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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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0answers
34 views

Variables and Mathematical Language [on hold]

I'm trying to make sense of some of the language we employ when using variables in mathematics. The textbook definition of a variable as "a symbol that temporarily stands for a known or unknown object"...
4
votes
2answers
474 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
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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.
3
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1answer
102 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 ...
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0answers
23 views

Where should we put “then” in the following sentence?

Which sentence is correct? "If a<1, then for any b<1, b^a<1." or "If a<1, for any b<1, then b^a<1."
1
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0answers
31 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
87 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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votes
1answer
86 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 ...
0
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3answers
331 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
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0answers
84 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
128 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
202 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
80 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
110 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
32 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
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2answers
37 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
184 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
43 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
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2answers
39 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
496 views

What do you call a relation between two unknowns?

I know that in mathematics, the relation a = 2b is called an equation. Is the relation a > 2b is still called an equation or is it called something else?
11
votes
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
105 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
46 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, ...
7
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7answers
4k 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
votes
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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votes
1answer
32 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
57 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.
0
votes
1answer
34 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
votes
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.
5
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
42 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
3
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2answers
77 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
75 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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votes
1answer
81 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
125 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
70 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
61 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

How do you pronounce “f(n) = Θ(g(n))” in English? [closed]

In Algorithm's Performance, if f(n) = Θ(g(n)), then we can say: g(n) an asymptotically tight bound for f(n) How do you pronounce f(n) = Θ(g(n)) in English? Would it be correct to say "f(n) is the ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

How does one qualitatively describe the cubic increase of experimental data [duplicate]

I have generated some data Y and would like to describe its variation as a function of some variable X. Using MS Excel, I obtained the trendline shown in the figure below which suggests that Y varies ...
0
votes
2answers
182 views

Basis of or basis for in mathematics

I read this stackexchange about whether to say "basis of" or "basis for". Does the answer given there (that both are correct, of is newer and for is still more common) apply to mathematics as well?
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0answers
385 views

“x is 2 greater than y” instead of “x is greater than y by 2”

Is saying x is 2 greater than y (meaning x is greater than y by 2) acceptable?
1
vote
1answer
60 views

What's the word for this geometric solid?

What's the word for a geometric solid with two congruent regular pentagons in parallel planes and ten congruent triangles on lateral faces? It's neither a pyramid nor a prism. I chose pentagons ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Name of a “mathematical declaration”

I'm looking for a single word that essentially means: "mathematically formal declaration." Here, declaration is in the ordinary sense of the word; i.e a declarative sentence. The word theorem will ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Should I write “a n-tuple” or “an n-tuple” [duplicate]

While writing a math paper, I have met many places to determine which indefinite articles should I use before a math symbol. Another example is "a/an f-exceptional divisor", here f is a math symbol ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Alternatives for “For the sake of completeness”?

I'd like to include in a paper on mathematics the phrase: "for the sake of completeness, we first show..." or words to that effect. However, the word "completeness" has a precise technical ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

Why do we say “at right angles”, not “at a right angle”?

If two lines are perpendicular, we say that they are at right angles. This expression looks rather clumsy to me, and I'd prefer saying at a right angle. Like I would say intersect at a sharp angle, ...
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0answers
33 views

“for every A, a B exists such that A<B”

Is the following sentence (grammatically) correct? For every living man a heart exists that is beating inside him. The following is more readable, but my question is whether the former sentence is ...
0
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1answer
98 views

How can I say “¹⁄ₓ” in words?

It is possible to state a fraction such as ¾ in words as follows: three fourths. Can someone please let me know how to say ¹⁄ₓ in words?