Questions tagged [mathematics]

This tag is for questions on the usage and meaning of mathematical terminology and the names for mathematical entities in English.

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1
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1answer
81 views

English fraction ex) one third etc

I know when comparing two things using multiplicative numerals, some usages like the following sentences are possible. This book is twice the price of that book. This book is twice as expensive ...
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3answers
987 views

What does the phrase “to within” mean?

While I was reading the book 'Introduction to Algorithms by CLRS', I came across the sentence: ...is equal to g(n) to within a constant factor. I've seen something about it in Merriam-Webster, ...
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2answers
452 views

Hyphens after Abbreviations and Foreign Letters

Are hyphens used correctly in the examples below? In other words, is there a rule in English that either requires or allows these hyphenations. In my area of research, there is what is called the ...
3
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2answers
238 views

Lowercase/capital Greek letters written in English

Consider two examples: Gamma function written as Γ(n); gamma-butyrolactone written as γ-butyrolactone. Is there a rule which says how the lowercase and capital Greek letters must be reflected when ...
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1answer
2k views

Meaning of “3e9 seconds” in this blog post? [closed]

I was reading a FaceBook note, Mastering Programming by a renowned software engineer Kent Beck. This is the 2nd paragraph. Here are ways effective programmers get the most out of their precious ...
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3answers
6k views

The word “times” instead of “multiplied by”

A shorthand English word for 3 multiplied by 4 is: 3 times 4 I am aware that this comes from spoken language as in "we have 3 four times", a version I know from my native language as well. I would ...
0
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1answer
746 views

“elements in” vs “elements of”

Let A be a set, which of the following is grammatically correct an element in A, elements in A, a subset in A, subsets in A, or an element of A, elements of A, a subset of A, subsets of A? I have ...
3
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2answers
986 views

What is the meaning of “raised to some power” in the following sentence?

What is the meaning of "raised to some power" in the following sentence? In its most simple and basic form, a moment is the product of the distance to some point, raised to some power, multiplied ...
6
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2answers
118 views

polynomial time in?

Related to exponential in terms of? (nonetheless different from it): Assume that you have an algorithm (producing gizmos) whose inputs are three numbers t, d, and h, which are interpreted by a human ...
3
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2answers
79 views

exponential in terms of?

I'm speaking about a particular quantity, let us call it the number of gizmos, which depends on the number of thingums, doodahs, and hickeys. Mathematically, we have a function g which is represented ...
2
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4answers
245 views

Quantum vs number

Let us suppose one has a sentence : I want to find number of digits in the number. Do one allowed to change first occurrence of the word number to the word quantum? So that the new sentence would be : ...
8
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2answers
2k views

“Assume something be” or “Assume something is”?

I am writing a scientific paper. I am not sure about the usage of "assume." Should I say "Let us assume x is real," or should I say "Let us assume x be real"?
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1answer
50 views

How do you say the order of magnitude related to a specific value? [closed]

I have to explain a range of measures affecting a specific value, so I think writing this sentence: response time is limited to units of second in order of magnitude Is it correct?
0
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1answer
50 views

How to interprete a vector which “pointed down the middle of the data”?

In this tutorial (line three) it is hard for me to interpret what "point down the middle of the data" means. I know from the tutorial the mentioned vector (doted line in the following plot) is the one ...
4
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2answers
1k views

What do we call these two parts of the s-curve?

I'm translating a text where a 4-parameter dose-response log curve is fitted to experimentally obtained data. The text says: The obtained dose-response curve (S-shaped) should contain points on the ...
1
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1answer
57 views

Specific case of using articles in mathematics

My czech book on English in mathematics has a section about choosing the right article. It says: Use the indefinite article when you are referring to each element of a class. For example: ...
0
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1answer
76 views

Should I use “the” or not?

I have a set of values that form a triangle. I want to investigate how the positions of these values affect their denominators. Should I say relationship between the element number and the its ...
13
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2answers
6k views

How would people use “cherry-pick”?

