User talk:Geometry guy/Archive 2

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Hey Geometry Guy, I know that you don't like to brag about your contributions but that won't stop me from bragging for you. In the 4 months you have been here you have logged over 3000 edits with quality ranging from good to brilliant(usually brilliant). Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work and constantly friendly disposition. If I knew how to post barnstars...(maybe later). I laughed out loud at your comment to Oleg "Okay account made, although I don't plan to contribute much at the moment: I just saw an incorrect proof and wanted to patch it up." little did you know ;). Congratulations on being a Wikiaddict, may you continually grace us with your presence here.--Cronholm144 02:38, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Arise, Sir Geometrath in the first degree of wikiness.
Thanks for the kind words. Guilty as charged I guess ;) Barnstars are simply templates and are easy to use. The reason this is not obvious is because barnstar templates are usually substituted rather than transcluded and so the simple method for including them gets immediately replaced by the more complicated code of the template. I'm not a big fan of them: I find them a bit formulaic and unattractive, and much prefer a nice personal message like the one you have written. On the other hand, I don't want to declare this a barnstar free zone, because I like visitors to my talk page to express themselves however they wish. Geometry guy 17:48, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Why bother with your heathen barn-starthery? We don't have barns in the UK, but rather ol' fashioned farms :-) Instead of barnstarring, why not assign a personal message or invite them into the Knightly order :-) Gaim.svg ♥♥ ΜÏΠЄSΓRΘΠ€ ♥♥ slurp me! 21:41, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Point of tangency[edit]

Fixed the image now. Gaim.svg ♥♥ ΜÏΠЄSΓRΘΠ€ ♥♥ slurp me! 19:14, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Minestrone! And thanks for the accolade too! I hope you don't mind me moving the image further up. I wonder if this would be a good image for calculus or derivative: the tangent sword to the shoulder function? ;) Geometry guy 16:25, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Slight request[edit]

If at all possible when editing articles, would you in the future like to contribute towards a *NEW* wikibook on calculus or algebra that is either targeted at particular ages of students, or as an introductory book in non-patronising terms ("Take x bunnies and y foxes")? I'd really like to do one in chemistry (my other love) also, and its an idea for the calculus/algebra just so that the books can be printed very cheaply (< £1 per book) and give a better overview and introduction to the concepts of precalculus and calculus earlier on in the learning curve. Just thought it may be an idea to collaborate asynchronously to a wikibook, whilst editing relevant calculus topics, as it'd be killing two birds with one stone! Gaim.svg ♥♥ ΜÏΠЄSΓRΘΠ€ ♥♥ slurp me! 21:38, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for the slow reply. Encyclopedic articles are different from pedagogical ones, so it is not clear to me how this will work. I am mainly interested in the former, because my work here is meant to be a break from my day job ;) However, if you can find a synergy between WP and some wikibooks, then go for it: everything here is released under the GFDL, including my contributions. Geometry guy 21:53, 13 May 2007 (UTC)


I think that we might be editing at cross purposes, see Abel's theorem talk page history let me know if we can coordinate.--Cronholm144 23:41, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the warning. I am trying to get ahead of you, so I can just add the template, field and importance, and leave you to make quality judgements. Is that a good way to coordinate? Geometry guy 23:44, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes it is, Thanks so much, I am only as far as Aberth so you are already almost past me.--Cronholm144 23:46, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

P.S. How do you do a double field? (analysis and geometry) for example.

You can't. Choose one, and mention the other in the comment. Geometry guy 23:51, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Mathematics COTW[edit]

I have finished "spamming" every active math contributer I can find, except for you and Willow, I think I will leave her to finish X ray crystallography first though. Here goes ...ctrl V...oops... I am writing you to let you know that the Mathematics Collaboration of the week(soon to "of the month") is getting an overhaul of sorts and I would encourage you to participate in whatever way you can, i.e. nominate an article, contribute to an article, or sign up to be part of the project. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks--Cronholm144 00:33, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


Yes, thanks. You were right. I was confused. Silly rabbit 03:42, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Leaving yet another stub to write... ;) - although this one can usefully be linked from Poisson manifold as well. Geometry guy 04:05, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Minestrone Soup???[edit]

I think his account may have been highjacked, look at his latest edits. I don't know who to report this to but I don't think that the person who left those latest comments could possible be him.thanks--Cronholm144 20:05, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I see no sign that it is him either, unless he has multiple accounts. I have passed this information on to Oleg, who is an experience admin, and as much my wiki-mentor as I am yours ;) If he doesn't respond fairly soon, I will leave a message on ArnoldReinhold's page advising that Minestrone's account may be compromised. Geometry guy 20:38, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, I would hate to lose him as a wikifriend and editor, I have started editing the new list by Oleg. It is very good I am hitting way more B and mid to high class than before, and since there are "only" 600 I think I can actually finish within the week. Oh and I have added about 5 stat articles thus far, all in good condition, except for statistician ironically enough;)--Cronholm144 20:47, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Sorry fellows, i think my laptop may have been used as a means of vandalism by a student; i had left my laptop in the office (fortunately locked to the desk), but it appears that someone may have used it. Only just arrived back now, apologies to all. What exactly was done? Gaim.svg ♥♥ ΜÏΠЄSΓRΘΠ€ ♥♥ slurp me! 21:07, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Glad to have you back with us, squire! I think you have addressed all the issues: the miscreant just blanked your user and talk page and left rude messages for ArnoldReinhold, but you know this already from the contribs history of your account. To be on the safe side, please change all your passwords! I will update Oleg. Geometry guy 21:15, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

PS. I had a look at User Talk:ArnoldReinhold to check all is well. Friendly advice: after a mishap, it may be worth being more apologetic, especially in order to build a good wiki-connection to improve Trigonometry. On the other hand, your comment "...due to lack of coffee." left me rolling with laughter! Thank you!

S'alright. I just finished working on my own little Knightly Equipments, if you want to create your own such page, or if anyone does.. just steal the layout and replace images :-) Gaim.svg ♥♥ ΜÏΠЄSΓRΘΠ€ ♥♥ slurp me! 21:51, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Category:Jewish mathematicians[edit]

Categories about Jewish people in various professions (figure skating, mathematics, music, etc.) have been the subject of extensive debate at WP:CFD. As you can see, the categories are treated differently than categories for people of other religions. I almost wonder if the issues related to these categories needs to be decided by the Wikimedia foundation (as is the case for exceptional situations). I myself have little heart to participate in these debates, and I am currently at a conference, so I have not felt like contributing yet.

