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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9
votes
2answers
5k 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
votes
1answer
380 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
votes
2answers
976 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
votes
2answers
114 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
votes
2answers
72 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
votes
4answers
213 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
votes
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"?
2
votes
1answer
47 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
votes
1answer
43 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
votes
2answers
756 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
vote
1answer
55 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
votes
1answer
75 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
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
3k 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
votes
1answer
130 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
vote
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
votes
2answers
284 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
votes
1answer
682 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
111 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
votes
1answer
848 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
votes
2answers
210 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
62 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)...
1
vote
2answers
523 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
votes
3answers
271 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
vote
1answer
371 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
votes
1answer
72 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)?
0
votes
1answer
893 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
votes
1answer
1k 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
votes
1answer
284 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
votes
2answers
689 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
15 views

Proximizable or proximitizable?

Math terminology: uniformity → uniformizable proximity → proximizable? or proximitizable?
4
votes
2answers
867 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
votes
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
vote
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
vote
1answer
1k 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
vote
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
votes
2answers
258 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
votes
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
vote
1answer
106 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
196 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
votes
3answers
363 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the name of this mathematical symbol in English?

The symbol looks like a mirrored capitalized E. Because I don't know its name, I cannot Google for it.
-1
votes
1answer
198 views

Does “Higher than 30% of stick A” include the full height of stick A and more?

Let's assume I have a guide to cut 2 sticks Stick A should has 100cm of length. Stick B should has length higher than 30% of stick A. So if we calculate, 30% of stick A is 30cm. Is it: Stick A: ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is “to clamp” the best term for restricting a numerical value to a range?

One of the definitions of "to clamp" is, according to wiktionary: (transitive) To modify a numeric value so it lies within a specific range. Is "to clamp" the best term for this? It sounds a bit ...
1
vote
1answer
532 views

Suppose/assume that or supposing/assuming that

Which one is correct? Suppose/assume that X equals 1, we know X+1=2. or Supposing/assuming that X equals 1, we know X+1=2. It seems to me that using present participles makes more grammatical ...
2
votes
1answer
583 views

What is the meaning of “they swim up a gradi­ent of nutrients”?

I could not figure out what the sentence shown in below means. What are the meanings of "as" and "they swim up a gradi­ent of nutrients"? Also what is the meaning of "gradient" in here? Even ...