate was used in the sense "convert [a vulgar fraction] into a decimal fraction&...
Selfie geoupie's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
599 views

What is the meaning of "in this setting" in mathematics?

I've seen the term "setting" or the expression "in this setting" in mathematics books and other sources. What does it mean? Examples: In this setting, why is the inverse function ...
Mike_bb's user avatar
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1 answer
46 views

Words for extra labels in a pie chart?

Given a pie chart with standard title and data labels but with extra explanatory ones, are there words for the extra ones? Like in this example... a. Title b. Data label c. ??? d. Data label ? e. ??? ...
Samuel Neff's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
63 views

Is 'where' accurate here, or is 'with' accurate? [closed]

I wrote in my manuscript: 'Let f be a k-face of D where $k \ge 4$.' However, I feel that replacing 'where' with 'with' might be more appropriate. I'm a bit uncertain, so I'm posing this question. Can ...
licheng's user avatar
  • 319
-1 votes
2 answers
81 views

Modulo / Modulus - how to use them?

In mathematics there is the concept of modulo roughly the remainer of an integer division, e.g. mod(9,2) gives 1, since taking as many 2 out of 9 as possible, 1 is left. However, I also come across ...
Bastiaan Quast's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the difference between “To every action” and “For every action”?

Here are two statements: The first statement is: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. The second statement is: For every action there is always an equal and opposite ...
Syamaprasad Chakrabarti's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

Word for terminology related to mathematical premises

I have seen some mathematical texts that use words like Lemma, Theorem, Corollary, etc. What would be the appropriate description of such terms? Do they fall under some linguistic category? Is ...
Prego's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
178 views

Who coined "times tables" and when?

I've always thought "times tables" to refer to multiplication tables was a British thing, but Wikipedia suggests it might be common in the US, too. Is anything known about when the term was ...
Prometheus's user avatar
16 votes
12 answers
4k views

The usage of "can not" vs. "cannot" in mathematics

I saw the following passage in Professor West's homepage, and I hadn't noticed this point before. See https://dwest.web.illinois.edu/grammar.html#cannot "Can not" and "may be". ...
licheng's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
110 views

Names of some fractions

Which are the names of fractions like 1/3, 2/3, 4/3, which are now in disuse or render obsolete. I saw a bit of time ago, a book that mentioned the names associated to those fractions (instead of the ...
Ramonio Taxus's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
139 views

Can one say "take an integral" instead of "calculate an integral"? What other options are there?

Russians often use the formulation "take an integral". Now I noticed it in an article, written by a Russian and I can't recall I have ever encountered it in English. Is it a possible ...
wondering's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Words for diagonal directions

I'm a mathematician currently working on a problem involving splitting a square into two triangles, either by a line connecting top-left and bottom-right, or top-right and bottom left. I'm trying to ...
J.J. Green's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
847 views

Why represent percentages with "pc" rather than "%"?

I've seen more and more well respected publications expressing percentages using the abbreviation "pc". E.g. Telegraph: How else to explain the decision to award a board seat to the boss of ...
Robin Winslow's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
98 views

Adjective for the shape of a spiral?

In English, the adjective circular is used for a circle, and the adjective elliptical for an ellipse. Similarly, the adjective helical is used for a helix, but a helix is 3-dimensional. What is the ...
Henrik Erlandsson's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
257 views

0.5 of the pizza, 0.5 of the class

Suppose that there is a pizza. 1/2 of the pizza means a half of the pizza. Does English use/allow the expression 0.5 of the pizza? Suppose that a class has 10 students. 1/2 of the class means 5 ...
imida k's user avatar
  • 253
-1 votes
1 answer
55 views

Indefinite article before the multiplication product: ‘a ten of twos is a twenty' or '‘a ten of twos is twenty"

For an article intended for linguists only, I have to unidiomatically translate oral multiplication tables from a South Asian language to reflect the original morphology, and while doing so a question ...
PCH's user avatar
  • 101
0 votes
2 answers
191 views

How do you read math operations with parenthesis? [duplicate]

I don't know how to read math operations with (){}[] in English. 2(3x^2+1)-6 If you read this, do you say "two parenthesis three x squared plus one minus six" "two parenthesis three x ...
Fumiya Shibusawa's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why does mathematics say "quadratic" instead of "squaric"?

