Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics

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Future of MathJax on wiki[edit]

A volunteer has proposed removing client-side MathJax from Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering in phab:T99369, in favor of modern (up-to-date and probably faster) browser plugins. This will probably affect very few readers and editors, but it's likely to affect more people in this group than anywhere else, so I wanted to make sure that you heard about it. It will also be announced in the next m:Tech/News. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:10, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

How can a "browser plugin" possibly work if there is no preference setting to produce output in a form that the browser plugin can parse? How does this relate to the "no special browser setup required" core goal of the MathJax project? How can this possibly avoid causing problems rendering Wikipedia pages that also include dollar signs as text characters? Where are the user tests showing the availability and working condition of these supposed browser plugins? And how does this interact with recent network-wide security alerts advising us to disable all auto-running plugins? To me this sounds less like an improvement and more like gratuitously breaking something that works because the person proposing the breaking doesn't care whether it works. Additionally, is there any hope of fixing the current problem that it is not possible to set the user preference to render math as MathJax without at the same time breaking the display of math formulas in the mobile app (which does not support MathJax)? If the developers' attitude to the decade-long disaster of bad math formatting on Wikipedia (and the only-very-recent and grudging support of decent MathJax formatting) is to step backwards and punt to someone else's browser plugin then I have very little hope for the future here.
And the framing of the proposal completely misses the point. It doesn't matter what we individually as mathematics editors are using to view Wikipedia; what matters is the default view, and how easy it is to format articles for that view. As editors of mathematics, what we have now are three incompatible and partially broken systems for getting the equations viewable by users: inline wiki-formatting (very limited and tricky to format but always works and produces a rendering compatible with the inline text), a system of templates (somewhat limited and even trickier but with better appearance), and <math> (can format essentially all equations using much better markup but underused because the default appearance is so ugly). Incorporating MathJax into the wiki at least gave us the option of full math with good appearance, and the hope that MathJax might eventually become the default view giving us a single good editing option. Now you're pulling the rug from under us, saying we'll be stuck with these editing incompatibilities forever, and that only power users who install special plugins will ever see well-formatted <math>. This seems like a huge step backwards. —David Eppstein (talk) 01:37, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
It says in that messy link,
Client side MathJax rendering is outdated. There are browser plugins that support MathJax rendering for chrome. The advantage with those plugins is that they use the most recent actively maintained version of MathJax and do not require that users log in.
(my emphasis) As far as I can see, this means that the default rendering mode will be MathJax (now PNG). This is not a small step as it will affect the vast majority of readers, at least those who use Chrome. (I just suppose the server can figure out that it is Chrome that requests a page, and that the appropriate plug-in is present.)
It will probably affect, as David notes, editors in this group the least, since many use MathML by choice, and others PNG by choice because it has, by far, the fewest bugs of the current options. YohanN7 (talk) 03:08, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I think you are mistaken in claiming that this change will mean "the default rendering mode will be MathJax". Browser-plugin MathJax requires that the server sends the browser the LaTeX source code. So if this were to become the default rendering mode, users without the plugin would just see LaTeX source instead of rendered equations. This is such a bad choice that I think even the Wikimedia developers would eschew it. My interpretation of your quote about not requiring logins is that the developer did not think about this and did not realize how bad that would be as a default before proposing to kill any alternatives. —David Eppstein (talk) 03:22, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
It is not a claim of mine. It is an assumption based on what I quote. Client and server do actually have a little chat before the bulk data is sent, so, it is , at least in principle, possible to send plain LaTeX to clients having Chrome and appropriate plug-in. YohanN7 (talk) 11:02, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
While in principle it's great that the WMF is dropping by to see what the users want, it is less encouraging that the users have been saying the same thing for years now: give us working mathjax. There was a detailed proposal made last year that summarized the user's needs, back when WMF was apparently threatening to remove mathematics support altogether. Does this mean that WMF actually now cares enough about the users to take what they ask for seriously and budget for the addition of fully-fledged mathjax support for mathematics rendering? Or is this post just a token gesture, so the WMF can pat themselves on the back and say that the users were consulted, only to ignore them again? Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:12, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Sławomir, "the WMF" is not doing this. As I clearly stated in the very first words of my message, "a volunteer" has proposed this.
Also, the WMF has never considered removing support for mathematics. I remember the hyperbolic claims that editor and his sock made – leaping straight from a designer saying that he wasn't certain how many different maths systems Flow would ultimately support straight to the destruction of all maths content in all namespaces – but those claims never had any basis in truth. In fact, at the time that he was spreading that drama, Flow already supported maths in the formats that he preferred. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:45, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
But the WMF should be doing this: maintainance + development of math rendering architecture. Shouldn't it? Why do we need to rely on volunteers? If the WMF can devote engineering resources to stuff like Visual Editor, then surely it can devote some small fraction of the resources to the math support. The message we're getting is that math is not a priority; I understand it is less of priority than flow or VE. But I'm not quite happy that it is not a priority of any kind (and thus delegated to outsiders). -- Taku (talk) 18:35, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