On a related note, it may be worth renaming Category:Arab mathematicians to indicate to actual nations (such as the Abbasid Caliphate) in which these people were citizens. Otherwise, the category may be interpreted vaguely to include people from many countries and time periods, and it would thus group together people who are only vaguely related to each other outside of mathematics. (I would almost prefer not to group people by nationality as well.) Dr. Submillimeter 08:28, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

"go to another website"[edit]

See User Talk:Mhym#"go to another website"

Two children playing with a very large horn. ;)

Kind encouragement[edit]

Hi Geometry guy,

You're always so good about encouraging me, and kind words are long overdue to you as well. I'm inspired by your steadfast devotion to assessing all the math articles, which are some of Wikipedia's best; it's a worthy Quest for the knightly and wise eminence grise. The mathematics community seems wonderfully active and collaborative, too, much more so than the Physics WikiProject; the occasional rencontre is perhaps a small price for such a community. Bonne chance avec toutes, Willow 12:10, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Hey Willow! Thanks for the encouragement. I think I need it more at the CfD for Category:Jewish mathematicians. Rating maths articles is pure joy compared to wading through the quagmire that is categorization by religion, especially when Jewishness is involved. Geometry guy 12:50, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Newton and Leibniz collaboration[edit]

Hey Geometry guy, I am just wondering if you had heard the latest news on the Newton Leibniz debate. I have just read a very interesting article entititled When Lions Battle in Math horizons. I encourage you to check it out, since it has completely changed my perspective of the two men, and Bernoulli for that matter. I am very excited about this article, but I don't want to ruin it for you, (I will say that we might have to make some changes to the history sections of Calculus, Newton, and Leibniz.) but I will let you read it yourself [[1]].--Cronholm144 14:43, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Brilliantly done! Though I am afraid I smelt the proverbial rat a bit too early on in the article to really appreciate it. Geometry guy 15:05, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Maths rating template[edit]

Hello, I was referred to you as the person who might be able to help me with Template:Numbers rating. I based it off your Maths rating template but mine doesn't quite look right. I think I set one of the parameters wrong. If you have time, could you take a look at it? Anton Mravcek 20:33, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I worked a lot on the template, but did not produce it. However, what you have here is an html issue: you have replaced an image by text. I suggest you make an image for the number 47, and replace the font tag by the image, as in the maths template. Geometry guy 21:05, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, OK. I will make an image, but then I better make it fancy. Thanks for the advice. Anton Mravcek 19:07, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your concern[edit]

Thanks for your concern; he was one of the people who actually got me into teaching, as he actually paid me through university (twice) whilst he worked. I'm not sad of his passing but glad that it was whilst he slept, rather than in some other undignified way. Thanks for your concern :-) Gaim.svg ♥♥ ΜÏΠЄSΓRΘΠ€ ♥♥ slurp me! 08:09, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Recombinant formation of plasmids.svg

To say i'n not a biology man, i've done well with this![edit]

Just wanted to brag about my first-time prowess with Inkscape. Love it! Gaim.svg ♥♥ ΜÏΠЄSΓRΘΠ€ ♥♥ slurp me! 20:03, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm suitably impressed, so I framed your work of art! Geometry guy 16:37, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Be Proud!! :OP - moogle301

Jewish Mathematicians[edit]

Thanks for your comments; I'd left Epeefleet a note on the reversal, hoping he'd add his comments without deleting someone elses - it's good of you to do that. This is one that I find hard, because while I am not sure it is a significant intersection I am also not sure there is any other single category in the tree of mathematicians by nationality that is any less significant, and I see value in a comprehensive scheme. With the concept of nationality, I also find it seems to fall apart in your hands as you examine it - what exactly do we mean by nationality, especially in times and places (including contemporary places) where there is not an equivalent to the European nation-state. Also, the nationality categories are fought over - and there's nothing we can do about it, since part of being a nation seems to be claiming a heritage, and it always gets tricky where boundries and languages have shifted. Usually, if I can't find a firm reason to exclude, I err on the side of inclusion and wait to see how things develop. What I'm thinking about now is what you do because of the down-side of ethnic and religious classification when there is overlap between ethnicity, religion, and nationality - should we be more reluctant to categorize universally by nationality? Bottom line, though, I'm tending toward keeping until something shakes out, and am considering sparking a discussion on guidelines that address what we mean by nationality, anyways.A Musing 16:22, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree with you: the current policy concerning categorization by nationality is underdeveloped and flawed, especially in an historical context. I would welcome a discussion of these guidelines and would be happy to join in such a discussion. All there seems to be is Wikipedia:Categorization of people#By nationality and occupation, which does not define what it means by nationality. In practice what generally happens is that people of the modern era are categorized in an inclusive way, as you suggest, so that a person who was born in X, but mostly worked in Y, then naturalized as a citizen of Z gets all three categories. For people in more historical eras, compromises are made.
I'm not an expert on this, however. It may be worth talking to User:BrownHairedGirl and User:Dr. Submillimeter: you may not necessarily see eye-to-eye, but my observation is that these people have considerable expertise on the way Wikipedia currently handles categorization issues and why (and they comment on an impressive number of CfDs!). They might at least be able to direct you to relevant previous policy discussions.
Wikipedia talk:Categorization of people did at least lead me to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Categorization scheme: Nationality -> Country, so it seems people are beginning to discuss improving the situation. One possibility is to make the classification geographical rather than political. That would reflect what actually happens on the ground for modern era people, and would make some of the historical classifications less awkward.
Concerning the issue at hand, although you have given me much food for thought, my gut feeling is that a "no consensus" decision at this CfD will do nothing to shake-up the status quo. Within the current guidelines, Category:Jewish mathematicians is anomalous amoung Category:(ethnic/religious group X) (scientific field Y). There are certainly lessons from this CfD that the Mathematics WikiProject can take home, but the project already has a fairly robust categorization scheme which can be informed and improved in the light of this CfD. The best people to categorize mathematician articles are the experts who have worked on them. If instead this category is kept, the people who will suffer will be these mathematics editors, who will have to deal with edit-wars as the category is repopulated, sometimes by non-experts. What will this achieve?
These experts are not the people we need to draw into the debate on categorization by nationality. Instead we need to hear the voices of those who argue that Jewish categories should not be deleted on the "non-notable intersection by ethnicity or religion" clause. Geometry guy 18:18, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I generally much prefer to see categories developed by the relevant experts - I've seen a lot of deletion discussions flounder because people with no substantive knowledge were making decisions based on irrelevant criteria. I'm not upset the category is gone, though I found the discussion interesting. By the way, you may find the Wikipedia article on Nationality interesting - because it is just as confused as any other discussion on the topic! I'm trying to haunt a few discussions on CfD on the topic, and not start trying to take positions too hastily. One of the more interesting current discussions is on Category:Fauna of Northern Canada, since it focuses on the use of "by country" categories in the context of biology, where as best I can tell it is even more out of place. It's a related issue.A Musing 00:10, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree entirely, and thanks for the link. For myself, I don't think I have the energy to follow more CfDs for the time being, but would be interested to hear how your thinking develops. Geometry guy 11:19, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Finally AWB[edit]

