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.

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7
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67 views

Sets, that have $\operatorname{LCM}\left(|c_1|,\dots,|c_p|\right)=\sum_{k=1}^p |c_k|$

I found that the least common multiple of the sizes of conjugacy classes $c_k$ of the symmetric group $S_n$ is equivalent to $n!$ the order of the group. Equivalently the sum of all $c_k$ is also ...
7
votes
0answers
120 views

Origin of $\mapsto$ notation

Who invented the brilliant $\mapsto$ notation for describing a function's action on a point, as in $x \mapsto x^2$? This is in some sense a counterpart to Who came up with the arrow notation $x ...
7
votes
0answers
388 views

A user's guide to Penrose graphical notation?

Penrose graphical notation seems to be a convenient way to do calculations involving tensors/ multilinear functions. However the wiki page does not actually tell us how to use the notation. The ...
7
votes
0answers
2k views

What's more common? Re / Im or Fraktur-R / Fraktur-I for real / imaginary part?

Title says it all. What's more common? Is there one to prefere (maybe due to some norm)? This: $\operatorname{\mathfrak{R}} z, \operatorname{\mathfrak{I}} z$ or that: $\operatorname{Re}z, ...
7
votes
0answers
333 views

notation for ramification index and inertial degree

For a prime $Q$ lying over a prime $P$, I have seen the ramification index of $Q$ over $P$ denoted by $e(Q|P)$ and the inertial degree of $Q$ over $P$ by $f(Q|P)$. What is the origin of the ...
6
votes
0answers
109 views

Typesetting imaginary unit and bessel functions

I know that this issue has been treated in many places, but I have yet to reach something conclusive, hence I am herein seeking your help. Following the 260.3-1993 - American National Standard ...
5
votes
0answers
60 views

A question about co-exponentials

An exponential object $B^{A}$ is defined to be the representing object of the functor $$\mathcal{C}\left(- \times A,B\right): \mathcal{C} \rightarrow Set$$ or equivalently, as the terminal object of ...
5
votes
0answers
215 views

Paul Erdős Joke.

I was watching the great documentary "$N$ is a Number" and in it Erdős tells a joke where he writes: PGOM LD AD LD CD Which means poor great old man, living dead, archeological discovery, legally ...
5
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0answers
198 views

Notation for n-ary exponentiation

We have $n$-ary sums ($\sum$) and products ($\prod$). Is there an $n$-ary exponentiation operator? $$\underset{i=1}{\overset{n}{\LARGE{\text{E}}}}\, x_i = x_1 \text{^} (x_2 \text{^} (\cdots \text{^} ...
5
votes
0answers
214 views

Where does the notation $\mathrm{Ad}(U)$ for $a\mapsto UaU^*$ come from?

I have often seen, in the context of operator theory and operator algebras, the notation $\mathrm{Ad}(U)a=UaU^*$, where $U$ is a unitary operator on a Hilbert space $H$ and $a$ is a bounded linear ...
4
votes
0answers
83 views

Why is the Euclidean metric called the prime at infinity?

I've been studying p-adic analysis recently and after a bit of searching on the web, I haven't found an answer as to why the Euclidean metric is referred to as the 'prime at infinity', and given the ...
4
votes
0answers
62 views

What is the name of the function that indexes Grothendieck universes?

Assume Tarski-Grothendieck set theory. Then Grothendieck universes form a well-ordered proper class, so we can let $U_\alpha$ denote the $\alpha$'th Grothendieck universe, where $\alpha$ is an ...
4
votes
0answers
198 views

Is there a name or definition for this popular notation?

I'm sorry if this is a silly question. I've done quite a bit of searching and have not found any definition or name for this symbol/usage, despite immense popularity and convenience. The sources I've ...
4
votes
0answers
221 views

Divisibility notation history

I'm writing a paper project for school about divisibility, so I'd like to include a bit of history about that subject. I'm mostly interested in notation of $|$ sign used in past, but everything else ...
4
votes
0answers
295 views

Is there a notation for $f(x,y) - f(y,x)$?

Suppose we have a function $f(x,y)$ in two variables. Is there an operator on the function, say, $$([]f)(x,y) = f(x,y) - f(y,x)?$$ In other words, I'm looking for a commutator in terms of function ...
4
votes
0answers
101 views

Harmonic measure or harmonic kernel

In the theory of discrete-time stochastic processes on a measurable space $(\mathscr X,\mathscr B(\mathscr X))$ one usually starts with a Markov kernel $$ P:\mathscr X\times \mathscr B(\mathscr ...
4
votes
0answers
206 views

Where does the 'divides' sign come from?

