Talk:Mathematics

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Former good articleMathematics was one of the Mathematics good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive Article milestones
DateProcessResult
January 22, 2006Good article nomineeListed
May 19, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
April 3, 2007Featured article candidateNot promoted
September 8, 2007Good article reassessmentKept
August 3, 2009Good article reassessmentDelisted
August 26, 2009Good article reassessmentNot listed
Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive This article was on the Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive for the week of May 23, 2006.
Current status: Delisted good article

Philosophy loop[edit]

Mathematics no longer leads into Philosophy, breaking my favorite Wikipedia game of all time. It makes reasonable sence for math to lead to philosophy, but it no longer does. Thoughts?Calumapplepie (talk) 22:28, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

Restructuring a page so it “leads to philosophy” does not benefit the encyclopedia, and is considered disruptive. Please don’t. Just plain Bill (talk) 23:04, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
No need to restructure; just follow the citations. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 09:05, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
What? Shenanigans such as rearranging the text of an article to move wikilinks around, or adding internal links whose only purpose is to further some meta-topology game, amount to a terrible idea, as noted below. Just plain Bill (talk) 12:55, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

This is a terrible idea. The philosophy loop was interesting when it occurred naturally. To force it makes it just boring. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:37, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Indeed. Paul August 19:19, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

I personally think some people don't like the idea of mathematics being "under" something and have "forced it" away from reaching philosophy. The first sentence is written incorrectly in order to get mathematics away from feeding to philosophy. The manual of style states, "The first sentence should tell the nonspecialist reader what, or who, the subject is. It should be in plain English," however the first sentence of this article gives a list of examples. It should be changed for THAT reason. I suggest either a mathematician construct a better first sentence or use something akin to the Webster's definition, " Mathematics is the science of numbers and their operations (see OPERATION sense 5), interrelations, combinations, generalizations, and abstractions and of space (see SPACE entry 1 sense 7) configurations and their structure, measurement, transformations, and generalizations." At this point science should be the first link and it does NOT lead to philosophy currently as it gets stuck in a loop in the reality article. Nevertheless the current first sentence is poor according to the style manual.167.88.240.5 (talk) 15:36, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

The opening sentence has been discussed over and over again in very fine detail, and changes to it should be made with caution. In the case of your suggestions, there are two big problems. First, it is controversial to say that mathematics is a "science". This issue is discussed more fully in the article. Second, mathematics is not exclusively about numbers. This point has been discussed recently on this page. --Trovatore (talk) 18:02, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

Adding pattern, and structure[edit]

Here is a citation for mathematical structure:[1] Corry, Leo. Synthese Vol. 92, No. 3 pp. 315-348 (September 1992) "Nicolas Bourbaki and the Concept of Mathematical Structure" --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 23:05, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

References

Highlighting the notion of pattern[edit]

I had tweaked the first sentence of the lead to include pattern among the topics of study included within math. But Paul August has reverted my edits with the request that I "please discuss, and gain consensus, for these proposed changes. In particular note that the rest of the article uses the 'quantity, structure, space, and change' description."

(First a quick bit of meta. I did ponder whether to query here on the talk page before proceeding, but in the end I judged that the overriding consideration was WP:BB. So I have a question, addressed mostly to Paul August: Is it your sense that prior consensus would have been preferable? EndMeta:ResumeSubstance)

As for me, I subscribe to the perspective that pattern is the single broadest characterization of the objects of mathematical investigation. For instance, in math even quantity is not really what we study, but rather such things as the properties that quantities may possess and the relationships among quantities. We search out regularities and irregularities. All of this is pattern.

I do also subscribe to the concern to maintain consistency between the lead and the rest of the article, so if there is consensus that pattern should indeed be added, I'd be happy to do a scrub to address that.

Thoughts?

