# User talk:PaulTanenbaum

## League of Copyeditors

I'm very sorry I haven't had a chance to welcome you earlier, I have been incredibly busy lately. We are glad to have your help. Currently, we have really cut down the backlog of articles in need of copyedit. Therefore, a major goal at this moment is to identify new articles that are in need of work. When you run across them, be sure to tag them for copyediting.

If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to drop me a line.Trusilver 21:54, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Hey, Trusilver, I have two blatant newbie questions for you. Seems to me I remember on some occasions that immediately upon logging into Wikipedia I'd get told, "Hey there's stuff on your watchlist that's changed." But lately all I'm told is the standard "You've successfully logged in; do you wish to return to the [[Mashed Potato]] article?" so I have to manually visit "my watchlist" to see what's new. Am I imagining something? Is there some option to set?
Along those lines, how do you manage to respond wherever people leave messages for you. In particular, did you just flag my own talk page to watch? Thanks.PaulTanenbaum 22:19, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
That really just spooked me out. I have never seen that before, but I remember someone else telling me about a watchlist reminder showing up. I believe I told them that they were imagining things. I personally am kind of low-tech about it. I use dual monitors and I cut and paste articles that I have an interest int onto a notepad in my second monitor. I just jump over and look at them from time to time to see if anything has changes. I'm probably one of the rare people that doesn't check my watchlist all that often.
As for responding to messages. Most messages left for me on another user page are going to occur within a day or two if they are going to happen at all. So I just keep track of them by looking at my contributions screen. You will know that there is a change that has been made on that page because the "(Top)" notice will disappear from the entry. (Or in my case, since I use the Twinkle anti-vandalism utility the two impossible to miss blue and red tool buttons disappear as soon as a change has been made to the article.)
I hope this helps. Trusilver 22:29, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
You want really spooky? I just timed out, so when I logged back in, I got a yellow banner that said "You have new messages (last change)," and the new messages was your reply above!.PaulTanenbaum 23:55, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
That one's not only completely normal, it always seems to happen to me right when I'm in the middle of something that I can't break away from. Trusilver 23:57, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

## Copyedit notice

Hi Paul,

Just out of curiosity, I looked at your copyedit of Necessary and sufficient conditions and saw that the LoCE copyedit template you added was on the article's page itself, not on its talk page. You may want to move it. — Timothy (not Tim, dagnabbit!) 23:24, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Just wanted to congratulate you on your copyedit of Necessary and sufficient conditions - when I proofread it, I didn't have to change anything! Nice work. Cricketgirl 06:02, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Hi Paul - I saw your note on Cricketgirl's talk page... most times people reply on the original person's talk page as then the recipient gets a notice at the top of the page that they have a new message. However, if at the top of a talk page someone says they'll reply on their own page unless requested otherwise, then they'll do exactly that. If you need to see a reply in that case, your choices are to request they post the reply to your page, or [[WP:Watch|watch] their page so you can see when they edit it on your watchlist.— Timotab Timothy (not Tim dagnabbit!) 04:03, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Hi Paul, generally I prefer if people reply to my talk page, as Timothy suggested above, but it is a matter of personal preference - some people prefer to keep the discussion together. Anyway, good luck, let me know if you want any help (although as a relative newcomer myself, I don't have all the answers...). Cricketgirl 06:10, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

## Deletion of your dangling example

Regarding this, you told me on my "talk" page:

My reason for making the addition was to provide a simple example of dangling modifier that did not involve a participle.

Suggestion: how about putting the example back in, with an explanation that it is an example not involving a participle? That might make it less likely to be deleted as just a redundant example.

Regarding your comment about my tone, all I can say is that you're far too kind. +ILike2BeAnonymous 01:45, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Response to your latest comment on my talk; see my new policy @ top of page. I'm going to try to keep conversations on the one page so they're not split between 2 pages. +ILike2BeAnonymous 17:10, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

## Copyedits in "Set"

Hi, PaulTanenbaum.

Say, I noticed your extensive revisions to this article. I'm curious about one thing in particular. You altered a direct quote from a book entitled Rings, Fields and Groups by R. Allenby. Specifically, you altered the letters M and m to S and s, respectively.

Did you have a copy of the book in front of you when you made that alteration? The reason I ask is that Allenby was translating from Cantor's work in German, and since Cantor called a set eine Menge, I think there's a very good chance that Allenby used the symbols M and m, and not S and s, as you would have it.

