Portal talk:Mathematics/Archive2006

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Since the creater of this portal (User:Ral315) seems to have abandonded it, it seems that no one is bothering to maintain this portal. This is a pretty sad state of affairs for a page that is linked to from the main page. I've decided to do what I can to maintain it. Any help from the members of the mathematics Wikiproject is appreciated.

I've restructured the page to bring it in line with the recommendations at Wikipedia:Portal. Let me know if you don't like the colors (I'm a mathematician, not a graphic design artist). I'll try to update the featured article/picture at least once a month.

I'm not sure what to do about the Collaboration of the Week thing, as no one seems to participate in that. I'll leave it in place for now. -- Fropuff 20:40, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I'll take over the Collaboration of the Week duties. I hope we can get this community back together to work on some articles! Meekohi 19:22, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think the portal was a good idea to start with. :) And moving it out from the Category:Mathematics to its own page was bad also. :)
I have all those templates on my watchlist, just to watch for vandals, but I don't plan to do work on that. So, good luck, let us hope there will be more interest in this portal. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:07, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
PS I just looked at the reorganized thing. Looks good, thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:13, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I don't think the whole portal thing was a great idea either. But it's here now, and it's serving as the "main entry page" into the mathematics portion of Wikipedia, so I guess we better do our best to maintain it. Your help with vandal watching is appreciated. -- Fropuff 22:46, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Personally I enjoy the portal and use it as my main bookmark for Wikipedia. I check it daily and will do my best to keep it updated and contribute as I can. Cleverbeans 23:52, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Core topics -- Version 1.0

Hello. I'm part of Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Core topics working toward a release version of Wikipedia (on paper or CD).

If you're interested in helping, these are some related articles we plan to include:

If you think these are ready, please let us know. You can see our proposed initial quality standards or learn more about the overall project.


Rotation of Functions using complex numbers.

General Equations for two dimensional functions.

x=real (z*(t+d(f(t),t,n)*i)*i^r+a+b*i), y=imag (z*(t+d(f(t),t,n)*i)*i^r+a+b*i)

The above two equations completely define the two dimensional plane for all f(t), so that any f(t) may be zoomed by z, rotated by quadrant r, or translated by a+bi. Further all forms of f(t) obtained by any zoom, rotation, or translation will be similar to the original f(t). Also integrations or derivatives of degree (n) are valid if applied to the original f(t) prior to application of the above equations. If a=0 and b=0 and r=0 and z=1 then f(t) exists in a normal plane. Rotations are achieved by changing the value r from 0 to 4 as the rotation moves from 0 to 360. The possibility of expressing quadrants as partial values is fully defined by this method. The points lying on f(t) take the form of complex coordinates in the form of (x+yi). Translations are performed by adding (a+bi) to (t+f(t)i) thus moving all points to new locations in the plane. In both rotation and translation the similarity of the new (t+f(t)i) to the original f(t) is exactly similar. The z factor may range from - infinity to + infinity. At zero, the function becomes extinct. At negative values of z f(t) is reversed. At positive values f(t) enlarges as z approaches infinity. The same is true for negative values except the effect is completely reversed. This method allows for expression of f(t) in any rotation, zoom, or translation in the original plane, without rotating or distorting the plane in any way. Only the f(t) is changed. The coordinates of points on all similar constructions of f(t) are completely defined, as well as the complex coordinates of f(t) belonging to the plane. Derivatives of f(t) with respect to the variable t in are expressed in degree (n) by the expression: d(f(t),t,n. If n=0 the the expression defaults to f(t). Negative (n) yeilds integrals of f(t). (Lyricist 16:19, 3 May 2006 (UTC))

Discussing mathematical articles

Is there a talk page to discuss on the articles and topics about mathematics with other interested wikipedians?--Pokipsy76 20:03, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

This would be about the only general talk page to talk about any and all mathematical articles. But you would be better off if you talked on a specific article's Talk page. (Discussion). If it is red, you can make or start off the discussion if you arent certain about something or for some other reason.