I finally got AWB and now I can join you in full..., as soon as I finish a rather lengthy paper in real life that I have been neglecting.;)--Cronholm144 21:18, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Congratulations Squire, knighthood is but a few thousand clicks away ;) ! Good luck with the paper; I replied more seriously on your talk page. Geometry guy 21:36, 18 May 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for the quiet fix. It seems no matter how I try, the bug sneaks up and bites. I've even considered switching browsers to see if that might make a difference; maybe Opera would beat it. <:-(  --KSmrqT 13:48, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

You are most welcome. I have been wondering why this particular bug seems to bite you more than others, and it occurred to me that, ironically, it might be because you take extra care to avoid it. While I was doing the fix, I used "Show changes" which I rarely do (I usually use "Show preview") and the wiki-engine suddenly started behaving strangely: I think that this is because "Show changes" reloads the current version of the article, whereas "Show preview" does not. If the article has changed since editing began, the wiki-engine has two "current versions" and gets confused. I may be completely wrong, but it is just a thought. Geometry guy 14:02, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

User name[edit]

Do you have a concern people will confuse you with User:Geologyguy?? Georgia guy 21:16, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

It hasn't happened so far! Do you think we should form a special Geo... guy society? Geometry guy 21:22, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
How's it going Geography guy? ;-) Gaim.svg ♥♥ ΜÏΠЄSΓRΘΠ€ ♥♥ slurp me! 22:19, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me! Please use my correct title, which is Geodesy guy. I am after all, the shortest path between two points! Geometry guy 22:53, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Mathematics article ratings and related issues[edit]

Brauer's theorem on induced characters[edit]

I answered (to some extent) your question about this on its talk page. Messagetolove 23:40, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, I appreciated you quick answer, and commented further there. Geometry guy 00:24, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I have now done quite a bit of work on the Brauer's theorem on induced characters article, and added a section on induced characters on the Character theory article. Although there is a separate Induced representations article, I felt that it did no harm to do the induced characters for finite groups separately, as the Induced representations were done in greater generality, and extracting the right formulae for group characters in the finite case would take some effort and prior knowledge. Messagetolove 15:34, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Great, that is fantastic! I prefer to spend my time improving rather than rating articles, so it is good to see them getting improved while I do this more mundane exercise! I think Brauer's theorem on induced characters is probably still a stub, but is well on its way to start class. I've rated Character theory as start class, but it surely is not far from B. Feel free to change any of these ratings, and thanks again. Geometry guy 17:02, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Haven't got used to this ratings business ( certainly won't get into self-assessment!). Just trying to deal with articles incrementally as I find things I feel I can usefully improve upon and expand, sometimes by an iterative process. Messagetolove 19:58, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Hello again GG- one day after pompously pronouncing that I would not contemplate self-evaluation, I find myself changing the rating on this page (after some further work)! However, if someone else wants to do further work/cleaning up, I will be only too happy- I will probably go back there myself from time to time, as much more could certainly be done. Seriously, though, I find myself having to re-evaluate how I view good exposition of mathematics in this context- I guess my own view is that if a good idea of the essence, relevance, and context of the subject matter is conveyed in a way which is accessible to someone who is not a complete expert in the exact area, and what is written is accurate (though not necessarily comprehensive enough to reconstruct 'on site' a proof of the result(s) under discussion), then an article has some mathematical value and content. In this context, a 'Stub' rating seems a rather harsh judgement for some current articles ( at least if the 'miserable or no mathematical content' definition is taken literally-of course some articles do fit this description). Messagetolove 16:00, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes I agree it is start class now. I tend to rate quite strictly because I regard the classification as much a standard to be achieved as it is a description. So for me it is not enough that a stub is no longer miserable, it has to meet the start class standard. I like to think this encourages improvement. Anyway, it seems to have done in this case! Thanks for your efforts. Geometry guy 16:15, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Well,OK, but I guess people who are motivated by a desire to improve mathematical exposition are not going to be driven any harder or faster by a fairly anonyomous rating ( especially if they are in command of the subject matter they are writing about and can change ratings themselves anyway)- I know, I know, you are going to say that my own behaviour contradicts that assertion! I can perhaps imagine that the prospect of GA or FA status might provide an incentive to polish up an already good ( in the informal sense) article. BTW, I was commenting a little more broadly above than just on my own edits. Messagetolove 16:49, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

There is a quality assurance aspect too (especially for the WP 1.0 CD), but yes, you are right, ratings are not going to change the world! Geometry guy 19:43, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Borromean rings[edit]

Why is that of "low" importance? It certainly has a high public-profile among people who have any interest in that area of mathematics at all (without being professional experts in the field) -- not to mention having been used as part of various symbols and emblems for about a millennium annd a half... AnonMoos 03:42, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Greetings and thanks for your interest! Feel free to change any ratings you disagree with: this is a wiki after all! However, these ratings are meant to assess the importance etc. of the article from the point of view of the Maths WikiProject, not the general reader. At the moment, it is not completely clear how such importance should be judged, and so I have been adding ratings to lots of articles in a rather rough and ready way. Once we have a more complete coverage, it might be easier to have a discussion about how best to use the importance rating.
See WT:WPM#As yet to be added mathematics articles for further information about the latest work on the article assessment programme. Geometry guy 04:02, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Your mathematical antithesis[edit]