Anyway, I don't have a copy of Allenby's book handy, so I'm just curious if you altered the direct quote with due diligence, or were just a bit careless. Thanks! DavidCBryant 12:51, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

## Mathematical joke

The distinction is that unlike jokebook, in an encyclopedia 1-2 examples are enough to represent a particular subclass of jokes. 'Míkka 22:57, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

## Multiplication of Two Negative Integers Yields a Positive Product

Hi, Paul. Thanks for your examples to my question. I liked them, and I think that I can use them with my students. If you have a moment, would you be so kind as to reply to the last question I have posed in this thread below? Thank you. If so, please post your answer at the Math Ref Desk: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Mathematics. Thanks so much! (Joseph A. Spadaro 16:49, 11 September 2007 (UTC))

From the Math Reference Desk -
For each tree that you bring into the Biodome research station, the daily production of oxygen in the sealed facility is increased by 3 litres. Bring in 5 trees and the resultant increase in daily O2 creation is (+5 trees) × (+3 litres/tree) = +15 litres. Each mule in the Biodome consumes 7 litres of O2 per day. So if you bring in 4 mules, the resultant increase in daily production of oxygen is (+4 mules) × (-7 litres/mule) = -28 litres, or a net loss of 28 litres/day. But if you remove 6 mules, then the effect on the rate of O2 creation is (-6 mules) × (-7 litres/mule) = +42 litres, or a net gain of 42 litres every day. PaulTanenbaum 02:37, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
And I might add that removing 3 mules has the exact same effect as introducing 7 trees. Saying that algebraically, (-3 mules) × (- 7 litres/mule) = (+7 trees) × (+3 litres/tree) = +21 litres. Either one of these changes to what organisms are in the Biodome will increase the oxygen level within at the rate of 21 litres/day. PaulTanenbaum 02:51, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Paul Tanenbaum -- Thanks. That is an example that I think will work well to illustrate the concept that negative times negative yields positive. Can you offer any type of similar analogy to the adding/subtracting money from the bank account examples? Thanks. (Joseph A. Spadaro 06:17, 11 September 2007 (UTC))
Me, I just stopped by to say that the Biodome example was truly inspired. Excellent answer. Tip o' the hat, and all that. —Steve Summit (talk) 15:07, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi, I stumbled on this biodome mess, and would like to share it with (other) teachers. Can I credit it to someone? Jd2718 00:54, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. We watch mathematicians share and credit one another, but in school math, we don't do this. And we should. My best problems, I can only indicate who gave them to me, not where they came from. (I think textbook publishers play a negative role here). I said 'mess.' I meant 'model posing as, but not really, a real world situation." Should have said so. Jd2718 01:38, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Preaching to the converted. I sneak Dimensional Analysis into my algebra classes every year. But -O2/donkey ? Hadn't thought of that. Very nice. Jd2718 02:58, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

## Re:My Review

Well, my apologies for that mistake. I hope that review, short as it is, has satisfied some of your reasons for going for a review. By the way, what's FWIW? Cheers, Zacharycrimsonwolf 13:08, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

## Re: How many empty sets?

Hi Paul. I've replied here. Paul August 18:57, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

## Helpme

{{helpme}} How do I move a category? I'm afraid that [[category:United States Army Material Command]] is misnamed; it needs to be materiel. There's no move tab. And yes, I know that all the articles in the category will have to be updated.—PaulTanenbaum 02:13, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

(ec) There's no way to "move" a category in the way you're thinking of. The only way to do what you want is change category:United States Army Material Command to Category:United States Army Materiel Command for each page. Since there were only five pages, I did it myself, but if there was more, you could request that a robot do it. The old page will soon be deleted under speedy deletion criteria C2. If you want to do this your self next time, the basic steps are
1. Make the new category
2. Update all the pages in the old category (by hand or with a bot) like this
3. Delete the old category

If you have any more questions let me know.--Werdan7T @ 02:45, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

PS WODUP has responded to you, but since I already typed this out I'll post it anyway. :)--Werdan7T @ 02:45, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

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Hi! I'm not sure if you remember me, but a while back I adopted you. I retired in June or July, but now I'm back.