I found an example using the word, "cherry-pick": In this era of post-truth politics, it's easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire. Is it a positive term? Is it ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Understand (may not): The students may not borrow more than 3 books in one month

The librarian said: The students may not borrow more than 3 books in one month. So, Is there a possibility for students to borrow 4 books per month? and why?
2
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2answers
4k views

For last 7 days, last 2 days, last month

when some person asks me what have you been doing for last 7 or 2 days , What does he mean by that? Does he mean what I was doing today + yesterday or yesterday and the day before yesterday? Like is ...
2
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1answer
141 views

How to write ordinal expressions in mathematical texts?

I was wondering if there is a rule or recommendation how to write ordinal expressions if instead of a number, we have a variable or a formula. For example, it is common to come across to the following ...
1
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1answer
65 views

how to formulate/name a specific simple math operation in a formal way?

I wonder how to formulate/name a specific simple math operation. For instance, consider the following equation/indentity: (Eq.1) y=a+b+c where a is an effect, b is an effect and c is ...
5
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2answers
287 views

How do you express any radical root of a number?

I'm writing a reference for my piece of code, and one of the sentences is bugging me. The line I'm trying to express is something like: The value is raised to the power of the reciprocal of x. Did ...
3
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1answer
1k views

By definition, by the definition

I am confused how to use "by definition" in mathematics. When I want to say that some fact follows from Definition of A, then can I say: This fact follows by definition. This fact follows by ...
3
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2answers
88 views

x=1 is the/a root of (x-1)(x-2)

I have a question about a/the in mathematics. I would like to say that x=1 is a/the root of the polynomial (x-1)(x-2). There are two roots of this polynomial, that is, x=1,2. So x=1 is "a" root of ...
2
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2answers
114 views

The case when n=1, or the case n=1

In a mathematical proof (using the induction), when I deal with the base case, which is (if any) correct? The case when n=1 is trivial The case n=1 is trivial I would like to know if I need "when" ...
2
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1answer
995 views

What does the phrase “such that” mean in this sentence?

In my opinion, "such that" is just like the word "so". But in the sentence below, substituting the phrase "such that" using "so" makes me confused. "Let P and Q be m × n and m × l matrices" can not ...
2
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3answers
258 views

Should the name of a lowercase Greek letter in a proper name also be capitalized when the lower case is important?

Continuing Should the name of a capital Greek letter also be capitalized when the upper case is important? with the answer https://ell.stackexchange.com/a/109096/37810, which did emphasize the ...
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2answers
63 views

When saying fractions in English, is it necessary to include ‘of’

I am writing an article where I am using fractions for comparison. Should I include the word ‘of’ between the fraction and the things fractioned? To me, both sound correct, but I do not know whether a)...
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2answers
577 views

“bounded from above” vs. “bounded above”

For unary functions f,g:X→Y, where X is any set and (Y,≤) is a poset, when you rephrase ∀ x∈X: f(x) ≤ g(x) in prose, do you write "f is bounded above by g" or "f is bounded from above by g" or "f is ...
4
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3answers
298 views

How square is a square

I've recently heard the follwing sentence in a text for children learning English: The blackboard is square. It got translated to the German equivalent of “the blackboard is quadrilateral”. The ...
1
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1answer
412 views

Should the name of a capital Greek letter also be capitalized when the upper case is important?

In complexity theory, we sometimes have to speak about Knuth’s big omega notation. Or about Knuth’s big Omega notation? Here the confusion starts. I can imagine all four variants of "big/Big omega/...
0
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1answer
76 views

How do I call the operands in a modulo operation?