If you just want someone to talk to about interesting things that want to know about in mathematics, then I think you should either read the articles or research them, or talk to a specific math-oriented wikipedian on their talk page. I would be interested in that, but it isnt something that I think is allowed because it isnt very purposeful in relation to Wikipedia, and the people keeping the place up try hard with donations and all to make this free for everyone, we shouldnt waste their memory. 20:44, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Gosh Numbers

Wikimathematicians, if you are interested, please help determine this afd discussion about Gosh Numbers. Thanks! Bwithh 04:40, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

I will copy this to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics where it belongs. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:40, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Correction to quintic equation "Did you know"

It is known that quintic equations are not solvable by radicals--that is, no formula of the form x = f(c0,c1,c2,c3,c4,c5) (where the ci are coefficients of the quintic and x is a root) with f created by adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and taking integer powers and roots of the ci and complex numbers, exists. However, such formulas could exist if you do not restrict yourself to these operations (e.g. if you allow integration). I corrected the statement to reflect this.--Todd 18:08, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Math by Country

I suggest to add at the end of the portal a list of countries which link to math studies developed on each one through history.--Walter Humala 01:01, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Kerala school?

What do you guys think about the Kerala School article and the possible transmission of mathematics from Kerala to Europe? Should the theory get a mention on our articles about calculus, newton, wallis etc? Frankly, I'm a bit alarmed about the points brought up here. Borisblue 07:51, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Please see here. -- thunderboltza.k.a.Deepu Joseph |TALK14:46, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I see that thunderboltz is off for a while, so I'm just leaving a short note here to indicate I think he may not just be whistling Dixie. Trade between Kerala and Arabia is older than Islam, and the Portugese established a settlement in Cochin in 1503. Ideas could, conceivably, have passed through say Turkey into Europe pre-1500, and directly via sea routes after 1500. DavidCBryant 19:09, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Topics section - move to top?

I was considering moving the "Topics in Mathematics" box to the top, just undeneath the intro box. What do people think? Tompw 12:04, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I'll give this a tentative "no" at this point for two reasons. First, the topics section is kind of like a "see also" section which generally appears at the bottom. Secondly, I think it strengthens the page to have an interesting featured article and picture closer to the top. capitalist 02:32, 4 September 2006 (UTC)


It seems to be suggesting that 6 is the first composite number. Surely this depends where you start, but using the conventional approach of starting at 1 and working upwards, you get to 4 first. Stephen B Streater 17:25, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

I seem to have misread this - glad I went to talk first. Stephen B Streater 08:45, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Double-column formatting

The column formatting isn't working right in (at least) IE 5.0 on Windows 2000 Pro, 1024×768, normal size fonts. The second column of boxes is being pushed down the page to appear under the last box of the left column. I've had bad experiences in the past trying to reformat these kinds of div-aligned boxes before, so I'll leave it for someone else to try to rectify the situation. Using a table would make the formatting more robust, but I guess someone has a problem with using tables in this way? - dcljr (talk) 23:08, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Topics in Mathematics box - delete some sections?

An anonymous user added a "probability" section (bringing the total number of sections to 11), which pushed the two row format of the box passed its asthetic limits. Consequently, I changed the format to three rows of four, and then added a "Mathmaticans" section into the empty space, bringing the total number of sections to 12.

I am now wondering if the box has too many sections. I personally feel that the number of sections shoudl be decreased to eight, with cuts coming as follows:

  • Delete "General" section, and put contents in "Where to start" box at top of portal (there's a major overlap as it is).
  • Put contents of "probability and statistics" section back into "Applied Maths" section
  • Delete just-created "mathmaticians" section (no one will miss it)
  • Delete "Important theorems" section, and maybe distribute contents amongst relevant boxeds (e.g. four colour theorem into "geometry and topology").

What do people think? Tompw 23:07, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Let's keep it either 8 or 12; 4 columns seem ideal. I'm in favor of your suggestion. Although I think I'd pefer to keep the "General" section and delete the "Mathematical physics" section. This seems like it belongs more in the Physics portal (Note: I am myself a theoretical physicist). -- Fropuff 00:15, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Everythign under the Math Phys section is listed under the Physics portal, so no loss there. I would suggest keeping Mathematical physics and Statistical mechanics under the Applied section though. Tompw 11:33, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

OK, no further comments being made, I propose having the following:

General Foundations Number theory Discrete mathematics
Nuvola apps bookcase.png
Nuvola devices blockdevice.png
Nuvola apps kwin4.png
Nuvola apps atlantik.png
Analysis Algebra Geometry and topology Applied mathematics
Nuvola apps kbrunch.png
Nuvola apps kpovmodeler.png
Nuvola apps kcalc.png

What I've done:

  • Deleted Math Phys section, and put Mathematical physics and Classical mechanics under the Applied section
  • Put contents of Probability and statistics section back into Applied section
  • Deleted recently-created Mathmaticians section (no one will miss it)
  • Deleted Important theorems section, and maybe distribute contents amongst relevant boxes
  • Arrange the boxes so the smaller ones are on the top row.

