Use this tag for questions concerning history of mathematics, historical primacies of results, and evolution of terminology, symbols, and notations.

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Who coined ideals in Set Theory?

One of the meanings of the word "ideal" in maths refers to Set Theory. Even though handbooks say that concept can be translated to Order Theory or to Algebra effortelssly, I am interested in: 1) ...
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0answers
45 views

Who was the first to use right and left ideals in a ring?

I know Emmy Noether defined the terms right and left ideal of a ring and made extensive use of them. However, I am interested in knowing whether someone had already coined the term (in the very ...
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0answers
32 views

Relation of ideals in probability with other kinds of ideals?

It seems that there are at least 5 kinds of ideals in maths: Ideals in number theory (Kummer, Dedekind) Ideals in abstract algebra (Dedekind, Noether), as kernels of homomorphisms Ideals in order ...
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0answers
35 views

Number of squarefree numbers and the Basel problem

Who discovered/proved that there are about $$ \frac{x}{\zeta(2)} $$ squarefree numbers up to $x$, or (roughly) when was this first known? Today I think this is considered 'obvious', but I don't know ...
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2answers
54 views

books about relation between Mathematics and reality and life? [on hold]

Which books I should read to understand better Mathematics? Intuition books to understand better Maths. The books show clearly the relation between Mathematics and reality and life.
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0answers
62 views

Where did the German term “Spur” of a matrix come from?

I wonder the origin of the term "trace" of a matrix. As I googled, it was the English translation of the German word "Spur" and it appeared in the translation of H. Weyl's Raum, Zeit, Materie. ...
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1answer
59 views

Book recommendation: History of the foundations of analysis

I'm looking for a book for a friend. I'd like to find a mostly historical, non-technical treatment of the story of Weierstrass, Cauchy, Riemann, and their work placing Newton and Leibniz' calculus on ...
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53 views

What happened to the publications of 19th and 18th century? [on hold]

My question is about the time when there were no access to the internet to submit them. So is it possible that we have lost numerous important researches of that epoch?
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14 views

Relation between Noether's one-sided ideals and Polish notation?

Given the definitions of one-sided ideals (right ideals; left ideals) bu Emmy Noether, as referred in this answer Noether's definition of right and left ideals?, I would like to raise the ...
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1answer
38 views

Noether's definition of right and left ideals?

could anyone provide me with Emmy Noether's definition of right and left ideals? The German original and references would be welcome. I am assuming she was the one who first coined those two kinds ...
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0answers
23 views

Rudolff's symbol for unknown

I have read Florian Cajori's book "A history of mathematical notations." Cajori explained about several symbols for unknown. Rudolff used weird symbols. I could identify some symbols: "z" for ...
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1answer
34 views

Where does the term “affine space” come from?

I'm wondering since few years what its origin is. The adjective affinis means neighbouring, allied to, kindred and the noun derived from it affinitas means relationship, connection, union, affinity. ...
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131 views

how mental math is helpful to learn math? is it any scope for research or to improve new vedic math tricks? [closed]

Many peoples said vedic math is not math. its only collection of tricks but i have question that can we improve this tricks? is it any one try to improve that kind of tricks? if yes! what result they ...
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1answer
69 views

Riemann's genus???

Could anyone provide me with Riemann's original definition of genus? It would be great if, apart from the definiton in English and some example he may have illustrated the notion with, you could also ...
3
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1answer
64 views

Why are these functions called “kernels”?

In the last years while studying numerical analysis I came across different "kernels", like the Dirichlet Kernel $$D_n(x) = \sum_{k=-n}^n e^{ikx}$$ the Fejer-Kernel $$F_n(x) = \frac{1}{n} ...
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4answers
148 views

Can we still learn from the old masters?

So, let me first describe how my doubt originated: out of curiosity I started to study Newton's Opticks, a book written more than 300 years ago. I was doing some of the experiments described on it, ...
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1answer
69 views

Non-standard model of arithmetic and Gödel's theorem [closed]

This is a cross-post of a question asked on History of Science and Mathematics Stack Exchange. I've read Skolem's paper on his non-standard models of the arithmetic ("Über die ...
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1answer
46 views

Why did mathematicians name a functional that assigns number to function as a “distribution”?