In mathematics, powers of 2 and 3 are often referred to using "square" and "cube" terminology: a "number squared/cubed", the "square/cube root of a number". ...
Jez's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
124 views

Possessive Contraction over Equations and Mathematical/Physics Laws

In my mother language, Spanish, when we refer to a famous equation, say those for electromagnetism, we say "Ecuaciones de Maxwell". This translates, literally, as "Equations of Maxwell&...
Vicente Sierra Rosas's user avatar
12 votes
9 answers
7k views

Is there a non-technical word in English that means "to add one"?

As a computer scientist, I ran into trouble recently with a piece of my game writing for a general audience, which had a few phrases like this: For magic, each boost increments quantity. The ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
117 views

"Four times a certain number decreased by one", 4(x-1) or 4x-1?

How does the English grammar precedence work if this is the case? Are both variation equally valid? My initial assumption is that the right answer should be "4(x-1)", and if the sentence had ...
Jason Brody's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

"Sketching" a graph

While this is in the context of a math problem, the question refers to the connotations and meaning of the word "sketch", so I imagine it fits this site, at least somewhat. If one asks ...
R. Modi's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
1 answer
261 views

Who is Augustus De Morgan's "New Zealander"?

Augustus De Morgan's A Budget of Paradoxes (1863–1867) contains several references to an apocryphal "New Zealander," without explanation. What's the in-joke here? I grok from context that ...
Quuxplusone's user avatar
  • 2,734
0 votes
2 answers
72 views

Use of adjective "slack" in academic writing

(Note. I deleted the previous question as the discussion was focusing too much on the math.) I am writing a research paper in mathematical analysis and I have a situation in which I want to give a ...
Lorenzo Pompili's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
568 views

What words are used to describe the journey of a line on a graph? [closed]

I am looking for words that describe the lines on graphs, or that are used during the journey of a graph line. For example, Nadir is the lowest point but are there words for the following: A. The most ...
Q the Poet 's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
86 views

Term for a function whose derivative is decreasing

A "decreasing function" is one that gets smaller as its input gets larger. For example, f(x) = -x, f(x) = 1/x {x > 0}. What can functions like sqrt(x), ln(x) be called? They are always ...
minseong's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
99 views

Verb for "swapping" non-commuting operations and modifying them appropriately (commute?)

In mathematics, computer science, physics or any other field that has the concept of commutative operations (or operators), is there a verb to describe the action of taking a sequence AB of two non-...
smheidrich's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
63 views

Use of "the" for math variables

It seems clear to me that this is correct: Let positive real numbers a,b,c satisfy abc<1. Find ... (No "the" before "positive".) Should "The" be used here? [The] ...
Haoran Chen's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
82 views

Math Drills and Times Tables in British English

I'm working on an educational mobile app/game for kids to practice basic arithmetic skills like multiplication, addition, etc. I'm more familiar with the US market and now I struggle with proper and ...
Oto's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
98 views

How to say "we put something under a square root"?

I would like to say that "we put something under a square root" in a math formula. For example my sentence is The reason for putting the original distances under square root is discussed ...
Make42's user avatar
  • 331
-1 votes
1 answer
81 views

When mentioning several items each of which is “Aᵢ”, should I use “Aᵢ’s” with an apostrophe or “Aᵢs” without one?

Here is a sentence I’m about to write: Given a family of sets { Aᵢ : 1 ≤ i ≤ n }, we may assume that the Aᵢ’s are disjoint. I mean the sets in the family do not intersect with each other. I am ...
Connor's user avatar
  • 115
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

What's the best way of being clear that a dash ("–") is being used as subtraction in a written message? [closed]

When writing technical emails, it's quite common for me to need to include simple mathematical formulas. I find it hard to clearly include subtractions because dashes are so commonly used as generic ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 1,284
0 votes
2 answers
132 views

Is there a word stronger than "promote" but weaker than "enforce" in a technical context? Maybe "force"?