Who do you think is you antithesis in terms of math disciplines, I notice that the Statistics articles are not getting rated as often as Geometry articles, not to say that this is bad but I think that a double pass through the articles with two differing viewpoints could greatly improve the quality of our work in terms of only including the most "important" articles, sort of a check and balance thing--Cronholm144 04:27, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the double pass is very beneficial, but some bias is inevitable, and not necessarily bad: we really need a statistician to go through the list; there is a limit to what we can achieve.
I am not very good at assessing which applied/discrete/stats articles to include. With applied and discrete, there is often good coverage by the physics or computer science project, so that is not so bad. With probability and statistics, the main problem, however, is that so few articles were assessed before we started. I think I got better at adding these in the B's, where you will be amazed to find that Brownian motion and Bayes' theorem had not been rated!
Anyway, my feeling is that it is best not to enlarge the coverage too rapidly, but more proportionately. The number of rated probability and statistics articles has doubled since we started! It may be more useful to get the balance/selection right within each field than across fields.
There's a lot of geometry, analysis and algebra out there, but a lot of the algebra has been rated, so it is perhaps not so surprising that geometry (and topology) and analysis are growing the most. Geometry guy 11:59, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree about not expanding too rapidly, I have lost track of the number of stubs I have added, and these will surely plaugue editors for generations to come.;) I am afraid that some of them will difficult to expand upon. The fact that Antiderivative had no rating is what has shocked me most thus far. Anyway I was just a little worried about accidental bias but you seem to have it under control. I am almost done with the A's, and I am still eagerly awaiting the AWB confirmation/denial, but I guess I will just have to wait and see--Cronholm144 14:19, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Keep checking up on me - and don't be afraid to remove the rating from a non-notable and unpromising stub. I think I rated slightly too many A's but then I imposed the 1/3 rule on myself, which helped a bit. Geometry guy 14:27, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Another busy day?[edit]

Wow, I see you've had another busy day rating articles GG. I'm impressed. Messagetolove 19:26, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Well I figured how to get WP:AWB to make life easy for me by presenting me with the article first and then the talk page. Anyway, I have been trying to be slightly more generous towards stubs than before (but not too much ;) A welcome for you was long overdue, so I have added my personal welcome to the standard template on your talk page. Geometry guy 19:48, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Rating by whom?[edit]

See User talk:Edgerck and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics/Archive 25#Can people who don't edit under their real name rate articles? Unfortunately the page User talk:Edgerck is operated more like a soapbox than talk, so I had to use the edit history to link the original discussion.

Monte Carlo - top importance?[edit]

Hi! I see you rated Monte Carlo method as Top importance in mathematics. I tend to disagree. Don't you think concepts like probability distribution and probability theory (both of which are High importance) are more basic? Putting too many articles in top importance will just cause that category to lose its meaning... --Zvika 17:48, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Hi Zvika! Thanks for your interest in rating articles. If you disagree with any rating, feel free to change it: this is a wiki after all. I tend to think of "importance" in context. Thus while motive (algebraic geometry) has a relatively low importance within geometry as a whole, it has a rather high importance within modern algebraic geometry. Still, it may be worth having a discussion about this at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics.
Concerning the case in point, perhaps I overrated Monte Carlo method, but in any case I would be more inclined to uprate at least probability theory, if not both of the other articles. More generally, the field of probability and statistics really needs a champion from the ratings point of view. The currently rated articles are at Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Wikipedia 1.0/Probability and statistics. Would you be willing to update the existing ratings, and then maybe extend our coverage? Geometry guy 18:10, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, I don't know if I have the time right now to make some big changes in the ratings of lots of articles. But since you don't object, I might change a few, including Monte Carlo method. --Zvika 19:08, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I've rated another couple of probability articles Top importance: Talk:Markov chain and Talk:Ergodic theory. Feel free to fit them into the assessment scheme you are developing for this field. Geometry guy 22:48, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Probability importance ratings[edit]

Hi Zvika! Thanks for fixing all those ratings! I'm tempted to uprate Brownian motion again, because although it is not a fundamental concept of probability, it really is very important throughout science, from financial mathematics to statistical physics. But I'm no expert, so I thought I'd mention my reasons here first in case you have comments. Geometry guy 11:29, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

PS. I thought you might like to know that I have started a discussion on importance ratings at WT:WPM.

Naturally, the rating of any specific article depends on the general guidelines that you are discussing in WT:WPM. But my personal reading of the current rating instructions is that Top-rated articles are only those which are so fundamental to mathematics that excluding them from a mathematical encyclopedia would be outrageous. Brownian motion is of fundamental importance in physics, and indeed it is rated as such by WP:PHYS, but in my view it is less so as a mathematical concept. I think the different ratings of WP:PHYS and WP:WPM capture this nicely. However, clearly you have more experience with this than me, so if you think otherwise, go ahead. --Zvika 12:42, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Ergodic Theory Problem[edit]

Hi "Geometry Guy," if you want to know exactly what the problem is that I mentioned on Talk:Ergodic theory, here it is, as suggested by my masters student, who got it from his math professor. Starting with a real number x, let . Consider the sequence . What is the ratio of negative terms in this sequence? We haven't fully worked it out. But if you use , restricted to the interval [0,1], you get that the the ratio of terms that are less than 1/2 is 1/2 with probability 1, but it can be any value between 0 and 1, and it can be undefined. It is very strongly conjectured that the answer for the original problem is of similar form. My student is currently meeting with the math professor tonight to go over the problem. Vegasprof 00:37, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for this, but I couldn't find any reference to a problem on Talk:Ergodic theory, nor do you appear in the edit history: I guess you were editing under an IP address at the time. Anyway, I'm not an expert on ergodic theory, so I doubt I can help: good luck with the problem! Geometry guy 00:43, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
Oops ... that's because I accidentally didn't save my edit there, so I put it in later. It's there now. I am also not an expert on ergodic theory; in fact, I never used it before until I encountered this problem. I'll add the problem when I get a "Round Tuit." Vegasprof 02:48, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Composition Series[edit]

I have had another pass through this article ( I had previously only put in a modules section, and not touched what was written in the group theory part). (Won't always be this quick). Messagetolove 16:57, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Great! I was a bit surprised to find the Jordan-Holder theorem is not yet a separate article, though... Geometry guy 17:57, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Gee, you're not an easy person to please!