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## Question on Talk:Combinatorics

Hey, Igor, I'd be interested to hear from you about this entry, which I just left there.—PaulTanenbaum (talk) 02:13, 13 February 2008 (UTC).

In case you might care, I found your reply in Talk:Combinatorics fairly rough. It reads to me as fairly removed from Wikipedia's code of conduct. Perhaps I am being too sensitive, but I thought you might be interested to know how your reply came across to at least one person.—PaulTanenbaum (talk) 01:25, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
My apologies. Maybe I didn't explain all this carefully. If you have two sets X and Y you can take their union, which corresponds to the sum of their cardinalities. Similarly, one can take cartesian product which corresponds to taking a product. I see no reason to explain this anywhere but on the pages I referred to. Similarly, taking all subsets of a set is a standard operation in set theory explained in Cardinal number (see cardinal exponentiation) and used in Cantor's classical proof. This being so fundamental in set theory I see no reason to repeat this on a page is a totally different field. Admittedly I don't contribute to WP much and clearly know very few rules (e.g. know nothing about policing links, etc.) My understanding is that any changes I did can be easily undone, so if you feel I made a mistake you might want to correct it (no one corrected me for months). Again, my apologies if my previous remark felt insensitive. Igorpak (talk) 01:59, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Apologies accepted, I assure you. Yes, of course, the cardinality of a union is the sum of the cardinalities (provided the sets are disjoint!). I think, though, you missed the point of the paragraph you deleted. After all, we denote the union by ${\displaystyle A\cup B}$ and not by ${\displaystyle A+B}$. But for the other example you give we do put the arithmetic notation to double duty: we denote the Cartesian product by ${\displaystyle A\times B}$. Why the difference? Why recycle arithmetic notation in the latter case but not in the former? It's something of a pun: the cardinalities in the latter case always behave multiplicatively, and that's even why we call the darned thing a Cartesian product. Since cardinalities of unions do not, in general, behave additively, we don't use the plus sign for them.
So, when an author is trying to decide, say, what symbol to use for the set of all edges possible on a set ${\displaystyle V}$ of vertices, she may well reason thus: "What I want a symbol for is the set of all 2-element subsets of ${\displaystyle V}$. How many of them are there? That's easy, there are ${\displaystyle |V| \choose 2}$ of them. So a great notation for the set I'm dealing with is ${\displaystyle V \choose 2}$."
That, my friend—the pattern of denoting a set based on an expression for its cardinality—is very much a notion related to enumerative combinatorics. Nor is it as obvious as addition or multiplication why YX should be thought a good notation for the set of all functions from X to Y. No, I think it sufficiently unobvious to merit an explanation somewhere in Wikipedia.
Does that help clarify where I'm coming from?—PaulTanenbaum (talk) 02:55, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I see. Now I understand the distinction. Here is my problem with having notation on the Combinatorics page. It's the same problem as having all these permutation, binomial coefficients, etc. examples. What we have here is a high level article which should briefly describe the history of the subject (there should be a separate article on that), outline the subfields and mention connections to other fields. It should not mislead the reader and distract him/her with all these examples, notations, etc. If needed there can be a separate article titled basic enumeration examples or whatever, with links from the main article to there. To give you an idea of what I am thinking about, consider the following short article: Biophysics. Igorpak (talk) 06:08, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

## Computing binomial coefficient

Please see Talk:Binomial coefficient for a response to your questions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DAGwyn (talkcontribs) 16:39, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

## Plants evolving to animals

Thanks! I appreciate the reply —Pengo 07:13, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

## Falling under a bus

I'm in the UK. "Fall under a bus" is used instead of "If you die tomorrow" which is what the person saying it actually means. I can't say I've ever heard it used to refer to a person leaving a company to go elsewhere, it has always meant a date with the bloke with the black cape and scythe.. - X201 (talk) 08:21, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

## Clarification needed at Power set

On 23 June 2007, you added "These are special cases of the convention from enumerative combinatorics that provides notations for sets based on their cardinalities." to Power set. Now, Zundark (talk · contribs) has removed it, saying "remove this line - meaning is unclear, and the linked section no longer exists". You might want to clarify what you meant with a new edit. JRSpriggs (talk) 00:30, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

## WP:RFF

A response has been posted to your thread on Wikipedia:Requests for feedback#set notation. Jennavecia (Talk) 18:31, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

## Partial and total

Thanks for your comment. I understand what is the standard meaning of "partial" in mathematics. I have learned that in the discussion you referred to. But terminology evolves. For instance, in my native (mathematical) language a sphere is a solid object (such as a cube). However, in english a sphere seems to be defined as a surface (this means that the volume of any sphere is zero; this is confusing; according to my english textbooks, many native english engineers would disagree; in these textbooks, you can find formulas for computing volume and moment of inertia of spheres).