Why did people name it as a "distribution"? I don't see the reason. My instructor told us don't bother with this strange name, but I guess maybe I will have a better understanding if I know the ...
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1answer
70 views

Who was the first person to use logarithmic differentiation?

This is a math history question. And I'm curious if it was Euler or someone else. In what mathematical work did it first appear? I don't have the resources/resourcefulness to answer this question.
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29 views

Reference request: history of analytic geometry

I am searching a book in the domain of the history of math, that describes the historical origins of analytic geometry, starting from Descartes (?), and that describes also its development (e.g. the ...
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1answer
76 views

Traveling salesman problem: why visit each city only once?

According to wikipedia, the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) is: Given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that visits each city ...
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4answers
335 views

Elementary problems that would've been hard for past mathematicians, but are easy to solve today? [closed]

I'm looking for problems that due to modern developments in mathematics would nowadays be reduced to a rote computation or at least an exercise in a textbook, but that past mathematicians (even famous ...
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0answers
37 views

Khayyam's method of solving a cubic equation

Can someone offer a worked example of how Omar Khayyam would have a solved a cubic equation with geometric solutions by means of intersecting conics?
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1answer
127 views

Famous Problems the Experts Could not Solve [closed]

After Yitang Zhang stunned the mathematics world by establishing the first finite bound on gaps between prime numbers, it got me thinking about the following question: $\underline{\text{Question}}:$ ...
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0answers
40 views

History of differential and integral calculus

My math teacher told me that the research in differential calculus and integral calculus began on two separate tracks.Apparently people didn't know there was a relation between the two until some ...
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0answers
34 views

Historical use of geometry to solve polynomial equations

I'm researching historical use of geometry to find solutions to polynomial equations. I'd like to ask for those familiar with this topic, could you describe the use of geometry by early mathematicians ...
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3answers
118 views

Famous smoking mathematicians [closed]

I know Banach was an incessant smoker. I would like to know about the post 1950 famous smoking mathematicians? This is a math-sociological question. Please do not view this as promoting anything. ...
3
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2answers
80 views

Why do we need to rationalize fractions? [duplicate]

Teachers often take off points from students who write 1/sqrt(2) instead of sqrt(2)/2. Why do we need to write it as sqrt(2) / 2 ? Where did that convention come from? Do we need to even do it? Why do ...
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0answers
77 views

Riesz's 1909 proof of the Riesz Representation Theorem

Frigyes Riesz originally proved the Riesz Representation Theorem on $ C[0,1] $ -- here is his 1909 paper in English (original French). He builds a real valued function $ \text{A} $ on $ [0,1] $ ...
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1answer
287 views

Bourbaki and set inclusion

Which notation ($\subset$ or $\subseteq$) was preferred by Bourbaki for set inclusion (not proper)? A side question: Was the notation for subset one of the many notations invented by Bourbaki?
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1answer
36 views

Kronecker's 1870 paper on finite Abelian Groups??

Could anyone please provide me with the exact bibliographic reference for Kronecker's 1870 work on finite Abelian groups? If you could provide me with his exact formulation (or even with a acanned ...
4
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1answer
73 views

How can I maintain notes while self studying Maths?

Thank you for stopping by this thread. I'm an engineering student rekindling an interest in Maths. I just love studying Maths in my free time (and sometimes it trespasses into my non free time). I ...
0
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1answer
35 views

order of operations in different cultures?

Are there any cultures or countries around the world that use a different convention for order of operations than the BEDMAS convention? i.e.: Parentheses Exponents & Roots Multiplication & ...
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6answers
7k views

Mathematically, why was the Enigma machine so hard to crack?