It was Physikerwelt who suggested this change. I'd like to invite him to provide an explanation. @Physikerwelt: As I said on the task page, as best as I can tell, the plugin you're talking about is a third-party creation not supported by the MathJax team, and there are no corresponding plugins for other browsers. Why do you think that switching to this plugin would be an improvement? Ozob (talk) 14:56, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Quouting myself from the Phabricator ticket:

"The currently enabled MathJax availible to the users is a old version that branched of from an old version. It's also unmaintained i.e. not supported by the MathJax team. The customization of the MathJax codebase is quite heavy. Updates made to MathJax (for example security updates) are not reflected in the customized wmf clone.

From a conceptual perspective this heavy customization of MathJax seems to suboptimal and the past has proven that is is unmaintained.

I would be interesting, if there are Firefox users that prefer MathJax over MathML.

For the future, we are going to do exactly that was proposed on the discussion page and also envisioned here T78046."

A more detailed overview about the new MathML rendering mode is availible from here I promise to review every code that is contributed to the math extension. So if someone is willing to update the current MathJax plugin this is defenity an alternative. However, my current focus is on the MathML rendering mode that still has some issues that need to be resolved. --Physikerwelt (talk) 15:30, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

@Physikerwelt: you are wasting your own time by chasing a chimera and in the process taking Wikipedia farther away from the path to working math markup. That arXiv preprint on mathoid, in its user requirements, omits the main one that has caused all of the problems for all of these years: the math generated by it must not look ugly. After all, <math> has existed for the last decade and has produced valid mathematical formulas for most of that time (modulo a few bugs here and there). What has not existed is math markup that is so well integrated into the text (in terms of font matching, baseline matching, size matching, scalability, etc) and so well spaced (up to the standards produced by Knuth in TeX), even in the default not-logged-in-vanilla-browser view, that nobody would consider formatting mathematics any other way. Instead, we have this horrible profusion of different editing styles, precisely because the default not-logged-in formatting of <math> is ugly. MathML is not good enough. It is not formatted as well as MathJax and in any case is a non-solution for the default view because Chrome does not natively support it. On the other hand, MathJax is well formatted and (in theory) usable by almost all. MathJax for all would solve our problems, and I don't think anything less would be good enough to get math formatting back on track here. If the problem is that Wikimedia's MathJax code is old and crufty and overcustomized, why not put some effort into updating it? The bottom line is, if you're not working towards the goal of making the default not-logged-in view at least as high-quality as MathJax, then you're not helping, because that not-logged-in view is the beginning and end of all our math markup editing difficulties. —David Eppstein (talk) 16:23, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Here a side by side comparison of the different maths rendering modes.

Comparison of different maths rendering modes of a section of

If it were not for the baseline, aliasing and font size problems the PNG rendering looks good, MathJax is good with a couple of glitches, but to me the firefox MathML looks like a project still in need of a lot of work to get it looking really good.--Salix alba (talk): 01:14, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for this comparison. I would expect that, in principle, SVG could be better at the aliasing issues than PNG, because it can be rendered into pixels after already knowing what kind of display it will be shown on, allowing subpixel-resolution color-fringing tricks. In practice, the view I get from Wikipedia's SVG (pretty much what you show in the Chrome view of your screenshot) looks overly-thickened and overly fuzzy. Not to mention that it still has bad font sizing and baseline issues. —David Eppstein (talk) 03:23, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

The MathJax option has now gone. If you want client side MathJax in Chrome you can use the Wikipedia with mathjax extension. (github page.)

