# Portal:Mathematics

## The Mathematics Portal

Mathematics is the study of representing and reasoning about abstract objects (such as numbers, points, spaces, sets, structures, and games). Mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. Applied mathematics, the branch of mathematics concerned with application of mathematical knowledge to other fields, inspires and makes use of new mathematical discoveries and sometimes leads to the development of entirely new mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and game theory. Mathematicians also engage in pure mathematics, or mathematics for its own sake, without having any application in mind. There is no clear line separating pure and applied mathematics, and practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are often discovered. (Full article...)

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A three-dimensional projection of a tesseract performing a simple rotation about a plane which bisects the figure from front-left to back-right and top to bottom. Also called an 8-cell or octachoron, a tesseract is the four-dimensional analog of the cube (i.e., a 4-D hypercube, or 4-cube), where motion along the fourth dimension is often a representation for bounded transformations of the cube through time. The tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. Tesseracts and other polytopes can be used as the basis for the network topology when linking multiple processors in parallel computing.

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 A dodecahedron, one of the five Platonic solidsImage credit: User:DTR

A regular polytope is a geometric figure with a high degree of symmetry. Examples in two dimensions include the square, the regular pentagon and hexagon, and so on. In three dimensions the regular polytopes include the cube, the dodecahedron, and all other Platonic solids. Other Platonic solids include the tetrahedron, the octahedron, the icosahedron. Examples exist in higher dimensions also, such as the 5-dimensional hendecatope. Circles and spheres, although highly symmetric, are not considered polytopes because they do not have flat faces. The strong symmetry of the regular polytopes gives them an aesthetic quality that interests both non-mathematicians and mathematicians.

Many regular polytopes, at least in two and three dimensions, exist in nature and have been known since prehistory. The earliest surviving mathematical treatment of these objects comes to us from ancient Greek mathematicians such as Euclid. Indeed, Euclid wrote a systematic study of mathematics, publishing it under the title Elements, which built up a logical theory of geometry and number theory. His work concluded with mathematical descriptions of the five Platonic solids. (Full article...)

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