PaulTanenbaum (talk) 14:49, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

As to your "meta" question, directed at me, about "prior discussion" the short answer is yes. The first sentence is the result of literally thousands of words of discussion, among dozens of serious editors, many of them professional mathematicians (You're welcome to have a look through the talk page archives) hence the comment at the end of the first sentence: "Please do NOT change the opening sentence without discussion; much time and discussion have been invested in its current form." Paul August 15:57, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
@PaulTanenbaum There seems to be a hidden sense within mathematicians (This is going to be controversial.): which is that mathematicians can detect and explicate pattern, and structure, which is "invisible" to others. Amid the subtleties, which are currently restricted to the topics in the lede sentence, are hidden away patterns, etc., which are also topics of study by mathematicians. If this seems vague, please see, for example motivic of Vladimir Voevodsky. It's a practical question: there are currently computerized proof assistants which get overwhelmed by memory leaks that human mathematicians skip right past. It is also clear that we are waiting for someone to ask the right question. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 16:33, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
To corroborate what Paul August said: Being bold is usually good for Wikipedia, but on highly contentious articles being conservative is more productive. The hidden comment in the lede is a sign that this article is contentious. This article continually attracts new editors who make massive changes, with good intentions but harmful results. So please take it slowly, with lots of support from reliable sources.
Which isn't to say that the article can't be improved or that pattern shouldn't be prominent. :) Mgnbar (talk) 16:49, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

See-also to science tourism[edit]

@Drbogdan: regarding this edit. There aren't any exact criteria for what makes a good "see also", but could you explain your reasoning on this one? Why is this more appropriate to show in this section than just any random science-related article? (Just on the "tourism" aspect, it occurs to me that I'd be more interested in a link to Museum of Mathematics, but on that one I should point out that I know the founder, so I shouldn't be the one to add it.) --Trovatore (talk) 22:35, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

@Trovatore: Thank you for your comments - and observations - this very recently created "Science tourism" article seems relevant to the science(s) (and mathematics?) in general - for my part, "Museum of Mathematics" seems relevant to the article I would think - nevertheless - it's *entirely* ok with me to rv/rm/mv/ce the edit of course - hope this helps in some way - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 22:49, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
BRIEF Followup - seems "Museum of Mathematics" has already been added to the "Science tourism" article, as "National Museum of Mathematics" - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 22:55, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Given the comments above, I do not understand Drbogdan removing the link to science tourism from the article. It seems to me a useful link. User:Rick Norwood (talk) 12:42, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

@Rick Norwood, Paul August, and Trovatore: Yes - agree - also - to be clear - another editor, not me, removed the "Science tourism" wikilink from the article - restoring the link is *entirely* ok with me of course - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 14:46, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, I was the one who removed the "See also" entry for science tourism (without having seen this discussion), since it didn't seem to me to be particularly appropriate. Paul August 14:52, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
And now I see that Rick Norwood has restored the entry. I don't care that much, and Trovatore of course can speak for himself, but I read his comment above as mildly disapproving. Paul August 15:49, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
He did it with edit summary "restore the link to mathematical tourism"; but no, the link is to "Science tourism"! Why? The link to "National Museum of Mathematics" is relevant; that article does not link to "Science tourism". As for me, this is woeful violation of a natural monotonicity; clearly, "Science tourism" is much closer to "National Museum of Mathematics" than to "Mathematics". It is quite enough if a short chain of links lead from here to "Science tourism", and further, to "Tourism" (but for now "Science tourism" does not link "Tourism", why?). Boris Tsirelson (talk) 18:06, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Ah, I hadn't looked at the edit summary, so maybe there is some confusion involved here? Perhaps Rick will tell us. Paul August 18:29, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

The technical name is "a mistake". I meant to type "science tourism". Rick Norwood (talk) 13:06, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Ok:-) Paul August 14:35, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

As Paul correctly understood, I do not think the link to science tourism makes sense as a see-also from this article. It might make sense as a see-also, or even a direct link, from Museum of Mathematics.
As I say, there aren't any exact rules as far as I know, and I don't even know how there could be. See-also is a bit of an odd bird. If something is very related to the topic of the article, then it will be linked from the article itself, and if it's not related at all, then why mention it? So it's inherently for things that are in some sort of in-between state.
Still, in this case I think the link is just too tenuous. --Trovatore (talk) 16:04, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