MathML rendering in firefox is improved quite a bit with the mathml-font extension.--Salix alba (talk): 12:29, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

This news is very disappointing. Unfortunately, WMF has already made clear its antipathy to the needs of the users. Over a year ago, I told WMF representatives that working MathJax should be made an immediate priority. Later, this project put together a detailed plan for the future of MathJax. Apparently, these recommendations were not passed along to the engineering team. I think it's time to bring Jimmy Wales into this again. I think Salix's picture illustrates nicely why the current status quo is not acceptable. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:53, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
(I'm probably stating the obvious, but anyway). The volunteer developer (developers?) seems to have the attitude that he knows what is the best and not particularly interested in what math editors or readers of Wikipedia would like to have. The WMF has, essentially, no plan ("no plan" is still a plan?). It would be "nice" if we can have some kind of long-terms plan. Of course anyone or any community can come up with a plan. For it to be implemented, a commitment is needed from someone and some organization. If that's not WMF, I don't know what else. @Whatamidoing (WMF):. I get improving (actually just fixing) math rendering would not increase, say, female editors. But a small amount of commitment should be reasonable in my humble opinion. -- Taku (talk) 19:48, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Pilot studies have shown that improvement of MathJax rendering will increase the participation of female, disabled, minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged mathematics editors and readers by over 5000%. Studies have also shown that the old style PNG rendering is preferred primarily by white Anglo-Saxon males, which already constitute the bulk of our editing community. In diversity studies, MathML features only marginally better, largely with the small but growing "hipster" crowd, consisting mostly of white Americans (both male and female) in their late 20s, who enjoy the "retro" look of the MathML font. But our Wikipedia mission is to improve access to all the peoples of the world, regardless of their race, creed, color, gender, socioeconomic status, or language. And reinstating and improving the MathJax extension is vital for the WMF in its continued long term mission of improving access. This is especially important in the mobile market, already the primary way readers interact with the project, and one that is projected to have long term growth potential. In fact, because of this long term growth potential, most of the web has already opted against server-side rendering in favor of light-weight client side apps, relying heavily on AngularJS, AmberJS, and Backbone extensions. MathJax rendering support is vital for the long-term viability of the Wiki foundation projects, one that will bring back in multicultural, ethnic, and multi-gendered support to our mathematics editing and reading community. Cloud computing and Microsoft Azure technologies can help engender this, as we quantum leap forward into the new millennium. Sławomir Biały (talk) 23:29, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Do you actually have links for any of this? If so I'd be very interested in seeing them. —David Eppstein (talk) 00:09, 25 July 2015 (UTC) I mean, really... "quantum leap forward"? Sławomir Biały (talk) 00:21, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Well yes, hence my use of "actually". But there should be usability studies of MathML vs MathJax in different populations, and I'd be interested in seeing what such studies might have to say. —David Eppstein (talk) 00:28, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

It turns out to be quite simple to use MathJax with a user script. All you need is to set the raw tex preference and add

window.MathJax = {
    tex2jax: {
      inlineMath: [ ['$','$'] ]


to your Special:MyPage/skin.js. This might not be the fastest way of doing things but its developer independent.--Salix alba (talk): 07:59, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

@TakuyaMurata: You mentioned "no plan" I have been trying to get input on a plan for several years now ... jude by yourself ... for me capturing math semantics is much more important than the technical details of the rendering. I think mathoid will improve the rendering for most users and especially for those using browsers that fully support HTML5. However, much more important than the rendering itself is a cleanup of the markup to capture more semantics and allow for additional services such as math search or import export function to computer algebra systems. But therefore we need to get rid of all the problems (and there are a lot more than you might imagine) that the Math extension at this very moment. With the current code basis it is very hard to make progress at all. Therefore I'm trying to recruite a second volunteer how can help with code review or with parts of the implementation. I even wrote a guid to demonstrate how simple it is to review the math extension code at [1] but until now... I'm still searching.

Everyone is free to decide what's the right way. Either blame me and WMF that we are not making sufficent progress or open an IDE and help coding.--Physikerwelt (talk) 19:52, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I think your priorities are wrong and that those wrong priorities in you and others have played a large role in why mathematics markup and rendering here has been so badly screwed up for so long. The top priority should be: is mathematics presented well to all readers. Second should be: is it easy for editors to generate good presentation of mathematics. Maybe third should be performance issues. A far distant fourth, useful mainly only to the extent it can help in the other three priorities, is: does the server-browser communication channel have a clean semantics. Because frankly who but a developer would or should care about that? —David Eppstein (talk) 20:40, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
To be clear, I said the WMF has no plan, and I am assuming that a volunteer such as yourself @Physikerwelt: is not a part of the organization (yourz're not in the payroll). This seems to be a main issue: since it creates a response that if there is a problem, fix it yourself. Personally I don't have any technical problem (I use MathML with SVG on iOS devices and are perfectly happy). As David Eppstein said (and in fact, I'm mostly simply repeating him here), this is about the presentation of math to the readers. The WMF's perception that some math "editors" may get inconvinicened by the removal of MathJax is thus missing the point.
I think the work on the semantic aspect is important and interesting; it may even make sense to have some computer algebra system support to generate some figures (I have heard nowadays one uses the computer to do concrete calculations with, say, polytopes in the representation theory.) It seem that you are more interested in that type of work and there is nothing wrong with that. I'm merely saying (as David Eppstein does) that this aspect is somehow irrelevant to the issue in hand. -- Taku (talk) 22:33, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