Also, in my native language a line can be either curved or straight, while in standard english line means straight line.

Moreover, an extremely large group of people all over the world (mostly in computer graphics) recently decided to call "homogeneous transformation matrix" the 4x4 matrix used to perform affine (non-homogeneous) transformations (e.g. roto-translation) on 3-D space. Unfortunately, this is now considered to be standard terminology in computer graphics.

Sometimes these changes/differences are useful or acceptable or consistent, other times (such as in the last example), they are inconsistent and terribly misleading. Some just accept standard terminology, but it is evident that some others do not, otherwise terminology would not change throughout the centuries. I just hope that those who have the courage and authority to advocate for a change will more frequently succeed when they are "right" than where they are not (indeed, in some cases they are not).

I am perfectly aware that Wikipedia cannot propose changes in terminology. The discussion on Talk:Partial function was an effort to make clear the rationale and advantages and drawbacks of standard terminology, by comparing it to other possible options. I concluded that standard terminology is not the best possible choice. You may agree or disagree, but this will not appear in the article. It will remain in the discussion section. It will make editors aware about the limits of standard terminology, and may convince some editor to add a sentence or two to explain the rationale (this is a difficult task, however, because I believe we proved that the rationale is not totally faultless). Paolo.dL (talk) 11:56, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Very interesting and informative response! First, let me say that we agree on much. It was particularly intriguing to me (an amateur linguist) to hear about the extent to which some cognates between English and your native language (presumably l'Italiano?) are far from synonymous. Certainly as concerns sphere, when English-language mathematicians are speaking precisely, we universally interpret the word to refer to a two-dimensional surface, while the object corresponding to the sphere's interior is referred to as a ball. By comparison, although I don't know for sure the usage in French, the site http://www.le-dictionnaire.com provides two geometric senses of sphère, both "dans un espace à trois dimensions, ensemble des points situés à égale distance d'un point pris comme centre" and "solide décrit par la forme précédente". Anyway, most all of us anglophones take liberties and use the word sphere in many circumstances where the more rigorous would insist on using ball. Similarly, most English-language authors/speakers do generally consider curve to be a more general term than line, but certainly not all. And at least in non-technical contexts, nobody would assert that the term "straight line" was redundant.
As for homogeneous, I'm afraid I don't share your view that its use to describe certain transformation matrices (or coordinates) is inconsistent or terribly misleading, because homogeneous is used in many essentially unrelated ways in mathematics. As one example, in number theory the equivalence relation that partitions the integers according to their sets of distinct prime divisors is called homogeneity. For another example, an association scheme is called homogeneous if its 0th relation is equivalence. And even within ordinary differential equations the term homogeneous is used, according to context, to mean either of two quite different things. Just look at the article on homogeneity (mathematics) for further examples.—PaulTanenbaum (talk) 19:33, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the information you provided. I am aware of the distinction between ball and sphere and the analogous distinction between disk and circle. I can't understand why we need such a distinction for a circle and a sphere and not for a square and cube. I conclude that this is either an incomplete or an useless evolution of mathematical language in English (and notice that English textbooks in mechanical engineering do not endorse this distinction).

As for the use of the word "homogeneous", I agree that in different contexts it means different concepts, but when you use it in the context of transformations, homogeneous always refers to one of the conditions required to be linear (see linear transformation). By the way, even the redundant expression "homogeneous linear transformation" seems to be used according to some Wikipedia editor (I do not agree about redundant terminology: there's not such a thing as a non-homogeneous linear transformation!).