When $a$ divides $b$ we say $a | b$. Where does the $|$ sign come from? This is not homework, just personal interest in the history of mathematical language.
3
votes
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45 views

Good confusion-avoiding notation for gluing toric varieties from fans?

$ \newcommand\R{\mathbb R} \newcommand\C{\mathbb C} \DeclareMathOperator\Cone{Cone} $I'm trying to establish a good notation to avoid confusion when we glue toric varieties from affine pieces. A ...
3
votes
0answers
100 views

Why do Mathematicians use $u$ and $v$ as variables?

I'm sure this has happened to you as well: you are reading some hand-written work, the variables used are $u$ and $v$, and at some point the handwriting becomes unclear and you cannot distinguish the ...
3
votes
0answers
78 views

What symbol expresses “less than approximately”?

Suppose, I want to state that $a$ is less than $b$. However, I do not know $b$ exactly, but only that it is approximately $c$. With other words I want to state that $a$ is lesser than some value which ...
3
votes
0answers
103 views

What does $\cos(n,t)$ mean?

In the book by JL Lions "Quelques methodes...", (Chapter 2, Section 3.3, page 197), he uses the notation $$\cos(n,t)$$ in a boundary condition on a domain $\Omega(t)$, where $n$ denotes the normal ...
3
votes
0answers
59 views

Notation: “belongs to” with an R subscript

I've run into an expression: $x_i \in_R \mathbb{Z}_q$ – and I wonder what this means. An example paper is here, here's example in Wikipedia. Can anybody help me? Thanks in advance.
3
votes
0answers
49 views

Curve of centers of curvature

I really can't find the English name of the curve of the centers of curvature of a curve. Formulated more precisely: Suppose $\alpha$ is a regular curve in $\mathbb{E}^2$ and $||\alpha(t)'||=1$. How ...
3
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0answers
55 views

partial derivative notation question

I'm reading a book called Correlated Data Analysis, Analytics, and Applications and I simply don't understand some notation. The author says, in chapter 2, page 26: A unit deviance is called ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

notation for invariation

Let $\Lambda = \{T \in \operatorname{Her}_2(\mathcal{O}) ; T \ge 0\})$ and $\mathcal{O}$ the maximal order of some quadratic imaginary number field. I write $T[U] := U^* \cdot T \cdot U$ where $U$ is ...
3
votes
0answers
96 views

Definition(s) for variable binding in first-order logic

The following statement made me realize that variable binding can be defined in first-order logic: The same holds for λ terms to define functions. There is no reason that they could not be ...
3
votes
0answers
76 views

Mathematical notation for formulas involving trees

I am working on document that requires me to write such things as "$T_1$ is a descendant of $T_0$", or "$N_1$ is an parent of $N_2$". For now, I've been highjacking set notation for use in formulas, ...
3
votes
0answers
65 views

Define composition of small cyles and making a big graph

I am having following sub graphs and wish to compose all and make a one bigger graph (say G). After that, I want to select the closed path where it is passing along the outer vertices of that ...
3
votes
0answers
179 views

What kind of matrix/tensor notation is this?

I'm hoping someone on here recognises this and has an answer, because I'm having serious memory issues. About a year ago, I came across the following way of representing tensors of rank $n$ in matrix ...
3
votes
0answers
85 views

What's this called? $\mathbb{C}[d/dx]$

The 'ring of differential operators wrt x' ? Thx.
3
votes
0answers
199 views

Better Tensor Notation

I am in a General Relativity class, and I am finding the usual tensor notation very difficult to think about -- it seems like there are too many names to express something simple. E.g., I think of ...
3
votes
0answers
374 views

Notation for sampling random variate

Is there standard notation for sampling a value from a probability distribution? Like, if I had a random variable $X$, setting $x$ to whatever value I happened to sample from $X$ on this occasion? I ...
3
votes
0answers
194 views

How did Bessel functions come to be denoted by $J_n$?

