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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

7
votes
1answer
92 views

(Co)homology theory and electrical circuit

I have read that one of the origins of the theory of (co)homology is the study of electrical circuits by Poincare. I'd like to know more about that. Could someone sugest any reference on this subject? ...
4
votes
0answers
75 views

In the mean value theorem, we are guaranteed $c$ such that $f'(c) = (f(b)-f(a))/(b-a)$. Does $c$ have a name?

The Mean Value Theorem says approximately that for differentiable $f$, there is a $c \in (a,b)$ such that $$ f'(c) = \frac{f(b)-f(a)}{b - a}. $$ I presume that the number $f'(c)$ is the mean value. My ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

On Gaussian Primes

Some primes in the ring of integers (17, for example) cease to behave as such in the ring of gaussian integers, while others (7, for instance) keep being prime there as well. The former are of the ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

When did Liouville come up with the first transcendental numbers?

There are some conflicting sources regarding this. It is a matter of fact that Liouville defined what it was for a number to be approximated to degree $n$ by rational numbers. He then effectively ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

who coined the prime ideals?

I know that Ernst Kummer first made used of "ideal complex numbers", and, hinging on that, Dedekind later introduced his "ideals" in Vorlesungen über Zahlentheorie. But, who coined the term "prime ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Calculus without functions (or, how did Newton differentiate?)

I was recently reading about how functions did not really exist at the time of Newton and Leibniz; They thought in terms of geometry. That makes me curious. I can understand that derivation would be ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

DeMoivre's approximation to the ratio of $\binom{n}{n/2}$ to $2^n$

I'm reading Stigler's History of Statistics and am trying to understand as many of the derivations as I can. Stigler begins his discussion of DeMoivre's contributions by stating the result that the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Who discovered the first explicit formula for the n-th prime?

I just found out on Wolfram that there is a formula for the n-th prime in terms of elementary functions. I wonder who found it and if he was rewarded for this. The formula (here) is: Also shown at ...
2
votes
4answers
72 views

motivating diagonalization of a matrix [duplicate]

I have to teach about diagonalization of a matrix to a first year undergrad student and I was wondering what would be a good way to motivate this concept. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Historical calculations of $tan^{-1}x $ and $e^x$

SineBhaskara_I One reads that $tan^{-1}(x) $ series expansion existed in early (Indian) history. But like the Sine trigonometric function, did any similar approximation exist as well? The query ...
0
votes
0answers
93 views

Who is the inventor of slovin's formula?

And how can I use it in the population contain 10000 people with confidence interval 95%? Also, why there is only a few information about the inventor in the web?
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Table of Contents from André Weil's Edition of Kummer's papers

I would be very grateful if someone could provide me with the table of contents of Volume 1 (pertaining Number Theory) of Andre Weil's edition of Ernst Kummer's papers, published by Springer Verlag in ...
0
votes
3answers
43 views

Cross products and determinants in $\mathbb{R}^3$

I know that the absolute value of determinant of three vectors in $\mathbb{R}^3$ is the volume of the parallelepiped determined by the three vectors. The volume can be computed by basic calculation ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

estimation of a unit circle - how to show a relationship

It has been eons since I've done any trigonometry, but I just can't prove how this following relationship holds for $n = 4, 8, 16, 32, \dots$ The relation is: $$ 2 \biggl( \! \frac{A_{2n}}{n} \! ...
3
votes
3answers
163 views

Why did it take mathematicians so long to discover non-Euclidean geometry?

Why did it take mathematicians so long to realise that Euclid's fifth postulate is independent of the other 4? Why didn't people like Lagrange notice that a sphere is a model for a non-Euclidean ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Who discovered the Inverse Function Theorem?

I was wondering who discovered this theorem, I can't find this information in Wiki or with a simple google research and all my books do not report the author.
0
votes
0answers
28 views

How Leibniz invented the Binary System?

Do you know which reasoning and observations made Leibniz invent the Binary system ? Some say that he was inspired by Chinese mathematicians do we have any record of how he came with this idea ?
10
votes
2answers
146 views

When, how & who first gave this calculation of $\pi$

I came across this interesting method to calculate $\pi$. Why is it true and who first presented it? To calculate $\pi$, multiply by $4$, the product of fractions formed by using, as the numerators. ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

Functions applied from the right

In some of the older books by Nathan Jacobson (like Lie Algebras and Lectures in Abstract Algebra), a convention is used that is quite uncommon at least today: Functions are applied from the right. ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

History Behind Integral Error Between $\pi$ and $22/7$

Looking at an expression for $\pi$ $$\pi = \frac{22}7-\int_0^1 \frac{x^4(1-x)^4}{1+x^2} \ dx$$ it seems to me that the integral expression is the error between the approximation $\frac{22}7$ and ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

Maths Discoveries thanks to Computer Science

Which discoveries have been made in mathematics thanks to computer science ? For example fractals have been discovered thanks to computers (correct me if im wrong) do you know any similar discoveries ...
7
votes
1answer
107 views

What came first, the $\forall$ or the $\exists$? [closed]

I imagine that these symbols originated in one of the following ways: "I will declare a symbol for "for all." I will just use the letter "A" flipped upside-down. Yes, let $\forall$ represent "for ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

How was the functorial factorization axiom “frequently misstated”?

In modern times, a model category is frequently required to have functorial factorizations of morphisms into (fibration/acyclic cofibration) and (acyclic fibration/cofibration). But the precise ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Inverse Function Theorem. On the classical method of proof.

The proof most commonly of the Inverse Function Theorem seen in textbooks of relies on the Banach fixed-point theorem. QUESTION. It is possible to say, using historical references, which ...
3
votes
0answers
73 views

Name of Wreath Product

Why is the wreath product so named? If possible, please provide a citation.
1
vote
0answers
57 views

What really is inductive reasoning?