I'm surprised that such a minor matter has caused so much controversy. The link will take interested people to information about museums of science and mathematics, and to museums of just mathematics. What's so bad about that? Rick Norwood (talk) 13:11, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
I agree that whether the link stays or goes is a minor matter. What is a less minor matter is the principle involved. That is, what is the best use of the "see also" section? In my view the spirit (if perhaps not the letter) of WP:UNDUE applies here. And since I think there are probably dozens (hundreds?) of more deserving see also-links, including this link without the others gives undue weight to the article "Science tourism", while including all the other, in my view more deserving links, would make the section unusefully large. Another way to to state the question is do we believe that the recently created "science tourism" article (by the way is that really a notable thing?) is one of the nine most important articles we should be linking there? I don't think so. Paul August 14:00, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
Right. I mean, you could also have a see-also link to dinosaur, if you wanted — there's probably something mathematical to say about dinosaurs, and who can object if readers go learn more about them? People should know more about dinosaurs. But the link just doesn't seem natural.
It's a subjective assessment, of course. I don't think there's any need to prove there's not a more deserving link, just to add a link — then it would be very hard ever to add any links at all. But in my subjective judgment, this one comes up short. --Trovatore (talk) 15:59, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
I also agree that this specific link is a minor matter, but the more general discussion of what should or shouldn't be in a see also section is worthy of consideration. Without strong guidelines (and I am not sure that these would ever exist) editors will produce quite a wide spectrum of possible links, some of which will no doubt be objected to by other editors. My own rule of thumb in these matters is to apply WP:SURPRISE and possibly WP:EASTER. Viewing the section as providing links to articles that either elaborate on or introduce material central to the topic of the article but not sufficiently dealt with in the article, if I have to delve fairly far into the link to see a connection, I don't consider it a good link. In the present case, I agree with Paul and Trovatore that this link is too tenuous and also redundant since we already link to MoMath. --Bill Cherowitzo (talk) 19:05, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
The length this thread has arrived now at, lets me ask how many tourists are assumed to exist as travelling within a year for a "math as science" touristic endeavor (not counting congresses with ladies activities)? I support the skeptics on including the link "science tourism" with "see also" of "Mathematics". Purgy (talk) 19:38, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

I don't have exact numbers, but here is one number: MoMath's traveling Math Midway exhibit alone attracted 750,000 visitors, so I think the answer would be in the millions for everyone interested in finding a math museum. How many go to Wikipedia to find a math museum? My guess is, all of them. :) Rick Norwood (talk) 12:41, 16 November 2018 (UTC) And, yes, the article "Science Tourism" does mention MoMath. It comes up first when I google Math Museum. On the other hand, when I search Wikipedia for "Math Museum" is asks me "Do you mean "Match Museum". (Below that it does suggest MoMath.)Rick Norwood (talk) 12:46, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

I don't really understand how these remarks are supposed to bear on whether we should have a see-also to science tourism in this article. --Trovatore (talk) 22:03, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
I think it's a response to Purgy Purgatorio's post immediately before it, which appears to ask how many math tourists there are. Mgnbar (talk) 02:21, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Ah, good catch. Standard indenting would have made that clearer. In any case, do we have a rough consensus that the link should not appear in see-also? --Trovatore (talk) 03:06, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
To make both my question and my intention more obvious: I want to know about the fraction of "math tourists" within the "science tourism", and I object to include the link "Science Tourism" within the article "Mathematics". Yes, I do expect this fraction to be rather small, compared to "soft sciences" interest (architecture, history, archeology, languages, sociology, religion, nutrition, ...) Purgy (talk) 08:25, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
I vote against the link to "science tourism", given that we have already the much more relavant link to "National Museum of Mathematics". The link to "science tourism" should be moved thereto. Boris Tsirelson (talk) 08:33, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

Re-word to avoid Eurocentricism: "Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics..."[edit]

The phrase "Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics..." begining the 3rd paragraph strikes me as Eurocentric. We could dicuss the importance of the Greeks without implying that they were the first to think rigorously, perhaps with this phrasing: "Greek mathematics, most notably Euclid's Elements, are the oldest surviving written rigorous arguments." Thoughts? — Carl (Seaplant (talk) 06:17, 28 November 2018 (UTC))

