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 Dec 20 awarded Caucus Sep 24 awarded Autobiographer Aug 17 comment Is there a name for the function $\max(x, 0)$? @MickG: It is much closer to Python than Java. Aug 16 comment Is there a name for the function $\max(x, 0)$? @Joao: it looks to be pseudocode; it is neither JavaScript nor Python. May 8 awarded Popular Question Feb 9 revised Proving a trig identity Changed trig functions to use proper TeX (\sin instead of sin, etc.) and made the large fraction display be in math mode (less cramped) Feb 9 suggested approved edit on Proving a trig identity Nov 8 comment What are some examples of notation that really improved mathematics? @Lubin: "But in our opinion truths of this kind should be drawn from notions rather than from notations." - Gauss, Disquisitiones Arithmeticae, Article 76. (Of course, the original quote was in Latin.) This was a remark towards Edward Waring's Meditationes Algebraicae, another Latin work, wherein Waring states that a proof of Wilson's theorem (and other theorems of 'that sort') would be difficult because of a lack of notation to represent prime numbers. Jan 17 awarded Commentator Jan 17 comment Can you provide me historical examples of pure mathematics becoming “useful”? @N.S.: we know integer factorization is in $\mathcal{NP}$ (it's trivial to show), although we're not sure where exactly it fits in $\mathcal{NP}$. The real issue is pinning down exactly which complexity class factorization fits in, as well as proving $\mathcal{P}\ne \mathcal{NP}$. Jan 14 comment function for $f: [0,\infty) \to (0,1]$? It would be better to use a language's built-in exp function, if it has one (and most do), instead of coding in the Maclaurin series. Dec 25 comment Why is 'abuse of notation' tolerated? @JoeZeng: some languages capitalize 'You' in order to indicate respect, so I think it may be something along those lines. Oct 27 awarded Editor May 27 awarded Enthusiast May 17 comment Algebraic Solution to $\cos(\pi x) + x^2 = 0$ Thanks for the tool. Unfortunately, while the results look promising for the first few digits, even expanding to the next "section" of digits with Wolfram|Alpha ends up with a decimal that's not in that tool's database. May 17 accepted Algebraic Solution to $\cos(\pi x) + x^2 = 0$ May 17 asked Algebraic Solution to $\cos(\pi x) + x^2 = 0$ Feb 2 awarded Yearling Dec 30 comment Something that I found, and would like to see if it's known. As a layman, the sheer number of patterns that mathematicians have already found and documented amazes me. I suppose math's been around for a long while, but still! Nov 22 comment Which step in this process allows me to erroneously conclude that $i = 1$ @GEdgar: In my experience with high school (just a year ago for me), almost no properties are given restrictions except when their formal definitions are introduced at the very beginning, then they're never mentioned again. So, while the restrictions placed on a property may be "taught" in high school, that's not a guarantee: $\sqrt{a} \cdot \sqrt{b} = \sqrt{ab}$ is one that comes to mind almost immediately as having a restriction that's almost never mentioned in a high school class.