@David Eppstein: I think we agree on the priorities for math rendering some more details:

1) "is mathematics presented well to all readers"
all readers includes readers with limited vision, limited bandwidth, old hardware, working in secure environments
2)"is it easy for editors to generate good presentation of mathematics"
if LaTeX is referred as easy I agree. I personally think that clean semantics should imply good presentation i.e. i prefere $\sin{x}$ over $\mathrm{sin} x$. I'm a little bit sceptical about visual editing tools since some make it much harder to edit more complex formulae i.e. if there is no way back to LaTeX
3) performance
as long as the performance is reasonably good that does not matter at all... otherwise it's a problem of type 1
4) server browser communication
this is not a priority at all. However, since different users use a huge variety of browsers some form of standard is required for browser client communication. Otherwise the maintenance effort explodes.

@TakuyaMurata: cas integration is one thing I'm planning to work on in my regular job. I'm looking for a master student and we are going to start with the DRMF and Wolfram eCF project. --Physikerwelt (talk) 08:46, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Ratios always dimensionless?[edit]

Pls weigh in: Talk:Ratio#Split mathematics. Fgnievinski (talk) 05:49, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Perennial upright d[edit]

The perennial upright d issue has been raised once more at WT:MOSMATH. Opinions are welcome. Sławomir Biały (talk) 17:02, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Anomalous MathJax rendering.[edit]

In Variance, some code said this:

\sigma_y^2 \le 2y_\text{max} (A - H)

I changed it to this:

\sigma_y^2 \le 2y_\max (A - H)

Strangely, this had the effect of causing BOTH "max" and the left parenthesis to appear in subscript. So I changed it to this:

\sigma_y^2 \le 2y_{\max} (A - H)

That's how it stands now. Let's try it both ways and see how it looks here:

  \sigma_y^2 \le 2y_\max (A - H),
  \sigma_y^2 \le 2y_{\max} (A - H),

Just a bug, or is there some sensible reason for this? Michael Hardy (talk) 20:25, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

I think the basic principle is that some or most of our math rendering pathways are not actually based on Knuth's TeX code and have occasional differences in parsing because of it, that can usually be fixed with more braces. —David Eppstein (talk) 20:57, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I've use \max as a subscript with no braces in Wikipedia articles thousandds of times over quite a few years without seeing this problem. Will it suddenly be necessary to change all of them because of some change that just happened in the software? Michael Hardy (talk) 07:11, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
It seems like almost correct behaviour. \max is a maths operator which expects the next character as an argument. ( is the next character so that is taken as the argument. Running the the code through standard LaTeX produces an error and won't compile at all. It does not look like its new behaviour as you get the lower bracket in PNG, and MathJax. --Salix alba (talk): 08:59, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
It looks like the problem only happens when the next character is a bracket, so most case are OK. I've run a search for equations with the bug and fixed the ten or so pages where it occurs.--Salix alba (talk): 11:20, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Would it be possible to find every case where \max occurs in a subscript or superscript to change it to {\max}, maybe even without needing to do each one by hand? And \min too. Michael Hardy (talk) 19:48, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Jacobian conjecture results[edit]

I have posted suggestive changes with the above title to the JC talk page. An experienced math editor is needed. As a wrinkle, they include use of the name Druzkowski, which needs a dot over the letter z. Thanks,

L.Andrew Campbell (talk) 23:03, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Uniform convergence[edit]

A new user Sergey Liflandsky is adding proofs to the "Uniform convergence". Neither mathematics nor English are free of errors. But more important is the question, do we need these proofs at all? Boris Tsirelson (talk) 11:00, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't think the proofs are an improvement. Generally speaking, it's acceptable for Wikipedia articles to summarize proofs, but not to give detailed proofs of statements. In the article under discussion, the proof is already summarized as the ε/3 trick. Filling in the details is routine. To readers for whom it is not routine, then WP:NOTTEXTBOOK applies. Detailed proofs are the sort of thing one looks for in textbooks, not encyclopedia articles. Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:19, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I see the same editor has added a proof to Weierstrass M-test. This is a little more justifiable I think, because there was a proof already there and the new proof is somewhat more straightforward than the old one. Ideally, both proofs should be shortened and summarized. In fact, the new proof can more or less be reduced to a sentence or two. Something like: "Because the sequence of functions is uniformly bounded in absolute value by a summable sequence of numbers M_n, the difference between two partial sums of the series of functions is bounded by the difference between two partial sums of the series \sum M_n. So the Cauchy criterion implies that the series of functions converges." Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:31, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Also Ratio test#Proof of Kummer's Test. Boris Tsirelson (talk) 11:52, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't object to that one. The test is rather baffling without a proof. Sławomir Biały (talk) 13:11, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I got rid of the proof that Riemann integration commutes with uniform limits. This is geometrically obvious, and the given proof was very unenlightening. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:38, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
It is also possible that some proofs are notable by themselves. I even wrote an article once because I thought the proof of something (at least in one direction) was extremely nifty. YohanN7 (talk) 14:52, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Naming convention for Parenthetical disambiguation[edit]