I am looking for concrete information on "induction" in the old sense of the word. Now it is used to refer to proof by "mathematical induction"; however, I am aware that it also means inductive ...
5
votes
0answers
47 views

Why row vectors in stochastic processes?

It seems reasonable to state that column vectors $\mathbf{x}$ are the most frequently seen standard notation, often using $\mathbf{x}^\intercal$ to denote a row vector (transposed column vector). ...
14
votes
0answers
125 views

Why would I define Alexander–Spanier cohomology?

I think I can motivate the definitions of simplicial, singular, de Rham, Čech, and sheaf (co)homology, more or less. I might want to understand bordism, and start by trying to understand ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

History of Dihedral Groups?

I'm trying to write a brief historical outline for a project concerning Dihedral Groups, but It has been to hard for me to find information about the first time these groups appeared on literature. If ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Problem solved by a complete layman

Unfortunately, (for the complete layman) since the last century, not only the answers but also the problems themselves have most often been impossible to understand. I found the question interesting ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Matrix equation: solving $AB(A^{-1})(D^T)(C-1 )= E$ for $D$

The question is: Assuming that all the following matrices are of the same size and nonsingular, solve $AB(A^{-1})(D^T)(C-1 )= E$ for matrix $D$. So far I got to $D^T = EC(B^{-1})$, but I do not know ...
2
votes
1answer
188 views

What is an ordinary differential equation equation that is yet to be solved?

In another word, the ODE i am talking about is very special that an special method must be developed in order to solve solely that ODE approximately in infinite series. An standard method mean it ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the meaning of the expression Q.E.D.? Is it similar to ■ appearing at the end of a theorem?

I am curious about the meaning of the word Q.E.D. that is often written after a proof of a theorem (some math books use this convention). Edit: Is it similar to the box being placed after a proof of ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

First instance of vertex cover problem

When was the vertex cover problem (or transversal set) first posed/considered?
0
votes
2answers
151 views

The word “times” for multiplication…? [closed]

The word "times" for multiplication operation which is quite touching to the concept of time (feeling time this way 0*1=0). When was introduced that term? Did any other language have the kind of term ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Why must there be an infinite number of lines in an absolute geometry?

Why must there be an infinite number of lines in an absolute geometry? I see that there must be an infinite number of points pretty trivially due to the protractor postulate, and there are an infinite ...
8
votes
1answer
135 views

Is there any connection between the symbol $\supset$ when it means implication and its meaning as superset? [duplicate]

A rather old-fashioned symbol for logical implication is $\supset$ (see list of logic symbols). For example $p \supset q$ means $p \implies q$ or $p \rightarrow q$ in more recent notations. Is there ...
4
votes
6answers
144 views

Notable examples of “impossible” results ruled out by earlier barrier or no-go theorems or widespread beliefs

there is a certain style of type of proof in mathematics something like a "barrier theorem" but which also relates to widespread mathematical beliefs/ "conventional wisdom". an example would be the ...
2
votes
0answers
107 views

What is the legacy of Bourbaki?

As I was preparing a short lecture (for amateurs) on the mathematics of the '900, I realized that this year marks the 70-th anniversary of the founding of the Bourbaki group. I remember that Bourbaki ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Intuitively speaking, why was there a need to “eliminate” quantified variables in mathematical logic?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the understanding of lambda-calculus, from a math/computing/logic standpoint and am reading more about its very genesis. This has taken me to 1924 - Schonfinkel's ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

How to find out who firstly introduced a mathematical concept?

I am wondering if there is any way that one can find out the introducer of a given mathematical concept. For example, if I want to write that "Reduced free groups were firstly introduced in Habegger, ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

Problem-Solving and other things in mathematics relations? [closed]

Problem-Solving and the standard curriculum in typical undergrad mathematics seems to be on different levels of difficulty. IN undergrad math, you learn new concepts and try some problems. However, ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

Proof for de Moivre's Formula

I have a book that has a brief history of the complex numbers and it covers de Moivre's formula: $(\cos(x) + i\sin(x))^n = \cos(nx) + i\sin(nx)$. I am very curious as to how this result was ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Why have multiplicative operators precedence over additive operators?

Considering that addition is (in my understanding) a more basic operation than multiplication, would it not make sense to give it higher priority? That is to say, we would expect to encounter more ...
3
votes
0answers
64 views

When did the notion of the tangent space emerge?

When did the modern conception of/notation for the tangent space to a manifold come into use?
4
votes
2answers
52 views

Books / Articles on how mathematical education has changed over time

Can anyone recommend books/articles on approaches to teaching mathematics over centuries? How has it been changing since the beginning of mathematical education? Thank you
0
votes
1answer
90 views

In Whitehead & Russell's PM, what makes anything true or false?

It seems that truth and falsehood are fundamental to meanings and types. A proposition is defined as anything that is true or that is false. PM defines truth as "consisting in the fact that there is ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Why do some authors use terms “non-ascending” and “non-descending” instead of ascending and descending? [duplicate]

In my math book, everywhere the author has used "non-ascending" instead of descending and "non-descending" instead of ascending. I was wondering if there is some special meaning or use associated with ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

Origin of period function model of primes

There is a web page attributed to Omar Pol, "Sobre el patrón de los números primos: Determinación geométrica de los números primos y perfectos." ("On the pattern of primes: Geometric Determination of ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Apolonius' definition of a parabola

I need help understanding what apollnius did when he defined a parabola and what he proved. "First let the diameter PM of the section be parallel to one of the sides of the axial triangle as AC, and ...