Messagetolove 22:41, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Was I not pleased enough? :) Well, okay, but you don't have to please me if you don't want ;) Geometry guy 23:22, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I understand this, for sure, and my comment was meant to be somewhat light-hearted. My primary motivation is to improve and extend articles where and when I can, but sometimes one has to accept that the horizon is ever-receding, and hope that others will tend some patches left untreated ( oops, I seem to have mixed a metaphor or two here). Messagetolove 00:26, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I enjoy our light-hearted banter! You might be pleased to know that I have been correcting some of my harsher judgements at the stub/start borderline this evening. Have fun with our ever receding goals! Geometry guy 00:30, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Robust criticism[edit]

See User talk:Arcfrk#Category vs field for: a well argued but critical view of my thoughts on importance ratings and the discussion at WT:WPM, together with my replies.

Class ratings[edit]

In responding to a question about a rating, a point came up that I thought I'd better mention to you before disaster strikes. I have put a fair amount of work into a few articles, and would rate them as A or B+; but if that means you or someone else will submit them for GA or FA status, I would object vehemently. I believe those processes are so badly broken that they do more harm than good, and I would prefer to classify anything I care about as Start-class rather than see that happen. Others in the mathematics community have similar strong objections. Efforts at reform have had little success; our best result so far is our own citation guidelines, which are radically different from the lunacy handed out by GA nuts.

I would rather use a checklist of features that are present , absent , need improvement , or not applicable . That would make rating easier, and also better support improvements. The comment system as presently used seems hit-or-miss, sometimes mentioning things to improve but often not. One model is referee reports, which often ask for both binary judgements as well as free-form comments.

Aside: It's a little scary how many mathematics articles we have, and more so how many deserve work. Perhaps we could adapt something like SuggestBot to help editors (e.g., me) cope. --KSmrqT 07:57, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks - I share your some of your misgivings about GA and FA and have no intention of putting forward articles. It is up to contributing editors to make such nominations.
I think you are a bit harsh on the GA process however: this is just one person, who is not necessarily one of the inline citation nuts. I haven't seen it do that much harm: sometimes an article is rated GA before it deserves it because the reviewer is not qualified enough to spot its defects, othertimes the result is a list of ticks and crosses which editors can follow or ignore as they wish. That's not so damaging. For those who don't like it, we have Bplus, which is pretty much the "mathematicians' GA". And B-class already describes a pretty solid maths article.
I already expressed my view about FAC and mathematics at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Mathematics/Archive_24#Wikipedia:Mathematics_Collaboration_of_the_Week. I have had some experience of FAC since then (see Equipartition theorem), but I still believe it is not well adapted to mathematics. This means that, for the time being at least, A-class is the mathematics gold standard. It is meant for articles which are close to FA standard without being dumbed down or splattered with inline citations. An article isn't necessarily A-class because an experienced and highly qualified editor has put a lot of work into it: I recently put a lot of work into Derivative, which somehow achieved GA status when it was still a mess. I think it could be close to A-class now, but I'm not in a hurry to uprate it. We have an in-house peer review process for A-class, so I might give that a shot and see how it works.
The ratings system is not ideal, but I think we have to make the best of what we have got. Also, comments are hit-and-miss, but please try not to be hard on editors who estimate a rating but leave no comment. I have rated about 1000 articles in the last week or so just to get them on the radar and make the coverage less patchy. I have added a comment where I could, but to do it for all these articles would simply take too long. Geometry guy 08:51, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

curvilinear coordinates[edit]

Hi Geometry Guy, of course I know that curvilinear coordinates don't have to be orthogonal. My idea about the merging was to go from the general classic Beltrami form (including metric tensor) of gradient, divergence, etc. to go the the orthogonal form (still containing Lamé factors), to the Euclidean form (unit metric). One would avoid some overlap between the two articles. But avoiding overlap is not really important, that is why I didn't follow up on my suggestion. Cheers, --P.wormer 08:45, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for stopping by, and sorry if the comment sounded a bit blunt: it was just a passing remark as I was adding the maths rating. Anyway, since there no longer appears to be a drive for the merger, I've removed the tag. Also the article seems to have been expanded and cleaned up, so I've removed the other tags, turned the introduction into a lead and upgraded the article to B-class. Geometry guy 12:26, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Prod tags on little edited articles[edit]

Please do not put Prod tags on real math topics because they are stubs that haven't been edited very much. Keep in mind that this reasoning will be "controversial". If you still feel strongly about deletion about this type of article, please take it to AFD in the future. --C S (Talk) 08:44, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for rescuing these stubs from deletion. I look forward to you replacing their one line definitions by worthwhile content. However, please do not complain to me for following Wikipedia policies. It is completely unclear that we currently need separate articles on marginal topics such as these, and the articles as they stand are possibly even speedy deletion candidates (I had a similar article speedily deleted at the same time, and my reasoning was accepted). So I believe I kindly gave these articles a stay of execution by only WP:PRODing them: you have challenged my reasoning, which you are entitled to do, and is what WP:PROD is for. Now if I want them deleted I will of course use AfD, but I will continue to use the same reasoning with other articles in the future. Thank you for your concern. Geometry guy 09:03, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I hope you can see from the responses that PROD is inappropriate here. PROD is only for uncontroversial deletions, which is what I was saying. --C S (Talk) 05:11, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

As an illustrative example of the pitfalls of this kind of prod'ding, consider that a very cursory search on Google Scholar on parafree group shows at least half a dozen papers by the famous group theorist Baumslag, one paper by Tim Cochrane in Inventiones, a recent paper by Marc Lackenby (at Oxford). --C S (Talk) 08:56, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