The $n$th Bessel function of the first kind is usually denoted $J_n(x)$. Where did the use of the letter $J$ to indicate the Bessel function come from?
2
votes
0answers
29 views

What does $s\in \{(u_0,u_1)\in \Bbb R \times\Bbb R^3\}$ mean?

Given the expression $s\in\{(u_0,u_1)\in \Bbb R \times\Bbb R^3\},$ what is s? a single vector in $\Bbb R^4$ consisting a concatenation of the elements of $u_0\in \Bbb R$ and $u_1\in \Bbb R^3$ a ...
2
votes
0answers
16 views

Explanation of notation for face and degeneracy

The (co)face are historically denoted by $d$, while the (co)degeneracy maps are denoted by $s$. Why is this, instead of the obvious $f$ and $d$? In the simplicial category $\Delta$, you also realize ...
2
votes
0answers
16 views

Large Composition Operator?

Doing composition of functions with my students and was wondering if there was a large composition operator similar to Sigma and Pi? What I'm thinking is composing a function n times... $$(f\circ ...
2
votes
0answers
14 views

Notation of List other than Set, and related operations?

we all know that a single capital letter (e.g., $S$) usually represent a set (containing non-duplicate objects) and we can write a number of operations on set such as $|S|$, $|S|$ union $|S'|$ etc. ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

How should I interpret this function notation?

I'm trying to implement an FDGD Algorithm from a paper and I'm a little stuck how to interpret a piece of function notation. See page 7, equations 2 and 3 in this document: In there we have ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Integrating With Respect To $x$

Suppose I have the first derivative of the function $y$, $\displaystyle \frac{dy}{dx} = g(x)$. Furthermore, suppose I want to obtain the function $y$ by integrating with respect to $x$: ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

What is a common symbol for angles and what are semantic differences?

I've just seen that LaTeX offers at least three symbols for denoting angles: $\text{\sphericalangle}:\sphericalangle ABC \\\text{\measuredangle}:\measuredangle ABC\\\text{\angle}: \angle ABC$ I ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Expectation of a function of two variables, not with respect to the joint distribution

I am confused by the following expectation which appears within equation (1) of the following paper http://statweb.stanford.edu/~jhf/ftp/trebst.pdf: $E_{X}[E_{Y}[L(Y,F(X))]|X]$ I am confused by the ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Preferred Notation for Indexing the Naturals from $0$

Depending on circumstantial factors, I occasionally want to index the natural numbers $\mathbb{N}$ from $0$, and at other times, from $1$: i.e. $\mathbb{N} = \{0,1,2,3,\ldots\} \text{ or } ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Complex root notation

Is there a standardized way to distinguish between real and complex roots? In other words, is there a convention about how to I formally write that I expect $\sqrt[3]1$ to be solved in $\mathbb C$, ...
2
votes
0answers
90 views

About the raised negative sign in some basic textbooks

In a math document recently (a UK A level test paper from the EdExcel board), I noticed that the negative/minus sign was raised and aligned to the top of the number. I'm interested to know whether ...
2
votes
0answers
132 views

Set Notation with Intercepts

I really love set notation, and I'm finding myself using it more and more. My question is whether this would be a valid symbolic representation of intercepts. For example, take $$y=x^2-10x+16$$ ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Seeking advice on copying Peano's notation

Can anyone give me advice, or a URL for advice, on simulating the notation of Peano's Formulario in LaTeX? or in Word?
2
votes
0answers
67 views

Is this symbol $\supset\kern-1.7pt\rightarrow$ commonly used in mathematics?

In Multidimensional Real Analysis I by J.J. Duistermaat and J.A.C. Kolk, the symbol $\supset\kern-1.7pt\rightarrow$ is commonly used. For example, $f: A\supset\kern-1.7pt\rightarrow B$ would mean a ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

Is there any way to simplify this expression so that a term only appears once?

I have an expression: $$ \frac{x+z}{y+z} $$ Can I reorganize it so that any variable only appears once?
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Notation Problem

I'm reading a paper that uses the notation $[f]^+_-$ for a function f. Anyone know that this means? More explicitly it appears as $$ \frac{1}{{[U_0]}^+_-} \int^{\infty}_{-\infty}U_{0z}^2 \, ...
2
votes
0answers
94 views

Notation for sampling a random variable

my question is pretty much the same as the one asked here: Notation for sampling random variate (I did not find a satisfying answer there...): I have a random variable $X \sim U(1, 10)$. I want to ...