Context: Scientific paper targeting at computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians I am searching for a word similar to "promote", "push", "force", "enforce&...
Jakob's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
3 answers
168 views

Is the sentence "For every integer 3<k<15 " written correctly? [closed]

In my mathematics paper, I wrote: For 3<k<15, ... . I later discovered that k needs to be emphasised as an integer. So I wrote this: For every integer 3<k<15, ... . I'm not sure if above ...
licheng's user avatar
  • 319
3 votes
2 answers
861 views

Is there a word that is specific to a number being divisible specifically by 5?

I'm searching for a word that would indicate an attraction to — or consistent use of — numbers that are divisible by "5". Example: Tom always bets on numbers ending in 5 or 0 because he is ...
Victoria Pendragon's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
455 views

What is the difference between Vert/Verts and Vertex/Vertices? [closed]

What is the difference between Vert/Verts and Vertex/Vertices? Both forms seem to be used interchangeably in mathematics and computer graphics. Blender (3D software) uses Vert/Verts in it's User ...
tempdev nova's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
98 views

Usage of the phrase "to which" in this mathematical explanation

I'm sure I am overthinking this, but I wanted to understand this explanation better (and in turn, be able to explain it to students better). Observe the following explanation of a function in ...
Taylor Rendon's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
41 views

Terms for aerial versus ground surface area

Are there accepted area terms that concisely distinguish aerial area (e.g., from a Google Earth satellite photo) from ground surface area? (For sloped ground, the ground surface area is larger than ...
personal_cloud's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
135 views

What is the word to describe a variable whose value does not relate to any absolute unit of measure?

What the title says. I know there's a word but can't remember it. To explain in more detail, I'm trying to state that while the variable is quantitative, the quantity is not referring to an ...
Adam Streck's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
168 views

Articles before names of theorems

there was a similar question but sometimes you cite theorems just by of authors, e.g. you don't say by the Hopkins-Levitzky theorem we conclude but you just say it follows from Hopkins-Levitzky. and ...
dmk's user avatar
  • 203
0 votes
1 answer
45 views

How to use commas in these particular situations [closed]

I am a mathematicians, and there are some "sentence structures" that constantly appear in my work. I have some doubt about how "commas" behave in them. I am well aware of the comma ...
Lios's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
3 answers
304 views

What is an antonym for 'one-to-one'?

I am writing a perspective for a general medical science audience. The following adapted figure will be included in the publication: The figure title appearing in the legend includes the following ...
Flaunk's user avatar
  • 3
6 votes
2 answers
285 views

Proper use of articles in mathematical expressions

I am having trouble using articles correctly, especially in mathematical expressions. I made two sentences: Consider the family C of subsets of a set X. Consider a family D of subsets of a set X. It ...
Hermis14's user avatar
  • 171
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

When defining the median for an odd number of measurements, should we use [(n+1)/2]th or [(n+1)/2]nd?

When defining the median for an odd number of measurements, should we use [(n+1)/2]th or [(n+1)/2]nd? I am aware of a related question but I am nor sure if having the number 2 in the denominator ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 307
0 votes
1 answer
603 views

How to read the mathematical expression “xʸ”(or “x^y”) in English, which x and y are any of the complex numbers or algebraic expressions? [duplicate]

For example, x=1, y=2, it is 1², how to read the expression?
Chen-Y0y0's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

What is an unambiguous expression for 3 3 3 3 3? [closed]

In some country there is a unit for countable quantity. 3 3 3 3 3 For example, they say "5 count-unit of 3". But in English we just say "five threes". But then 3 3 3 3 3 and 5 3 ...
imida k's user avatar
  • 253
2 votes
2 answers
145 views

Is there a term for numbers like 0.5, 9.15, 4.22? [duplicate]

I know that in some country, there is a term for numbers like 0.5, 9.15, 4.22 I mean number with dot(.) in its expression. I sought for the term in English. It was Decimal Number But the term "...
imida k's user avatar
  • 253

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