Mathematically, why was the Enigma machine so hard to crack? In laymen terms, what was it exactly that made cracking the Enigma machine such a formidable task? Everything I have seen about the ...
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1answer
55 views

informal semantics regarding CH and AC

why is the assertion $\aleph_1=2^{\aleph_0}$ referred to as a hypothesis, whereas $$\forall \alpha( S_\alpha \ne \varnothing) \Rightarrow \prod_\alpha S_\alpha \ne \varnothing$$ is called an axiom? ...
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1answer
74 views

Which one of the following logical propositions is to be preferred?

I'm trying to update the symbolism of Giuseppe Peano's "Arithmetices Principia", to make the translation freely available. Might I ask you, which of the following might be a correct mathematical ...
5
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1answer
136 views

How fast was the Turing's machine for breaking the enigma code?

We know that, recently, personal computers make around $10^9$ calculations per second, and I'm just curious about how many calculations was able to compute the machine invented by Turing for breaking ...
3
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2answers
75 views

Why do we think of group compositions as multiplication?

This has bothered me for some time: The composition in a group is usually denoted $xy$ or $x\cdot y$. Powers (note the word) are denoted by $x^n$, inverses by $x^{-1}$, and the neutral element by $1$. ...
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2answers
75 views

What comes after seconds?

Angles can be measured in different ways. For example, one can measure angles in degrees/minutes/seconds. So $1^\circ$ is divded into $60$ min. and $1$ min is divided into $60$ sec. That way a tenth ...
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0answers
58 views

How much math was “Broken” by Russell's Paradox?

As you know, the phrase "the set of all sets that don't contain themselves" caused a paradox that "broke" (made trivial) Naive set theory. How much mathematics had to be redone because of this? Most ...
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1answer
146 views

Why are logarithms of trigonometric functions useful?

I have noticed that in many trigonometric tables the logarithm of the trigonometric values are given. Why this is given and not the actual values of the trigonometric functions? For example, instead ...
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2answers
36 views

What are these numbers in a logarithmic table?

Below is an image from a table of logarithms. As an example, one sees that $\log(661.3) = 2.82\color{red}{040}$. In this logarithmic table there are some numbers to the right. My question is: What is ...
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15answers
9k views

Has lack of mathematical rigour killed anybody before? [closed]

One of my friends was asking me about tertiary level mathematics as opposed to high school mathematics, and naturally the topic of rigour came up. To provide him with a brief glimpse as to the ...
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1answer
26 views

Derivation of the discriminant of a cubic polynomial by algebraic manipulation.

The problem was asked before: Using Vieta's theorem for cubic equations to derive the cubic discriminant . I tried to solve it by purely algebraic manipulation but was faced with an explosion of ...
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5answers
71 views

What does the solution of a PDE represent?

So I took a course in PDE's this semester and now the semester is over and I'm still having issue with what exactly we solved for. I mean it in this sense, in your usual first or second calculus ...
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1answer
86 views

What is the difference (or relationship) between geometric length and arithmetic numbers?

In Abbott's Understanding Analysis there was a phrase like, "Ancient Greeks did not understand the difference (or relationship) between geometric length and arithmetic numbers." What is this ...
2
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1answer
17 views

Noether comment to Dedekind and Weber's work

I am trying to consult Emmy Noether's “Erläuterungen zur vorstehenden Abhandlung”, some sort of epilogue or comment to Richard Dedekind and Heinrich Weber's “Theorie der algebraischen Funktionen einer ...
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3answers
55 views

History and early development of Mathematics

Please provide references (books, articles, websites) that describe the conceptual development of calculus, complex numbers, group theory and matrix. I am curious about how the Mathematicians ...
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1answer
34 views

On Dedekind's prime ideals

Prime ideals were an essential tool for Dedekind to save or restore unique factorization. Is it fair to say that the shift from Kummer's ideal numbers to Dedekind's ideals (with prime ideals, and so ...
5
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1answer
234 views

What does “hom” stand for in hom-sets and hom-functors?

With given category $\mathcal{C}$ and its objects $A$ and $B$, a hom-set $\hom_\mathcal{C}(A, B)$ is the collection of all morphisms from $A$ to $B$. There is also a related notion of hom-functor ...