Now, a rototranslation (performed by a so-called "homogeneous transformation matrix") is not a linear transformation and does not meet the condition of homogeneity... There's another possible interpretation of the computer graphics terminology. In the intention of those who use the expression "homogeneous transformation matrix", homogeneous might refer to the matrix and not to the transformation. But homogeneous etimologically means: of the same (homo) kind (genus), or same gender. Well, do you know the structure of a 4x4 transformation matrix? It is made of vectors of different kinds. One of the row vectors is just [0, 0, 0, 1]. Three of the column vectors are unit vectors (with fourth element zero), the fourth (representing translation) is of course not necessarily a unit vector (and has a 1 rather than a 0 as fourth element). Would you call this structure "homogeneous"? I am sure you will agree that they call that transformation or matrix homogeneous just because the matrix contains homogeneous coordinates. Similarly, calling "Cartesian transformation matrix" a matrix containing Cartesian coordinates would be sloppy terminology. But at least it would not be conflicting with a different definition of the word "Cartesian" in the context of transformations! :-)

In sum,

1. the matrix elements are homogeneous coordinates (and that's correct terminology), but
2. the transformation is not homogeneous, and
3. the matrix is not homogeneous.

Paolo.dL (talk) 11:11, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

For a similar reason we should not say "3-D vector", but "vector in 3-D space" or "3-element vector". In other words, all vectors in Rn are by definition 1-D arrays, so a vector in N-D space is not N-D. But when somebody writes or says "3-D vector" to mean "3-element vector", I am not so "disgusted" as when somebody writes "homogeneous transformation matrix" to say "matrix of homogeneous coordinates" or "affine transformation matrix", or whatever is the correct name of that matrix. Paolo.dL (talk) 11:22, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

## Duality (mathematics)

Hi, you expressed some interest in working on the duality article. Are you still up to it? I'd like to develop the article to Good Article standard, but I think this is a broad topic so more hands/eyes would be good. Jakob.scholbach (talk) 16:45, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

## Moving a widely referenced article

{{helpme}} I'd like to rename the article currently called forward looking infrared (and redirected to by FLIR); the phrasal adjective forward-looking should be hyphenated. The difficulty is that scads of articles link to it. Is there some way to automatically update all linking pages to get them all to link to the new location of a moved article?—PaulTanenbaum (talk) 02:50, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

• If the article has multiple incoming links, it might be a better idea to first file a request at requested moves in case someone disagrees with the move. Then, if there is a consensus to move, you could probably change the links with AWB. I would highly suggest filing the Requested Moves request first. Ten Pound Hammer and his otters • (Broken clamshellsOtter chirpsHELP) 02:52, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

## Cographs

You were right. See my talk page. Zaslav (talk) 05:12, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

## Please comment on Talk:Taiping Island

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## Clarification on Power vs Energy entry

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Energy&diff=422793403&oldid=421132955
`

My reading of this is that you're making the specific point that when used conversationally / by laymen / in a domestic context, the terms power and energy are often conflated and are hence regarded as synonymous.

But in fact, this is an example of a fairly widespread vernacular use that should not be employed when discussing these concepts in a technical quantitative manner, i.e. they are not actually synonymous

Is my interpretation of your addition correct? I ask because I'm seeing the fact you draw attention to this common misconception as somehow endorsing it as correct.

Thanks

S — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.224.128.185 (talk) 23:52, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Please find my response on the article's discussion page.—PaulTanenbaum (talk) 13:08, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

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## Please comment on Talk:Left-to-right mark

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## Gram-negative bacteria

Hi PaulTanenbaum! I saw your note on the talk page of Gram-negative bacteria. You mentioned that the lead was confusing and a bit off-topic. I cleaned it up a bit, and tried to make it about more than just the stain. When you get a chance, could you take a look and let me know if there are parts that are still unclear? I'll try to add some to the article over the coming weeks; it could use quite a bit of work. But in the meantime I hope we can hammer out a lead which will be mildly useful to any readers who stumble across it. Thanks for your help!! Ajpolino (talk) 04:48, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

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## Ballistic Research Laboratory

I cannot leave this in the articles on Isidor Isaac Rabi and John von Neumann without sources. Please supply a source that verifies theior service with the Ballistic Research Laboratory. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:12, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

## Regarding the redirect of protein residue

I just wanted to let you know that I tried to answer your concerns about the redirect of "protein residue" to "protein structure" on my talk page. Thanks, Kjkolb (talk) 04:18, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

I am sorry for the delayed reply. It is a long, boring story, mostly involving insomnia. Regarding my apparently satisfactory answer, it was my pleasure. I do not often get to help people these days, so it is great when I can help even a little bit. You are welcome to reply, but I do not need one. Best wishes,
Kjkolb (talk) 03:26, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

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