I'll leave this here for a while for comments/suggestions. Also, can anyone suggest a useful icon for the Analysis section? (I moved the x/y icon to algebra). Tompw 17:59, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

This setup looks really good to me! The only thing I've noticed is that there's no graphic in the Analysis block. What about a basic curved function of some kind like a parabola, maybe with a tangent line somewhere along the curve? Or even simpler, just a dX/dY up in the corner... capitalist 02:46, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Glad you like it. If you want such a grpahic, I reccomend you create it... :-) Tompw 10:31, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
It looks like you used something called "Nuvola" for most of the graphics. I found their site and did a search for "mathematics" but the search came up empty. After searching around Wikipedia for a while on the subject of obtaining or creating images, my time benefit/cost ratio started to drop dramatically, so I'm satisfied to see the Analysis block remain imageless for the time being. capitalist 04:07, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
If you check the history, you'll find the graphic I originally used for the analysis section. I think it works fine. I would also switch the rows around with algebra/analysis/geo&top/applied on the top row. These are the main branches of mathematics and should be given prominence. -- Fropuff 07:17, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
The history goes back to 2005 so that would be quite a search project. I checked the article itself and the icon for analysis is the one being proposed for the Algebra section here. There is no icon in the Algebra section in the article. As for rearranging the sections, I think we at least need to keep General and Foundations on top, but that only leaves two more choices for what to have on top. Actually, as I think about it, the present arrangement makes a sort of sense, because Number Theory and Discrete Mathematics deal with natural numbers and integers, which are more "basic" than the real and complex numbers that the other subjects deal with. capitalist 02:32, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Capitalist is right - I used the "x/y" icon for algebra rather than analysis, as it seemed better suited for me. I'm not really sure what would be suitable for analysis... (maybe an icon with "ε > 0", seeing as every proof in a first-year analysis course starts with "Given ε > 0 ..." ).
With regard to the which boxes go where... I grouped them so that the boxes on each row are all a similar size. I put the smaller ones on the top, because I felt that was more asthetically pleasing. We could probably find 40319 people who would each a different way of doing it, and all with very good mathematical reasons for their configuration. (Fropuff and capitalist have both given perfectly good reasons for their layouts). This is why I ignored the mathematical arguments, and went with I felt looked "nice". :-)
Unless people have any more comments about the content of the boxes, I shall implement the above layout. We can always continue the discussion with regards layout seperately. Tompw 11:55, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
There's a nice f(x) icon here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Mathematical_analysis. However, I've been looking through Wiki Commons and still am at a loss to figure out where these "Nuvola" images come from. capitalist 02:49, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
<--- I've implemented the above version of the table. Could someone who knows how copy the commons image across? Tompw 14:56, 18 October 2006 (UTC)


I just wanted to point out that this is a nice portal! Compared to a lot of other portals this one is really well ordered, interesting, not to mention aesthetically appealling. Keep up the good work! Angrynight 04:37, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Article of the week

As I've been trying to update the selected article box on a weekly basis, I've changed the name of the box to "Article of the week". I try and update it on a Sunday, so if Monday rolls round and the article hasn't changed, then feel free to leave a message on my talk page by way of reminder. (I tend to be absent-minded sometimes). Alternatively, update it yourself :-) ... I've been using Featured articles or articles rated A-Class on the Mathematics articles by quality list, with a bias towards those articles on more obscure areas of maths, and whivch have a leading picture. I tend to simply copy the introduction and said picture. Tompw 11:09, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

The last two weeks I've created the Article of the Day page for the portal. I will start checking on Friday to see if a page is ready for the following week and if not I'll create a new on over the weekend rather then waiting. I'll start pulling from the Mathematics articles by quality list for ideas as well. Cleverbeans 21:04, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Instead of waiting for the next week to roll around, I'm going to create the articles in advance. If anyone has suggestions please feel free to discuss them here. Cleverbeans 12:48, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Problem pictures

what are the wiki codes for the problems that become pic after editing ex. \bigwedge_{\alpha\in J} x_\alpha

I don't understand what you are asking. Perhaps the text at Help:Formula answers your question? -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 03:15, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Layout / "Did you know"

I trimmed down the DYK list so prevent a gap apearing above the Topics box. The cuts were fairly hefty, as I also added some new items at the top. The required length of list varies accroding to the contents article of the week / picture of the month. Consequently, could I suggest that people add new items onto the top of the DYK list when it needs to be made longer, and remove from the bottom when it gets shorter? As one of these needs to be done whenever the featured article/picture is changed, it should mean a nice turnover in the DYK list. Tompw 12:15, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to change inline mathematics into sans-serif