This does not imply that Wikipedia should have a separate article on the topic. Maybe it should, maybe not. Maybe this definition should be covered in a different article. I fail to see any pitfalls in deleting articles with no content. If this really is a worthwhile topic, then at some point, someone will write a worthwhile article on it. Geometry guy 09:03, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that's a particularly useful mindset for Wikipedia. It certainly doesn't help the mathematics portion. There are plenty of math articles that if deleted, would not make it back for a very long time, if ever. --C S (Talk) 05:11, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
If I may intrude: I'm not sure what the other PRODs were, but I'm inclined to go "inclusionist" for parafree group. It's often nice to be able to find a definition, even with little else, just so I have a clue about something I'm reading. And for me Chan-Ho's quick discovery of a number of substantial references is an uncomfortable reminder of a recent event in which two non-mathematical editors tagged and deleted (speedied, no less) an article on a major mathematics research center with apparently not even the sense to see from the link cited in the article that it was manifestly notable. And the parafree group article, while stubby, was created with two links (demonstrating relevance) — far better than many stubs.
When a PROD tag is placed, it is courteous and customary to notify those who have edited the article; but sometimes people are away from Wikipedia for the five days before deletion. So even though it is more of a burden to do a background check, I see here hints (maybe with 20/20 hindsight, admittedly) that we should do so, and ease off the trigger finger a little.
I am not familiar with editor Vipul, who created the page, but I see evidence on his user page of an above-average interest and expertise in groups. I also see a marked absence of edits since January, so it is quite possible a PROD would be missed. (It appears he is a bright undergraduate from Chennai currently spending two months in an exchange program at the École Normale Supérieure.) And, I'm troubled that I see no courtesy note on his talk page, in case the article is not being actively watched.
In my experience, editors can get testy about such things (though probably not young Vipul); I think Chan-Ho has given you good advice. --KSmrqT 10:08, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
If I may interject, WP:DICDEF has a few things to say about this. "Wikipedia should not have single-fact articles." Perhaps the articles should be moved to our sister project and be tweaked to say that a parafree group is a math term that refers to..., or it should be dealt with in the context of a larger article. That is, of course, assuming no one intends to improve the articles past the current one sentence definitions. "Per our Wikipedia:Deletion policy, stubs that cannot possibly be expanded beyond perpetual stub status should be either renamed, merged, or refactored into articles with wider scope, that can be expanded beyond perpetual stub status, or deleted if it cannot be renamed, merged, or refactored."--Cronholm144 10:31, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
It's impossible to ascertain whether "no one intends..." And it takes a very bold editor to determine that a math stub not in his field of expertise "cannot possibly be expanded beyond perpetual stub status". In any case, it's clear if you look through the topics, that this does not apply. Additionally, expansion, renaming, merging, refactoring, etc. are all options that should be attempted before deleting an article, which really is my point. --C S (Talk) 05:11, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Hi KSmrq, thanks for stopping by, and even more for fixing parafree group so that the definition can be read without having to guess the meaning of a redlink. I remember well the IMA debacle, but this is nothing similar (the 4 or 5 articles I PRODded are more like an article giving the title of the 18th conference held at the IMA). On the other hand, I agree I should have notified User:Vipul, and perhaps the case for keeping parafree group has been made, although I'm inclined to think it would better be replaced by a redirect to a larger article which gives the definition in context. These issues, however, are not decided by the expertise or sensitivities of contributing editors, but by Wikipedia policies and article content (or lack of it in this case). I can cope with other editors getting testy about my actions.
Anyway, I am grateful for the advice. I would be interested to know your opinion on projectionless algebra, which was also rescued by Chan-Ho. Created by an anon in 2004, the only substantive edit since has been the addition of the three examples last October. This article is nothing more than a dictionary definition. Keep, or delete? Geometry guy 11:14, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Although popups help a lot, mathematics uses vast numbers of terms, more than anyone can know. Even with a working link, it is often practical and considerate to include a brief inline definition. The fact that this one ameliorated a redlink was an extra benefit.
As to projectionless algebra: I might not PROD it myself; I might mention it on the project page. Here's my thinking.
  • One article, noncommutative topology, refers to it.
  • Immediately after its creation, Charles Matthews (an experienced mathematician and editor) massaged it slightly rather than deleting.
  • For those of us using popups, articles with definitions — even brief ones — are appreciated. The guideline Cronholm144 quotes is often ignored as being inappropriate, both within mathematics and in Wikipedia at large.
I didn't know that. :( I was attempting to establish a basis for the conversation. However, it looks like I am the one who was misinformed. Does the mathematics wikiproject have a specific policy about stub preservation? A general metric for removal would be helpful, considering the number of articles that are in a similar state as these few we are considering.--Cronholm144 15:32, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
  • A Google scholar search gets many hits, suggesting the concept is of active interest.
However, the term only appears in the context of C-algebras, so a merge rather than a deletion may be the best course. We have the good fortune that mathematics seems to attract junk articles quite slowly compared to other subject areas, so we can afford to be more relaxed and leisurely about deletions. --KSmrqT 14:48, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I only bothered to do a literature search on parafree group; I didn't simply pick out one out of several I researched. Now that I look at projectionless C*-algebra (the article creator seems to have had trouble with creating titles with math symbols), it seems there is a reasonable amount of literature on constructing examples of particular types and whether certain operations are closed on the class of such algebras. --C S (Talk) 05:11, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Many thanks for these helpful suggestions. As Cronholm points out, there really are quite a lot of articles out there on quite marginal topics which don't even meet the guidelines for a reasonable stub. This we discovered during maths rating. In particular, a lot of algebra stubs got assessed early on without much regard for whether they were even of Low importance. Geometry guy 15:51, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I might point out as well that it much easier to see a stub (even a crappy one) and want to fix it than it is to create a new article from scratch, at least for me. So if our stated goal is to help articles get better, than we should leave stubs that have potential. VectorPosse 19:01, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Good, there seems to be some consensus here! Thanks to all for comments. Geometry guy 08:17, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

RFA nomination[edit]

I have been nominated to be an admin. If you support me, please indicate so on the RFA page. Thank you.

superbfc [ talk | cont ]23:37, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

GA review[edit]