Haven't you been warned beforehand that WP might contain more or less precise spacetime coordinates about specific events? Bad luck that there might be evidence for some notable events being –horribile dictu!– eurocentric. Maybe you could have a look at centroid for calculating coordinates of (including spatial) centers. Purgy (talk) 07:24, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm not concerned by Greece or Euclid being located in Europe! Eurocentrism isn't a geographic or spatial concern at all, but an ideological one. "Greece" is a fine way to describe the centroid of the locations of the early Greek mathematicians, but not (as the current sentence seems to imply) the centroid of the locations of the only mathematicians to begin to make rigorous arguments. The current sentence discounts the many cultures that developed rigorous thinking without any influence from the Greeks. — Carl (Seaplant (talk) 08:02, 28 November 2018 (UTC))
I think the change is fine. Alternative, (since I don't like covering up the logic): "Greek mathematics contain the oldest written logical arguments, notably Euclid's Elements Crazynas t 08:53, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
Such assertions need sources. Paul August 12:03, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
I think "first appeared" implies "first appeared in writing". Of course people everywhere can think logically, but we have no records of thoughts. Only writing (and other artifacts) "appear". If, however, you do make the change suggested by Crazynas, be sure to write "Greek mathematics contains ... ." since "Greek mathematics" is a collective singular noun. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:48, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
I won't be editing the article soon, but I have it on my watchlist and plan to work on it someday (finally cutting my teeth on a Level-1 article). I just wanted to chime in because I think Seaplant makes a good point, and especially to second Crazynas. I personally don't think there's any problem singling out Euclid with the catch that the sentence should be very clear that "rigor" here means "logic".
My main reasoning is that there's a not-half-bad argument that ancient Chinese mathematics reached a similar level of sophistication around the same time. What's tricky is the surviving Chinese sources do sometimes discuss in detail why the math works, but rather than deductive logic, they rely on something more akin to constructivism, arguing from demonstration and commentary that techniques are comprehensive. It's also not always clear when the detailed arguments were added in as commentary either.
If anyone with access to a good library wanted to perform due diligence, you could probably get pretty far with any of the following sources:
I personally wouldn't try debating what does or doesn't qualify as rigor though; on top of arguing over eurocentrism and Chinese revisionism, you might wind up with a constructivist vs. traditionalist knifefight on your hands. That said, I think the article's history section does have a China-shaped lacuna in it, not a big one, just a sentence or two in the ancient paragraph and maybe another to fill out the medieval paragraphs.
I've done a little research into history of math for projects IRL, nothing professional-grade though (so my reading is still limited). But if anyone is interested, I have a few more thoughts on gaps in the history section (or if you're willing to wait a few months/years, I'll eventually try them out in my own edits). Zar2gar1 (talk) 23:12, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
I didn't know that about Chinese mathematics! It would be great to see that added in at some point. — Carl (Seaplant (talk) 02:41, 29 November 2018 (UTC))
Paul August, in rephrasing this sentence I wasn't trying to claim anything more than the current sentence (less, actually), but I agree that it's useful to look at the source material. As I see it, this sentence is summarizing this from the History section: "Beginning in the 6th century BC with the Pythagoreans, the Ancient Greeks began a systematic study of mathematics as a subject in its own right with Greek mathematics. [Source: Heath] Around 300 BC, Euclid introduced the axiomatic method still used in mathematics today, consisting of definition, axiom, theorem, and proof. [Source: Boyer]" This is in contrast to the "practical mathematics" described in the previous sentence of the lede, and specifically is referring to deduction, as described in History of Mathematics#Greek: "All surviving records of pre-Greek mathematics show the use of inductive reasoning, that is, repeated observations used to establish rules of thumb. Greek mathematicians, by contrast, used deductive reasoning. The Greeks used logic to derive conclusions from definitions and axioms, and used mathematical rigor to prove them. [Source: Bernal]" Maybe it would be truest to these sources to phrase the sentence like "Greek mathematics, notably Euclid's Elements, contains the oldest surviving deductive arguments developing the subject in its own right." We could add refferences Heath and Bernal. — Carl (Seaplant (talk) 02:41, 29 November 2018 (UTC))
I'm afraid this is all a bit beyond my ken;-) However, I think the move away from "Rigorous arguments" toward "deductive reasoning" is probably good. And a qualification something like "in its own right" is probably needed. As for whether the sources provided are adequate, I don't know. Digging in a bit, here is what I see:
The sentence sourced to Heath: "Beginning in the 6th century BC with the Pythagoreans, the Ancient Greeks began a systematic study of mathematics as a subject in its own right with Greek mathematics.[1]"
I've spent some time looking in my copy of Heath, but I can't find where he says anything like this, page numbers anyone?
The following two sentences: "Around 300 BC, Euclid introduced the axiomatic method still used in mathematics today, consisting of definition, axiom, theorem, and proof. His textbook Elements is widely considered the most successful and influential textbook of all time.[2]"
Here's what Boyer says on page 119: "The Elements of Euclid not only was the earliest major Greek mathematical work to come down to us, but the most influential textbook of all time. It was composed in about 300 B.C. and was copied and recopied after that." So Unfortunately, no mention of the axiomatic method, but I suppose, since this is certainly the common wisdom, this is ok?
The sentence (from History of mathematics) sourced to Bernal: "All surviving records of pre-Greek mathematics show the use of inductive reasoning, that is, repeated observations used to establish rules of thumb. Greek mathematicians, by contrast, used deductive reasoning. The Greeks used logic to derive conclusions from definitions and axioms, and used mathematical rigor to prove them.[3]"
I don't have ready access to Shank's book, but looking at Bernal article originally published in Isis, Vol. 83, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 596-60 (JSTOR 234260), I have yet to be able to find support for this assertion. Again page numbers anyone?
Paul August 13:59, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Heath, Thomas Little (1981) [originally published 1921]. A History of Greek Mathematics: From Thales to Euclid. New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-24073-2.
  2. ^ Boyer 1991, "Euclid of Alexandria" p. 119.
  3. ^ Martin Bernal, "Animadversions on the Origins of Western Science", pp. 72–83 in Michael H. Shank, ed., The Scientific Enterprise in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press) 2000, p. 75.

