# Tagged Questions

Question on the meaning, history, and usage of mathematical symbols and notation. Please remember to mention where (book, paper, webpage, etc.) you encountered any mathematical notation you are asking about.

4answers
26k views

### What is 48÷2(9+3)? [duplicate]

There is a huge debate on the internet on $48÷2(9+3)$. I figured if i wanted to know the answer this is the best place to ask. I believe it is 2 as i believe it is part of the bracket operation in ...
7answers
5k views

### What does $dx$ mean?

$dx$ appears in differential equations, such us derivatives and integrals. For example, a function $f(x)$ its first derivative is $\dfrac{d}{dx}f(x)$ and its integral $\displaystyle\int f(x)dx$. But ...
2answers
1k views

### Notation: Why write the differential first?

From reading answers here, I've noticed that some people write integrals as $\int dx \; f(x)$, while other people write them as $\int f(x)\;dx$. I realize that there is no mathematical difference ...
1answer
1k views

### $\arcsin$ written as $\sin^{-1}(x)$

I know that different people follow different conventions, but whenever I see $\arcsin(x)$ written as $\sin^{-1}(x)$, I find myself thinking it wrong, since $\sin^{-1}(x)$ should be $\csc(x)$, and not ...
5answers
2k views

4answers
31k views

### Element-wise (or pointwise) operations notation?

Is there a notation for element-wise (or pointwise) operations? For example, take the element-wise product of two vectors x and y (in Matlab, x .* y, in numpy x*y), producing a new vector of same ...
2answers
880 views

### Notation to work with vector-valued differential forms

What it the standard notation used while working with vector-valued differential forms? I tried using abstract index notation, for example denoting a $1$-form valued $2$-form as $P_{i[bc]}$, but I'm ...
7answers
2k views

### Notation for repeated application of function

If I have the function $f(x)$ and I want to apply it $n$ times, what is the notation to use? For example, would $f(f(x))$ be $f_2(x)$, $f^2(x)$, or anything less cumbersome than $f(f(x))$? This is ...
2answers
768 views

### Difference between $:=$ and $=$

I am sorry if this is quite elementary question. But I always think, that why we use $:=$ at some places, instead of $=$. Is there any fundamental difference between these two? Before reading Terry ...
12answers
3k views

### What is the accepted syntax for a negative number with an exponent?

A friend is taking a college algebra class and they are teaching him that $$-3^2 = -9$$ Their explanation is: $$-3^2 = -(3^2) = -9.$$ It has been a long time for me but I thought that in the ...
4answers
310 views

12answers
9k views

### How to represent the floor function using mathematical notation?

I'm curious as to how the floor function can be defined using mathematical notation. What I mean by this, is, instead of a word-based explanation (i.e. "The closest integer that is not greater than x"...
11answers
8k views

### What could be better than base 10?

Most people use base 10; it's obviously the common notation in the modern world. However, if we could change what became the common notation, would there be a better choice? I'm aware that it very ...
3answers
1k views

### What's the difference between “$\to$” (implication) and “$\vdash$” (therefore)?

In Wikipedia, here in the last axiom of the Natural deduction system, it says "From [accepting $p$ allows a proof of $q$], infer $(p \to q)$." Isn't that a tautology? In the big table "Basic and ...
4answers
14k views

### Representing IF … THEN … ELSE … in math notation

How do I correctly represent the following pseudocode in math notation? EDIT1: Formula expanded. EDIT2: Clarification. (a,b) represents a line segment on a 1D line. a <= b for each segment. The ...