Questions on the usage and meaning of words in mathematics, the names for mathematical entities, and other such questions.

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5
votes
1answer
127 views

What is the difference between field theory and Galois theory

I am about to finish the book Galois theory by Harold Edwards. I am planning to study Galois theory at a more advanced level or field theory. I am unable to decide because I don't know the difference ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Definition of null space

I have two definitions of null space. One by Serge Lang Suppose that for every element $u$ of $V$ we have $\langle u,u\rangle=O$. The scalar product is then said to be null, and $V$ is called a ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

In arbitrary commutative rings, what is the accepted definition of “associates”?

In an integral domain, the following are equivalent: $r \mid s$ and $s \mid r$ $r=us$ for some unit $u$ However in arbitrary commutative rings this is no longer the case; in particular, (2) ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Derive or differentiate?

When the action is: Taking the derivative what verb should be used? to differentiate to derive I feel that deriving is not the correct word here. In my mind it's more a synonym of deducing. Am I ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

What's the name for a polygon with exactly two sets of side lengths?

Is there a name for the shape similar to a regular polygon, but using exactly $2$ side lengths (or $n$ side lengths) instead of one side length?
6
votes
2answers
182 views

What is an instance of a mousetrap proof?

A part of the first chapter of the book The spirit and the uses of the mathematical sciences talks about the beauty of mathematics. The author quotes from a lecture of Hasse and introduces the notion ...
3
votes
0answers
49 views

Objects without extensions

How do you call an object $X$ for which every monomorphism $i : X \hookrightarrow Y$ has a retract (i.e.\ a morphism $r : Y \rightarrow X$ such that $r \cdot i = 1_X$)? I think of Y as an extension ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Why are stochastic processes with decreasing expected value called supermartingales?

I am curious to know why a process which has decreasing expected value is called a supermartingale. From a beginners perspective it would seem reasonable to have the following picture: ...
7
votes
1answer
114 views

Is there a name for those commutative monoids in which the divisibility order is antisymmetric?

Every commutative monoid $M$ is naturally equipped with its divisibility preorder, defined as follows. $$x \mid y \leftrightarrow \exists a(ax=y)$$ Is there a name for those commutative monoids such ...
22
votes
3answers
807 views

Who named “Quotient groups”?

Who decided to call quotient groups quotient groups, and why did they choose that name? A lot of identities such as $$\frac{G/A}{B/A}\cong \frac{G}{B}$$ suggest that whoever invented the notation ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

Additive non-abelian group?

Sometimes I see in books the term "additive abelian groups". In my opinion, when we use addition to represent the group operation, we already have in mind that the operation is commutative. So ...
2
votes
2answers
148 views

What are a geometric system and a finite geometry?

Wikipedia says A finite geometry is any geometric system that has only a finite number of points. I wonder what a geometric system is? Is it some set system $(E, F)$, where $E$ is a set and $F ...
6
votes
1answer
95 views

Name of a shape that is intersected once by each ray that starts at a given point

Is there a particular name for a shape that is intersected exactly once by each ray that starts at a given point? To illustrate: I'm looking for a name for shapes like the left one in this image: ...
1
vote
2answers
252 views

*Presume* and *Imply*

I am not sure about the usage of the word presume. For example, is the sentence differentiability implies continuity equivalent to differentiability presumes continuity or to continuity presumes ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Matrices with the same characteristic polynomial

For all the $n \times n$ matrices, let's define an equivalent relation that two matrices are in the relation iff they have the same characteristic polynomial. How can we characterize the matrices ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

In a set, what is the term to describe the number of unique values divided by the total number of values?

The closest word I can think of would be "uniqueness" although I know there is a more specific mathematical term. Say we have a set/table of data with two columns that describes cars. One column is ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Soft question (Etymology - Flatness)

Why where flat modules named "flat"? Is it because they are necessarily torsion free so in a "not convoluted" or circular like $\mathbb{Z}/n\mathbb{Z}$ is as a $\mathbb{Z}$-module?
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Is there a phrase to describe those objects of $\mathbf{C}$ that can be expressed as quotients of the algebra freely generated by $X$?