I spent a while "discussing" that stuff about a year ago. The conclusion I have come to is that the regulars at GA review generally want the "good" articles to be nearly perfect. So there has been a general upward creep in the GA requirements, to the point that there is no difference in practice between the FA and GA requirements. Typically, a proposal to increase the requirements says something like "How can an article be called a good article if ...". Moreover, both of these processes tend to be dominated by people who give excess weight to the presentation (I have seen someone say that an article should not be promoted to FA because there is an en-dash in the title). I think the easiest thing to do is ignore GA until (if and when) it gets revamped. CMummert · talk 16:55, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. I have left some further comments there to reflect the despair there is about the process, but am not going to waste many energies on this! Geometry guy 16:59, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Are we judging figure skating or decathalon? It is almost impossible to quantify good writing; we know it when we see it, and different editors have different reactions. But we can help editors with more detailed reporting — as in that checklist idea I've mentioned previously, supplemented by free-form comments. --KSmrqT 00:40, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Good morning G-guy, do you mind if I copy your comment over to WP:GA's talk page? A similar discussion is going on there--Cronholm144 10:02, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Morning Squire! Actually, I'm just about to copy it over myself. Geometry guy 10:08, 29 May 2007 (UTC)


I rewrote Overdetermined system in my sandbox, but I have run into some problems. My first thought was to ask the creator of the article for help....So here I am. My rewrite is here please tweak the problems you see, but my main question is at the top of the article, once I get my answer I think I can eventually replace the old one. Thanks!--Cronholm144 11:39, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, I just created the article because overdetermined previously linked to a page dealing with psychology! Then I left it to its fate. I originally intended it to expand on the PDE aspect, but instead the elementary linear equations aspect has been emphasised. I seem to remember Wikipedia having other articles which cover some of this, but I can only find Elementary algebra and System of linear equations right now. Your rewrite has nice pictures, but it is a pity to lose the intersecting hyperplanes entirely.
A full explanation of the subject requires a bit more linear algebra, in particular, the meaning of linear dependence. In your example 5, the equations 2X-Y+1=0, -2X-Y+1 = 0, X-Y+1=0 are linearly dependent because their is a nontrivial linear dependence relation 3(2X-Y+1) + (-2X-Y+1) - 4 (X-Y+1) = 0, i.e., the vectors (2,-1,1), (-2,-1,1) and (1,-1,1) are linearly dependent. Hence there are only two independent equations (more precisely the span of the equations is two dimensional). Geometry guy 12:11, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Thank goodness! that helps tremendously (my faith in algebra is restored). As for the hyperplanes, I will add them and the prisms back in. The tone was such ("and this is precisely the overdetermined case." ah, so it is!) that I deleted it while I was rewriting. Thanks as always.--Cronholm144 12:22, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I just realized that my comment could have come off as rude... I am very sorry. I only meant to imply that thinking in terms of hyperplanes is not as intuitive as the article implies (at least not for the layman or student), I have started incorporating the original text into the article and I think that the difficult ramps up at a more reasonable rate now.--Cronholm144 14:24, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Not rude at all! Anyway, I didn't write that bit ;) I would probably drop mention "prisms": this doesn't add much. Geometry guy 14:28, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


No problem. I understand the frustration, because it's hard to find a minimum standard of what is good on Wikipedia because of all the different styles, genres, and policies/guidelines. Plus the actual process itself doesn't help matters. I tried to help with the criteria a couple months ago, and it worked a little bit, but the process still needs a lot of tweaking. — Deckiller 22:43, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Georg Cantor[edit]

Thanks! :-) Ling.Nut 23:06, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

A bit more on Cantor[edit]

..thanks for cleaning my dishes for me... I left more requests for help on the article's Talk.. gotta go, at least for today... bye! Ling.Nut 19:24, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for all your work on this. It was a pleasure to tidy a bit after you. I won't investigate the Dauben ref, but maybe an Honourable Squire who yearns for distractions from rating Z-letter maths articles will take it up, who knows? Geometry guy 19:40, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
OK, I emailed him. Perhaps I get a little too excited sometimes. :-) If he doesn't do it, I'll do it tomorrow or the next day. See ya 'round. Ling.Nut 20:07, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
I dropped a note on Salix alba's talk page about Cantor, since he nommed it for GA & he's a Math guy (like yourself)... as I said there, if consensus arises to send it to FAC, I hope MATH people will be the one(s) to nominate it... thanks.. Ling.Nut 19:45, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Math people are not that popular right now among reviewers! ;) There will be a lot of fact tags, complaints, copyediting requirements, and the article needs some images to make it more appealing. If someone from maths nominates, are you ready to chase after all that stuff with the same dedication you have shown already? If you are, then I may be able to help, especially if I can phone a friend. Geometry guy 19:55, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

(undent) ...not popular among which reviewers? GA obviously (full disclosure: I used to be a GA reviewer & may return some day), but FA as well? Anyhow, I can help some.... Ling.Nut 19:59, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Well I don't know how great the overlap is between GA and FA reviewers, but the maths project has never had fantastic relations with these processes, because inline citation using footnotes, as a method of attribution, is totally alien to mathematics, and often regarded with distrust or even contempt. If both Salix Alba and my friend respond, though, we may be able to cross that hurdle. Geometry guy 20:07, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm a Linguistics guy. I live, breathe, eat and sleep inline cites. :-) If you think Peer Review is better, then go for it.. If you think FAC is cool, then we can git 'r done. Ling.Nut 20:11, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Okay, go for FAC, Ling.Nut, while the blood is still hot! Geometry guy 20:16, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Mathematics ratings and related issues continued[edit]

Splitting Geometry and Topology[edit]

Hi, Geometry Guy. Once again, I want to thank you for all your efforts in this rating project. If it is eventually decided to split Geometry and Topology into two fields, I would ask that you involve me in the process. My expertise is contact and symplectic manifolds, and it is precisely this subject that straddles the line between geometry and topology. So reclassifying articles will be a bit tricky. Case in point: the currect "main" page for symplectic stuff is called Symplectic topology but the contact stuff is at Contact geometry. (Symplectic geometry redirects to Symplectic topology but Contact topology redirects nowhere for now.) This present state of affairs is already a bit problematic, and it will get worse if and when the Geometry and Topology fields are separated. VectorPosse 23:54, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, that would be great. My current thinking is to go through the current geometry and topology articles replacing the geometry tag by topology only for those articles which are unarguably topology. Then we can see how many articles like this there are, and decide what to do from there. I agree the symplectic stuff is tricky, but this is only about ratings, not about categorization: some topics can be listed under both fields in a similar way to my proposal for information theory articles. In my opinion the most urgent issue in the symplectic category is the fact that symplectic geometry is a redirect! It really has a different flavour/emphasis from symplectic topology, and is an utterly fundamental article as I am sure you agree! Geometry guy 08:26, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Maths rating[edit]

Sorry for the delay - it took me a while to get the code working. You asked about how categories can be used to make tables of article ratings. Here's how.