At hypercycle (geometry) which I renamed to hypercycle (hyperbolic geometry) there is been some discussion about "Parenthetical disambiguation" and we would like to have that discussion in a more general place (here).

The facts (add when needed) :

  • There is a need to have a parenthetical disambiguation:
There are two meanings of Hypercycle, one hypercycle (chemistry) and a mathematical one that is only used in hyperbolic geometry neither one should be the primary subject for Hypercycle
  • wp:DAB: If there are several possible choices for parenthetical disambiguation, use the same disambiguating phrase already commonly used for other topics within the same class and context, if any. Otherwise, choose whichever is simpler. (no more specific guidance exist)

So what is the best parenthetical disambiguated name for this page? The options are (add when there are more):

Why hypercycle (geometry)?

  • Historical, the article was named this way previously
  • Shortest parenthetical disambiguation name

Why hypercycle (hyperbolic geometry)?

  • The subject (as described in the article ) is rather sopecialised and only used in hyperbolic geometry and I think the most precise parenthetical disambiguation is best. WillemienH (talk) 05:57, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Why hypercycle (mathematics)?

(no reasons yet) , but is this not what wp:DAB prescribes?

Please join in WillemienH (talk) 05:57, 27 July 2015 (UTC) (ps I prefer hypercycle (hyperbolic geometry) )

Your choice of "(hyperbolic geometry)" violates the "whichever is simpler" part of the guidance you quote, so I don't think it is a good choice. I don't have a strong preference between the other two, but I tend to prefer "(geometry)", in part because we already have plenty of geometry disambiguators and in part because it was the one that was already used. —David Eppstein (talk) 06:39, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with David and others that "(hyperbolic geometry)" is unnecessary complicate, as it does not help readers in their choice. On the other hand, my opinion is that "(mathematics)" must also be avoided in this case. In fact, I am not sure that "hypercycle" is not used in other parts of mathematics. In any case, as "cycle" is used with various meanings, in particular in graph theory and topological algebra, it is useful to inform the reader that "hypercycle" is not a generalization of such cycles. Therefore my opinion is that the move done by WillemienH must be reverted. D.Lazard (talk) 09:25, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
There are certainly papers that study differential equations or dynamical systems intended to model the chemical kind of hypercycle. There are also papers about hypergraphs that call certain structures in them hypercycles. So yes, "mathematics" seems too ambiguous and this gives another reason to stick with "geometry". —David Eppstein (talk) 23:46, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
My understanding is that the purpose of parenthetical disambiguation is primarily for typing into the search box. As such, shorter is almost always better. I think hypercycle (geometry) is best. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:14, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Project template[edit]

Please reconsider the use of {{WikiProject Mathematics}}; it's a disservice to our fellow editors to expect them to use a different protocol for one project, than the one they use for most others. Also, the claim that "The list of mathematics articles already has a list of all math articles" is false; it does not include new articles of relevence to this project. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:20, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

What's going on with Jitse's bot? Any update? Should we try to get something else going? Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:41, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
That template has been obsolete for six years (see the history); what's the issue? Ozob (talk) 13:51, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
The issue is that when an editor uses the template, expecting it to work like most every other project's equivalent, it does not. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:57, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I see, you want us to use {{WikiProject Mathematics}} instead of {{maths rating}}. Sorry, I thought you meant something different. It shouldn't be hard to overwrite the current {{WikiProject Mathematics}} and replace all current uses of {{maths rating}}. I wouldn't object to that, though perhaps my opinion shouldn't count as I've never been involved in that kind of work. Ozob (talk) 01:02, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

List of mathematics articles no longer links to the list of mathematics articles but instead redirects to something else. Michael Hardy (talk) 22:30, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