Brainstorming / what does the article need?[edit]

Before editing the article in the coming year, I just wanted to ask what everyone thinks it needs most. I've always worked on more focused topics where improvements are relatively clear, but what specifically would move this one closer to FA status? Is there anything that stands out to the veterans in particular?

I've skimmed the article and come up with my own breakdown of possible changes, but that may not line up much with what everyone else agrees is important. I can discuss my proposed changes here first too since I imagine editing needs to be incremental here. Zar2gar1 (talk) 19:19, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

Yes incremental changes, and discussing proposed changes here first, are both very good ideas. Paul August 19:49, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

If nothing jumps out at anyone, I'll start by bringing up some smaller notes to discuss...

  • I really like mentioning Aristotle where the definition section starts, but I wonder if it should convey a little more continuity with what follows. Aristotle definitely focused on quantity & magnitude more than today, but he also commented on how it relied on a sort of abstraction ("separability"): Physics II.2
  • I noticed that the article (rightly, I feel) mentions the cognitive "moves" people use in math throughout (e.g. deduction, counting, etc.). However, synthesis & analysis in the mental/philosophical sense are never really brought up. If that would be a positive change, I don't know what the best way to massage them in would be, but I did a little experiment using find in my browser just to have some data...
    • "synthesi(s/ze)", "assemble", and "combine" never appear in the article at all
    • "build" only appears in historical discussions, never as an intuitive act
    • "construct(ion)" does pop up several times, but only in this sense around the paragraph on intuitionism and maybe the discussion of Gödel's incompleteness theorem
    • "analy(ze/sis)" obviously appears several times as part of subfield names. Otherwise, except for maybe two instances (one in footnote 59 for a source on set theory and the other near the mention of Newton), the word is just used as a synonym for study
    • Other synonyms, like "divide/division", "split", "break down", and "decompose" never appear in this sense either, if it all; the one use of "reduce" near another discussion of Gödel's theorem may be the only exception.
  • Finally, without overemphasizing it and biasing the article towards an intuitionist POV, it might be worthwhile to mention the role of intuition and creativity a little more directly. The "Inspiration..." section seems especially fitting for a couple sentences, but perhaps just namedropping & linking one of the words in the lead's second paragraph wouldn't hurt either. Zar2gar1 (talk) 14:23, 15 December 2018 (UTC)
This is a digression, so I'm putting it in small type, but just so you know, you might want to be careful with the word intuitionism, which does not really mean what I think you think it means. The defining feature of intuitionists has little to do with intuition; it has to do with their rejection of excluded middle. The term "intuitionism" for this has a historical basis in Brouwer's personal intuition, but it does not have much to do with whether your foundations are based on intuition. Unfortunately the lead of our intuitionism article is misleading on this point and really ought to be corrected. --Trovatore (talk) 21:52, 15 December 2018 (UTC)
Oh, no worries. I'm aware intuitionist logic is pretty much what people usually mean by the word nowadays. My impression's always been that the different philosophical outlook is still there in the background though, even if nobody obsesses over it like Brouwer did, but I could be mistaken. Since the above changes all touch on more philosophical & mental things, I just wanted to let everyone know I was aware about it and wasn't going to use any edits to make math look like Romantic poetry or something. I really appreciate the feedback though and would be interested on what you think about the changes themselves. Zar2gar1 (talk) 00:45, 16 December 2018 (UTC)
Oh, absolutely, the import is philosophical, not just formal. But the point is that intuitionists are not the only people who place a high value on intuition. For example Gödel (Platonist) proposed that truths about underlying mathematical reality were directly accessible to intuition. --Trovatore (talk) 00:50, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