Let $\mathbf{C}$ denote the category of models of an algebraic theory in $\mathbf{Set}.$ Now suppose $X$ is an object of $\mathbf{Set}$. Is there a traditional phrase used to describe those objects of ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

theorems that depend on the embedding of an affine variety into the affine space

Let $\mathcal{T}$ be a theorem regarding an affine variety $Y$ of $\mathbb{A}^n$. Question 1: What does the phrase "$\mathcal{T}$ does not depend on the embedding of $Y$ in $\mathbb{A}^n$" mean? ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Why is it called “elliptic” curve?

One of my favourite and most studied algebraic curve is the elliptic curve. But something that I have never asked myself is: Why do they call this nonsingular cubic curve an "elliptic" curve? ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

If $X$ is distributed normally with mean $0$, is it correct to say $X$ and $-X$ “have the same distribution”?

Q: If $X$ is distributed normally with mean $0$, is it correct to say $X$ and $-X$ have the same distribution? In a way, this seems correct: both $X$ and $-X$ have the same probability density ...
0
votes
0answers
72 views

Name of an aglebraic structures $(A,*,\cdot)$ weaker than semirings.

I have a set $A$ with two binary operations on it $(A,*,\cdot)$ STRUCTURE A $(A,*)$ is not commutative, is not associative, it has not an identity $(A,\cdot)$ is a commutative group $(a*b)\cdot ...
0
votes
2answers
122 views

LambertW: $ x=W(x\cdot e^{x}) $ for $ x \ge -1$ but not for $x \lt-1$. How do I express my formula/my text?

I just found by numerical heuristics for some systematic numbers $q(x)_\text{heuristical}$ depending on $x=1,2,3,4,\ldots$ using WolframAlpha the suggested interpretation in terms of the ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Axiom of extension

I am learning Set Theory from the book Naive Set Theory by Halmos as part of my course. The first chapter is on the Axiom of Extension. I understand what it is but what I don't understand is why it ...
2
votes
3answers
60 views

What's the name of the set of products of equal to a given value?

Suppose we have the * operator on a set $A$ such that * is associative but not commutative. Given $a$, $b$, $c \in A$, \begin{align*} abc &= (abc) \\ &= (a)(bc) \\ &= (ab)(c) \\ &= ...
3
votes
3answers
450 views

Are the pre-image and the domain the same, or not?

Throughout school I thought that the pre-image was a subset of the domain, not that they were necessarily the same. When I spoke of a function f:R->R, I didn't think that this meant that f was defined ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

What do I not understand about one-to-one functions?

Firstly, a definition: Definition 1: A function $\phi : X \rightarrow Y$ is one-to-one if $\phi(x_1) = \phi(x_2)$ only when $x_1 = x_2$. Now the question: Students often misunderstand the ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

When is a binary operation bipotent?

I learnt that $\max(-,-)$ is a bipotent binary operation but I'm not able to find a definition of bipotent operation. QUESTION A binary operation $*:M\times M \rightarrow M$ is bipotent if ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

What is the name of a graph made of k copies of a 4-cycle connected end to end in a chain, possibly with leaves?

Do graphs of the following sort have a specific name? We've been calling them Cactapillars, as they're cacti that look a little like caterpillars (and the name Caterpillar already refers to a ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Shapes bounded only by lines

What is a term for the set of geometric shapes in the plane, that are bounded by one or more continuous closed curves? This set contains simply-connected polygons and circles but also polygons with ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Enunciation of $\partial$ as the boundary map

How is $\partial$ typically pronounced when it is used as the boundary map in homology theory? The answer to this question provides some good information on the enunciation of $\partial$, but more ...
2
votes
3answers
68 views

Terminology: geometric sequences and geometric means

(I'll post my own answer to this one, but that should not deter others, since my answer is a surmisal.) Why are geometric sequences called geometric sequences? Whare are geometric means called ...
2
votes
3answers
159 views

Name the property $f(x) \ge x$

It's a really one of the simplest properties you could imagine for a function. But I haven't been able to find a name for it. What do you call a function $f$ with the following property: $$f(x) \ge ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

what does “modular” mean?