In an equation 7 - 3 = 4, the 7 is called minuend and the 3 is called subtrahend. Then what are the appropriate terms for the 7, 3, 1 in 7 ≡ 1 (mod 3)?
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1answer
1k views

Abbreviate Exercise(s), Example(s), Lemma(s)

In mathematical texts, we sometimes shorten "Definition" to "Def." and "Definitions" to "Defs." when used with numbers, e.g.: According to Defs. 1, 2, and 4, ... We sometimes use similar ...
2
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1answer
2k views

At least as many ~

I saw a sentence "Somebody walks from one classroom into a different classroom with at least as many students in it." (It was part of a math problem) What does "at least as many" means? Does that ...
2
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1answer
308 views

Why is there no (definite) article before “unity” in the mathematical sense?

Example: x is equal to unity ("unity" has to do with a "unit", i.e. 1, not "the state of being joined together or in agreement".)
3
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2answers
800 views

We prove or we will prove …in mathematical papers

I often read in published mathematics papers We prove the claim as follows. I am wondering why mathematicians use "prove" instead of "will prove"? (I sometimes read papers using "will prove but ...
2
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2answers
73 views

(The) existence of a solution, (the) uniqueness of the solution

I want to write a sentence like We consider the equation f(x)=0. We show that (the) existence of (a) solution and (the) uniqueness of (the) solution. I want to know if the above sentence uses ...
0
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1answer
15 views

Proximizable or proximitizable?

Math terminology: uniformity → uniformizable proximity → proximizable? or proximitizable?
4
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2answers
996 views

“mixing in the 1:1 proportion” or “mixing in the proportion of 1:1” or..?

How does one go about decribing proportions? The blank solution was prepared by mixing an aliquot of water with 2-mercaptoethanol-containing loading buffer in the 1:1 proportion. Or The blank ...
9
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3answers
1k views

“… is called Minkowski space” or “is called the Minkowski space” and WHY?

I met both constructions in quite respectable texts. Is it a matter of taste, or of a shade of meaning?
1
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1answer
57 views

Correct phrasing for describing a plot

I am describing a plot (in a figure in a thesis I am currently writing) as follows: Figure of [names of some mathematical functions]. Function A is covered by Function B for x < 10. (...) Is this ...
1
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1answer
2k views

meaning of “a billion to one” and “50 million to 1”

I'm reading Forensics: A Guide for Writers by D. P. Lyle. When the author talks about the probabilities of forensic testing results, he says: 'No two people have the same DNA, but the testifying ...
1
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2answers
58 views

Word for quadrilateral with no general properties

I'd like to know what word to use to talk about a quadrilateral that has no distinctive feature (so, to express it's not a square, not a rectangle, nor rhombus, nor kite, nor parallelogram, nor ...
2
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2answers
309 views

Using the word “extreme” as outmost point on a graph

Can I use the word "extreme" to mean the outmost point on a plot? Wiktionary has the following definition of "extreme": Of a place, the most remote, farthest or outermost. Does that mean I ...
4
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2answers
2k views

“10-cm square” is OK?

I'd like to say that we need to draw a square of which each edge length is 10 cm (i.e., 100 square cm). What is the simplest way to represent such shape? Is the following sentence makes sense? We ...
1
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1answer
114 views

How do I say to express giving a definite value/choice to a variable/possibilities in math or physics?

In math or physics, there are some variables or possibiliies to be specified. I wonder how to express giving a definite value/choice for a variable/ possibilities. In the following I just give a few ...
5
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3answers
6k views

Minimum of a negative value

What is the best way to call the smallest value (absolute value, |x|) of x if all x are negative? If we call it minimum, then it could be meaning the biggest absolute value... Addendum: I am ...
0
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1answer
215 views

Which words are prevalent in relation to mathematics: task, exercise, question or problem

When we are talking about an exam or end-of-term test in mathematics, is it more common to describe the main parts of a problem set as: Tasks Exercises Questions Problems and what is the proper name ...
2
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3answers
478 views

Counterpart to “given” in a mathematical problem statement

Often mathematical problem statements start by describing some given objects and continue by requesting some objective, something to be computed from these given objects. What's the established title ...