And now I've recreated something similar to the former page that gave the alphabetical list of pages. List of mathematics articles now redirects to that. Michael Hardy (talk) 22:56, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
AIUI, article-space redirects should not go to Wikipedia: space pages. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:55, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I have just done this edit. The statement I deleted has been grossly false for several years. I edited the page that redirected list of mathematics articles to make it a disambiguation page including a link to the actual list. But a user called The Banner insists on reverting without addressing the inappropriateness of the target of the redirect or of the fact that we had that statement on a template directing many thousands of articles to that inappropriate redirect page. If Jitse's bot does not get reactivated, we need to decide what to do about that. Michael Hardy (talk) 20:22, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

It links to Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/List of mathematics articles. In my opinion, that is linking to a wikiproject. So I was bold enough to revert your edit. My only concern was to free Template:Index of logic articles from a link to a disambiguation page. And that was exactly what I have done. Who screwed up and how to solve that is not my concern. The Banner talk 20:25, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

And now I've done this edit, linking to the actual list of mathematics articles. Michael Hardy (talk) 20:57, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Some math articles created after Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Current activity stopped being updated[edit]

A list I got by browsing the history of User:AlexNewArtBot/MathSearchResult:

I think that here are listed approximately 30% of the math articles created after 15 June. Dertemivivahirry (talk) 07:06, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! You might get a more comprehensive listing from User:Mathbot/Changes to mathlists — Mathbot still seems to be running even though Jitse's bot isn't. —David Eppstein (talk) 07:20, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Looking at the more comprehensive listing I observe that (at least) "X+Y" and "Exaggeration" should not belong... Boris Tsirelson (talk) 18:45, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I think X+Y does belong, at least as much as the contents of Category:Mathematics fiction books (it's a movie about the International Mathematical Olympiad — I enjoyed watching it). But there are also some articles on ceramic tiles that definitely don't. —David Eppstein (talk) 19:17, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Branches of geometry[edit]

Any opinions of this new article? Michael Hardy (talk) 00:09, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

It does seem a bit less unwieldy than list of geometry topics, but... Is there some sourcing for this structure, or is this just some editor's opinion of what the important topic groupings are? Why projective and affine geometry but not inversive geometry? Why is Minkowski geometry listed as a subset of affine geometry, and why is it included at all when we have no article specifically on that topic? Is the first group of topics really classified by axiomatization, rather than by symmetry groups (per the Erlangen program)? Why is Riemannian geometry listed as a top-level topic instead of being a subtopic of differential geometry? Where are convex geometry, discrete geometry, computational geometry, and synthetic geometry supposed to fit? Is this a listing of branches of geometry, or a listing of geometrical branches of modern mathematics research, sweeping the parts of geometry that get taught to schoolchildren under the single Euclidean geometry link? —David Eppstein (talk) 00:24, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
[edit conflict] I don't know where to begin. For one thing, such classifications are usually original research, in my experience. Mgnbar (talk) 00:28, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I may add to the points set by David that the relation between the different branches of geometry are much more complex that that suggested by the structure of this article. For example, projective geometry and affine geometry are both considered in synthetic geometry as well as in analytic geometry, and none; of these branches are uniquely defined by sets of axioms. IMO, this is in geometry that the main branches of geometry, and their relations should be described. Therefore, I suggest to merge this article in geometry. D.Lazard (talk) 08:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I started that page, on this page my idea was to construct some kind of scheme that sorts out the parent (less axioms) -child (more axioms) relations between the different (mostly synthetic geometrys, but haven't found a lot of time for this yet (and also became confused, to name two:
The only reference I have till now is Soeder, Fritz Reinhardt ; Heinrich (2001). Dtv-Atlas zur Mathematik : Tafeln und Texte (Orig.-Ausg., 12. durchges. Aufl. ed.). München: Dt. Taschenbuch-Verl. p. 128-129, 136-137. ISBN 3-423-03007-0. 
Maybe it is not the right page for a page about this, but I think such a page would be an good addition to WP WillemienH (talk) 09:44, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The list is also missing global analysis/geometric analysis, pseudo-Riemannian geometry, non-commutative geometry, elliptical geometry, tropical geometry. Also, one might look at the AMS classification to see other areas that we've missed. Sławomir
13:32, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
This first thing that stood out for me was the division between geometry with different axioms vs other types. You can divide geometry by synthetic vs. analytic, and also by Euclidean vs. hyperbolic vs projective vs. whatever, but these are orthogonal classifications. Projective geometry can be treated synthetically or analytically just as easily as Euclidean and the same goes for many other types. So while I'm not sure that the division in the article is wrong, the way the topics have been split between them seems arbitrary. Also, it's not clear how this article, when the missing branches are filled in, would differ meaningfully from List of geometry topics if some of the clutter was removed from that article. In other words it seems like we now have two articles with the same purpose. --RDBury (talk) 21:21, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Help on disambiguating "matrix models" needed[edit]