  • Use List of mathematics categories for raw info
  • Use programming interfaces to get for each of those a list of the articles directly in it and a list of its subcategories.
  • Fetch a list of all rated math articles as well. Limit our attention just to those.
  • View the category structure as a directed acyclic graph. Start at each root node and recursively propagate articles from child categories to parent categories.
  • Now we have a list for each category of all rated articles in its scope.
  • Use these lists to make the field pages. The easiest way is to maintain a list of exactly which categories should have tables generated. Then as some categories get bigger we can add them and if they get too big we replace them with their subcategories.

CMummert · talk 14:03, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

VeblenBot now does topology[edit]

The topology page for VeblenBot is now working and will be updated like the rest.

Re your request at VeblenBot/SuggestedImprovements, it won't quite work to leave off the open and closing table syntax because the table of field vs. importance has a very different number of columns than the other two. But if I add some extra "colspan" commands to the narrower table I think that that will work. CMummert · talk 18:02, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, that is great. Unless I receive any strong objections, I will soon turn off the link to "Geometry and topology" for "Topology" pages, and then it would be a good idea to rename the field "Geometry". Geometry guy 18:31, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Thinking more about this, it makes no sense to combine field vs. importance with the other two. Still, it could be combined with the quality vs. importance transpose table. I will update VB/SI. Geometry guy 10:58, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Ratings project[edit]

Hi Geometry guy, I've belatedly replied to your encouraging words about my recent mass rating spree on my page (my outlook is a lot darker). Arcfrk 06:58, 31 May 2007 (UTC)


How did you arrive at the rating you put at Talk:Errors and residuals in statistics? This is an extremely important topic. Michael Hardy 20:53, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

... and at talk:polygonal number you said "mid". So that's more important that errors and residuals in statistics? That's a bizarre idea! Michael Hardy 20:55, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Maths ratings are not set in stone, and importance is a particularly subjective rating, whose meaning has not yet been fully developed. However, Michael, this is a wiki, which means that the IRL complaint mode is best replaced by the wiki fix-it mode: why not just fix my misjudged first guesses at a rating, and move on from there? I won't be offended: if I disagree, I will revert and then we can go to talk, but that is pretty unlikely, since I still have about 3000 articles to add maths ratings to. Geometry guy 21:06, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I wasn't offended, but I was surprised. Michael Hardy 22:10, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Very good! I hope these ratings will converge through the good work of many editors like yourself. Geometry guy 22:15, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

OK, so topological manifold is more important than errors and residuals in statistics. Why? Michael Hardy 00:29, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, I've lowered the topological manifold rating. These articles are incomparable and it is useless making such comparisons. They need to be judged in their own context. I agree that topological manifold doesn't add significantly to the general concept of manifold and so a mid importance rating is more appropriate. Geometry guy 00:38, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

tagging Definition as a mathematics article[edit]

Hi, I noticed you tagged Definition as a mathematics article. As it stands now, the article says nothing about mathematical use of the term. The article is entirely from the view of logic or philosophy. Could you take a closer look at the article and offer any comments on how the article could be expanded (or whether there should be a separate article). There is already a section called "definitions in mathematics" at Talk:Definition. --Jtir 22:16, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for the slow response: I have added a comment to that section. I suggest growing a section on definitions in mathematics, and only starting a separate article if/when the section becomes too large. Geometry guy 12:41, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
PS. In case it is not clear, the tagging just means "This article is of interest to the Mathematics WikiProject", it doesn't mean it is being claimed as a "mathematics article".
Thanks for your comments at Talk:Definition. I don't feel qualified to add a section, so I have solicited comments from Banno and Vesal, although the latter hasn't been very active lately. I take your point re "claims" — yet another reason that these project tags can become contentious. BTW, I only just now noticed your comment that the "Article needs a section on definitions in mathematics!". Having a comments subpage for projects seems redundant with having a talk page. --Jtir 16:50, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
This comment is again for the benefit of the Mathematics WikiProject, and is actually transcluded onto lists of rated maths articles so that members of the project can easily find articles to work on. So, on the contrary, it is potentially very useful: it might even attract a maths editor to the page to help write the section! Geometry guy 16:55, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
OK. I didn't know about the transclusion. --Jtir 17:05, 3 June 2007 (UTC)


I suggest that if a topic is covered in EVERY course in the statistics curriculum from kindergarten through Ph.D.-level, then it should be considered to be very important. To rate degrees of freedom (statistics) as of "low" importance makes me wonder if you've ever heard of statistics. Michael Hardy 22:28, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Where do they teach degrees of freedom (statistics) in kindergarten? --Jtir 16:53, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

peripheral? trivial?[edit]

Are you COMPLETELY unaware of the fact that at Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Wikipedia 1.0/Assessment it says "low" means "Subject is peripheral knowledge, possibly trivial"? Michael Hardy 22:41, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

These descriptors are badly worded and need revision. Wikipedia 1.0 refers instead to the subject as being mainly of "specialist" interest. However, I don't find this descriptor so helpful either. There has been a discussion at WT:WPM about improving the situation, and I have been thinking about it and working on it since then. In the meantime, I have tended to err on the low side if in doubt, because articles are generally getting overrated. In this particular case I made a mistake, as I clearly did (in the other direction) for polygonal number (now fixed). Geometry guy 02:22, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Geometry guy, Michael is grumpy with probability 0.5, don't take that too close to heart. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:25, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Seems more like 'almost surely', to me. Arcfrk 06:48, 2 June 2007 (UTC)