I find some similarity of the concept "modular set functions" to the cardinality function. But I don't see the cardinality function is also called "modular" or something else. I wonder what "modular" ...
5
votes
0answers
59 views

“Advective”, “diffusive”, “dispersive”, and related terms in the realm of PDEs

Whenever I read a paper involving PDEs, the discussion inevitably refers to “the dispersive term” or “the advective term” or similar. From context it is usually possible to figure out the antecedent, ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

What does “modular” in “modular functions” mean?

From Wikipedia If $\Omega$ is a set, a submodular function is a set function $f:2^{\Omega}\rightarrow \mathbb{R}$, where $2^\Omega$ denotes the power set of $\Omega$, which satisfies one of the ...
2
votes
3answers
270 views

Translating text to functions

I am having problems understanding how to extract this information into a formula. ...
1
vote
2answers
301 views

Complete vs Perfect infomation in Combinatorial game theory

In their book "Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays", Berlekamp, Conway, and Guy used as the 7th condition for a combinatorial game "Both players know what is going on; There is complete ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

Standard terminology for infinite limits with opposite sign on the two sides?

Consider the following limits: $$ \lim_{x\rightarrow0}\frac{1}{x^2}$$ $$ \lim_{x\rightarrow0}\frac{1}{x}$$ As far as I can tell, most authors say as a matter of terminology that these limits don't ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Addition, multiplication, exponentiation… What is next function of this series?

Addition can be (informally) defined as the application of successor function $S$ on $a$ $b$ times, i.e. $a+b=S\stackrel{b}{\cdots}S a$. Multiplication can be defined as the addition of $a$ with ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between a calculus and an algebra? [duplicate]

You can have a lambda calculus, the calculus of the real numbers or a logical calculus but on the other hand you could also have an algebra of sets, a Lie algebra, or a linear algebra. Is there any ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

A term for category where every loop of morphisms is an identity

"A category where composition of every loop of morphisms is an identity." Moreover, in the case I am thinking about, morphisms are bijective functions. Is there a name for this concept?
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Help to conceive a name

Filter $F$ is defined by the formula $$A\cap B\in F \Leftrightarrow A\in F\wedge B\in F.$$ Ideal $F$ is defined by the formula $$A\cup B\in F \Leftrightarrow A\in F\wedge B\in F.$$ In my book I ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

$H^1(X) = [X,\mathbb{T}]$?

This is a stupid question, but here goes. I have a compact Hausdorff space $X$, and I am talking about $[X,\mathbb{T}]$, the group of homotopy classes of maps $X \to \mathbb{T}$, where $\mathbb{T}$ ...
0
votes
2answers
100 views

Why do some sources call calculus, “the calculus”?

No need to cite specific sources since I think it's a fairly common thing to see. What's up with that? Thank you Edit: I've seen it in several places. Here's where I'm currently looking at it at: ...
2
votes
0answers
134 views

Alternative to sin and cos

I was reading something on the Internet the other day, and I swear I came across a reference to an alternative sine function [which I now cannot find any mention of]. The usual sine function starts ...
6
votes
1answer
141 views

Does every mathematical principle have a proof?

My question actually narrows down to the meaning of mathematical principle. While I'm looking for some principles, they usually have their proofs, so I thought "principle" has the same meaning as ...
0
votes
2answers
117 views

What is the difference of an n-tuple and a permutation of n elements

My understanding of n-tuple and a permutation of n elements is, that both are ordered sequences of n elements. Are there differences in the objects correlating to these two terms ? I guess it ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

What is meant by a “structure map”?

The title is the question. Somehow I should know the answer, but I am by no means sure what is meant exactly by it. Perhaps it doesn't have a definite meaning and only in context, could someone ...
5
votes
0answers
56 views

Name for a body that can be completely described using its silhouettes

I'm shooting blind over here because I have no background in this field of mathematics. I assume that if you have a body (in $\mathbb{R}^3$), you can call it convex if any segment from one point ...