Hello, math people! Me and i think most other wikipedians who are focusing on eliminating ambiguous links in Wikipedia are stumped by a number of math-y articles that link to Matrix model disambiguation page. Please see this "dablink-list" (which shows 7 articles now), hit "FIX" on any one of them, and see if you can identify which version of "matrix model" should be linked. If you don't know, just exit / delete the tab that has opened up. It is easy and fun to use this cool disambiguation-related tool, but you have to know something about the content area to fix these seven ones. TIA, --doncram 07:03, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Section "Selected publications" in biographical articles[edit]

Hello everybody. What do the Wikipedia's policies have to say about the articles about mathematicians having a section with selected publications? It's common practice to add one (I personally like it, because in a quick look at just the titles of the articles and journals one can already get some ideas about the research of the academic), but it seems that there is no specific policy about it. (talk) 23:24, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout#Further reading. JRSpriggs (talk) 23:45, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • JRSpriggs, that's a different thing--"Further reading" and "External links" is for material about the subject, not material by the subject. Drmies (talk) 00:17, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
  • As I discussed with the IP elsewhere, in a prettier place, I believe we should not be a resume service. Published books, maybe--published articles, definitely not. Or, where's the limit? Do we include conference presentations--and at what kinds of conferences? No, this is not a good idea. Drmies (talk) 00:21, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea, and have added such sections to many articles. The part that's a bad idea is having a "Publications" section that is not selective and lists everything (as a cv would). My tendency is to aim for a selecton of 4-6 publications (fewer if there are not enough important ones, more in rare cases when someone has many very significant works) and only include ones that have very large numbers of citations, are published in top journals, have specific mention in secondary sources as being significant results (especially if these results are also mentioned in the rest of the article), or have been given noteworthy awards. For some mathematical subjects such as theoretical computer science where conference publication may be more important than journal publication, yes, I'll definitely include conference papers too, but replacing some of the 4-6 journal papers rather than adding to them. —David Eppstein (talk) 01:37, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Thanks David. Of course, all the editors in chief will be arguing that theirs is the top article... But awards, for instance, or "widely cited" (shouldn't be too hard to prove), I think that's a good reason for inclusion. Somewhere on our beautiful project it says something about "has exerted great influence", and we should honor that of course, and we can, in this case, too. For example, even if Tolkien's Beowulf speech ("The Monster and the Critics") had never been separately published, it would have been one of the most notable conference key note addresses ever and worthy of being listed. Drmies (talk) 01:44, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
    • And by "top" in pure mathematics I mean pretty much only JAMS/Annals/Inventiones. Otherwise you're going to have to convince me by something other than the journal name that it's worth including. —David Eppstein (talk) 02:35, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
      • Sure, but such guidelines aren't easily applicable across Wikipedia. If I were to ask my poet friends for the notable poetry journals, I'd get a list of hundreds. Same, really, in literature, unless in a very specific field (such as mine, haha). But I do believe we should allow for editorial discretion, which is why I've never been against a kind of gatekeeping model for the different areas in Wikipedia--but don't tell the folks on Jimbo's talk page or on Wikipediocracy that I hold such elitist views, blatantly favoring people who know their ass from their elbow over those who don't. Drmies (talk) 15:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
      • And where did you get that shirt?? Drmies (talk) 15:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
        • Which shirt? —David Eppstein (talk) 16:32, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
          • On the website linked from your user page. I clicked because I've never seen a real-life mathematician. Very exciting! Drmies (talk) 17:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
            • So I'm guessing you mean either the Somos sequence shirt from here or the "Math is delicious" shirt from here. The first one was from a research group I had some minor contact with and probably can't be obtained now. The second one is from the questionable content webcomic, but doesn't currently seem to be available from their merchandise store. —David Eppstein (talk) 18:05, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I have one small gripe, that could be fixed by some industrious WikiGnomes no doubt. We often do not provide useful links to old works whose copyrights have expired. (Google books, and Project Gutenberg all maintain free collections, and there are other projects with more specific holdings, like the Euler archive.) For example, very few of Leibniz' works are linked. The significant Nova Methodus pro Maximis et Minimis has its own article, which also lacks a link. The Latin works of Euler are mostly missing as well. It seems like these would be useful links for scholars in the field. Sławomir
12:41, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