No mention of realism?[edit]

Prompted by my response in the previous section, I searched the article to see how the term "intuitionism" was used h:ere, to see if it needed work, and I came across this sentence:

Three leading types of definition of mathematics are called logicist, intuitionist, and formalist, each reflecting a different philosophical school of thought.[37] All have severe problems, none has widespread acceptance, and no reconciliation seems possible.[37]

Now, what jumps out at me here is that realism (Platonism) is not mentioned some people seem to think that logicism is a form of realism, but this makes no sense to me. In fact the word "realism" does not appear in the article at all, and "Platonism" shows up only in the external links.
I have to say this seems like a flaw. I'm not sure the right place to mention realism (or indeed the other schools) is in a sentence about definitions, but it's pretty weird not to mention it at all. Ideas for improvement solicited. --Trovatore (talk) 00:47, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

See the book 18 Unconventional Essays on the Nature of Mathematics and chapter one deals with platonism (and I think it makes the argument that if its accessible to intuition, it must therefore be platonic). Chapter two claims that math is an oral tradition passed from professor to student. After that things spiral out of control. Now, I'm not sure if it's just me, or if others feel this way, but whenever I read "Popper says XYZ", I always manage to think "wow, this Popper guy sure is wrong." Should I be mildly miffed, or is there a cult of Popper, or am I just a jerk? OK, the latter, but what's in the kool-aid? 67.198.37.17 (talk) 04:29, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
The book is available here. Boris Tsirelson (talk) 05:50, 13 January 2019 (UTC)

International Mathematical Olympiad[edit]

I inserted the below sentence in "Awards" section. It was reverted and I and was instructed to discuss in talk page:

The International Mathematical Olympiad is one of the most prestigious mathematical competitions in the world. It is an annual mathematical olympiad for pre-college students, and is the oldest of the International Science Olympiads.[1]

I would like to understand why this statement is inappropriate. Arman (Talk) 10:55, 8 January 2019 (UTC)

References

It doesn't fit under the "Awards" header for one thing; as Purgy noted, IMO is a competition, not an award like the Fields Medal or the Abel Prize. Lord Bolingbroke (talk) 17:16, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
Among other arguments, specifically it has been mentioned that the IMO is not an award that can be mentioned in a reasonable manner together with the awarding of the Fields medal or the Abel prize, and that, as an undergraduate, pre-college competition, it has no adequate place in an article "overviewing the entirety of mathematics", and that the details of "how many observers go with each IMO team, or the % of world population and so on" do not fit here.
I wholeheartedly support these opinions, and I expect that there exist rules in WP which support this, even when taking IMO's age, its repetitiveness and "prestigiousness" in account. Purgy (talk) 09:03, 9 January 2019 (UTC)