There is currently a proposal suggesting this addition:

span.texhtml {
 font-family: sans-serif;

This would mean that inline mathematics would be displayed in sans-serif rather than serif. This proposal was shot down twice before, but it seems that the strange nature of Wikipediamocratics allow for it to be suggested a third time. Maybe you would like to take a look there and partake in the discussion. —msikma <user_talk:msikma> 19:53, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Lack of references in mathematics articles

Just wanted to give you guys a heads up that in the course of perusing various mathematics articles recently I noticed a surprising number of them had no cited references. The information was accurate in these articles, far as I could tell, but they had little or no external citation. It might be a good idea for someone in this project with access to appropriate texts to try and add references that direct readers to verification.

In particular, it would be very nice if articles that state a theorem provide a reader with a citation that leads to an actual proof of that theorem. I've had a few times now where I read something, said "Hmm, that sounds true", but then wasn't quite sure how to go about proving it. Providing a reference or link to actual proofs would be a nice educational aid. Just a thought. Dugwiki 22:29, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

The best place for discussing this is over at WikiProject Mathematics. However, I will say that the main reason maths articles don't get written with inline citations is that they tend to get out of mathmaticians own knowledge, and they learnt it from a lecture at some point. Hence the lack of formal references. Tompw 22:42, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
You're right, I posted this in the wrong forum. I'll move this post to the Wikiproject mentioned above, as suggested. As far as articles being written from personal knowledge, I agree that this is probably the problem. The information is correct, but they're not citing sources or are using other Wiki articles as references. Really what you're technically supposed to do to demonstrate that you're not using "original research" to construct the article is provide an external reference, like a textbook for example, that verifies the information. Dugwiki 17:11, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Experts needed

A category for articles that need expert assistance from those with knowledge of Arts has been created and articles are being sorted into the category (Category:Pages needing expert attention from the Mathematics Portal). I would like to propose adding a reference to this on the portal page, perhaps in the Projects section so that those with expertise in Mathematics would be made aware of it and would have a link to it.

Make that Category:Pages needing expert attention from Mathematics experts. --Brad Beattie (talk) 12:19, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Non-expert comprehension of mathematics articles

Is it just me, or do a lot of mathematics articles need to be improved for readability by those with less experience with mathematics?

Or is it just the nature of mathematics, that even basic comprehension of complicated mathematical concepts require extensive familiarization with underlying concepts? -FrostyBytes 20:21, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

This page is for discussion of the mathematics portal. The place to discuss mathematics on Wikipedia is Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics. -- Fropuff 01:15, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. I'll do that and keep it in mind from now on. -FrostyBytes 01:39, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


I'm thinking about semi-protecting this portal and some of its subpages due to its high visibility and high rate of vandalism. Looking through the history shows a vandalism rate around one every other day, almost all from unregistered users. Substantive, edits, on the other hand are few and far between and almost all from registered users. What do people think? -- Fropuff 02:49, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

P.S. Actually the vandalism rate is much higher if you take the portal and all its subpages together. -- Fropuff 02:50, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm in. I've noticed the same thing and it's a huge waste of time to review revisions every day which just consist of vandalism and reverts. capitalist 03:32, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Great idea, the portal has indeed a very high visibility and is victim of vandalism almost every day. I'm repeating what have been said, well just to say that I think it would be a good thing Dravick 03:36, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree - the only edits I see on my watchlist relatin to this portal are reverts, so I can't easily tell if proper chnageds have been made. Tompw (talk) 22:18, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Since no one has objected, I've gone ahead and semi-protected the main portal page and the intro box. I may semi-protected other boxes if it seems necessary. I'll be happy to unprotect these pages at a future date if there is a consensus to do so. -- Fropuff 03:22, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Special Ordered Sets

Hi all methies, I just started Special Ordered Sets, I did't find in wikipedia anywhere else. If it is a double please remove it - otherwise feel free to expand. PER9000 16:00, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

This page is for discussion of the mathematics portal. The place to discuss mathematics on Wikipedia is Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics. -- Fropuff 16:16, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Writing about math

I am working on a guideline, Wikipedia:Writing about math. Can you people please look at it? --Ineffable3000 23:35, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think many people will read your message over here, Ineffable3000, so I'm copying it to the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics page, where it will probably attract more attention.
Personally, I'm not real crazy about the proposed guideline. I'll try to provide more specific feedback in a few days, when I get back home. Right now I'm visiting my sister-in-law, so my time for this activity is limited. DavidCBryant 17:05, 26 December 2006 (UTC)