  • See, for the dead ones there isn't much of a problem as far as I'm concerned--there's not much resume padding for dead people. A link can be added, in your example, to the article on the book--there is nothing wrong with that; we're really talking about a different problem. I suppose WP:EL can allow for such links, though the risk is always that articles get turned into linkfarms. But here we're talking (I assume) about living people and their lists of publications, where we should be very wary, esp. in the medical field, for instance, or in physics, where we need editorial discretion to prevent people from listing a million things. Or think of those books about God and prayer you can pick up at the pharmacy (in the US, anyway)--those authors churn those out by the dozens, and we shouldn't be listing all of them. Drmies (talk) 15:25, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Certainly works which themselves meet the notability criteria should be listed. I would think that works for which the subject is known should be included as well. As an example, I just happened to have the article on Giusto Bellavitis open; there is a Works section with four entries and that seems a bit light. But even for copyright expired works there should be a line; we don't need to list someone's comment on somebody's solution to a problem posed by whosit. For actors there's no problem with listing every bit part and every guest appearance in a TV episode; but I guess, for some reason, most people are more interested in actors than mathematicians. --RDBury (talk) 19:47, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks to everyone who participated! I've already memorized David Eppstein's criteria. This edit should be fine I guess. :D (talk) 04:06, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Maybe this one is listing too many. Anyway, I won't change it, I've just pointed it for the case someone feels inclined to edit there :D (that article is really needing a lot of work). (talk) 04:37, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

I generally agree with "David Eppstein's criteria", but the two examples in the last posts show that more deserves to be said: Most article about mathematicians have a section describing their main contributions. Sometimes, these contributions are the object of a specific article, which is normally linked. But, when it is not the case, (and also in this case), it is useful to read the original article. Even when a short selected list of publication exists, such as in James Harris Simons, it may be difficult to know which article corresponds to which main contribution.

Therefore, I would suggest to organize the selected list of publications as a list of references, linked from the section on main contributions. The criterion for inclusion, will then to have one, or at most two, linked publications by subject described in main contribution section. As usual, this section requires also references to secondary sources, but, IMO, this is a case where some primary sources are useful. An example of the bad result of systematically avoiding primary sources in this case is Andrew Wiles article: he is known for one paper; this is amazing that one cannot find the reference of this paper in the article about him! On the other hand, there are mathematicians that are known for many publications, each of them being relatively minor. In this case, a short list of selected publications is difficult to establish (and would be original research), and it is better to omit such a list. Paul Erdős is a clear example of such a case. D.Lazard (talk) 09:09, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Even for Erdős some of his papers are more famous than others. The one with the elementary proof of the prime number theorem; the one introducing the Erdős–Rényi model of random graphs; the one that first uses the probabilistic method, all are particularly noteworthy. —David Eppstein (talk) 16:18, 1 August 2015 (UTC)


The usage and primary topic of Thus is under discussion, see talk:Thus (company) -- (talk) 06:56, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

good article nominations[edit]

There is at the moment (july-october 2015) a GA cup running for reviewing good article nominations Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles/GA Cup but there is a distinct lack of mathematics article nominations Wikipedia:Good article nominations#Mathematics and mathematicians there are only 3 (one nominated by me, another I think a straight fail for another ). Are there no other mathematics articles to nominate ? WillemienH (talk) 07:57, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Is an GA rating higher of lower than a B+ rating ?[edit]

On Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Wikipedia 1.0 the Summary table puts B+ left of GA (higher grade position ) of GA while Quality grading scheme puts B+ below GA (lower grade position ) the summary table seems to be automatically generated so i don't know how to change this, am I correct in this? (also see Mathematics B+ rating at Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Index#Mathematics B+ rating ) WillemienH (talk) 08:47, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

The table is from an included page. One idea would be to include User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Project/Mathematics instead. I don't know if the Math project's criteria are consistent with this version though. --RDBury (talk) 02:47, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Why do you have a B+ rating (which apparently means "probably a GA")? Why not just nominate such articles for GA status like other projects do? Kaldari (talk) 00:59, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Many years ago, there was the perception that mathematics articles would never be accepted for GA status. GA reviewers need to understand what they read in order accurately assess the article, and mathematics articles, even well-written ones, often require mathematical background that GA reviewers will often not have.
B+ isn't used much. I think while the idea is good in principle, it hasn't really worked out in practice. I wouldn't object if someone were to remark all of those articles as B. Ozob (talk) 02:31, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

AfC submission[edit]

Does anyone have any objections to my decline reason on Draft:Integrative Propositional Analysis? Best, FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 16:28, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Pretty sure this should be under Linguistics or Philosophy or some other project. In any case, the decline reason wasn't clear to me; are you claiming it's from a single source? Self-promotion? --RDBury (talk) 20:14, 3 August 2015 (UTC)