Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nuvola apps edu mathematics.png
This is a discussion page for
WikiProject Mathematics
This page is devoted to discussions of issues relating to mathematics articles on Wikipedia. Related discussion pages include:
Please add new topics at the bottom of the page and sign your posts.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Information.svg To view an explanation to the answer, click on the [show] link to the right of the question.
          A Wikipedia ad has been created for this project page

List of all archives

2009: Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec
2010: Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec
2011: Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec
2012: Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec
2013: Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec
2014: Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec
2015: Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec
2016: Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec
2017: Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec

New or newly categorized articles at User:Mathbot/Changes to mathlists[edit]

Here are the latest new or newly categorized articles at User:Mathbot/Changes to mathlists:

November 18, 2016[edit]

Removed Nonagonal prism (is a redirect to Enneagonal prism)
Added Enneagonal prism
Added Ten Rays Model

Mathematicians:removed Jayadeva
Mathematicians:added Jianqing Fan
Mathematicians:added Jun Li
Mathematicians:added Lexing Ying
Mathematicians:added Ngaiming Mok
Mathematicians:added Zhouping Xin

November 17, 2016[edit]

Removed Damping (is a redirect to Harmonic oscillator)
Removed Enneagonal prism (is a redirect to Nonagonal prism)
Added Convergence group
Added Moser–de Bruijn sequence
Added Nonagonal prism
Added Stefan Bergman Prize

November 16, 2016[edit]

Removed Maximum common edge subgraph problem (is a redirect to Maximum common edge subgraph)
Removed Maximum common subgraph isomorphism problem (is a redirect to Maximum common subgraph)
Removed Multidimensional Empirical Mode Decomposition (is a redirect to Multidimensional empirical mode decomposition)
Added Bailey's method (root finding)
Added Furstenberg–Sárközy theorem
Added Maximum common edge subgraph
Added Maximum common induced subgraph
Added Multidimensional empirical mode decomposition
Added Slim lattice
Added Vector-radix FFT algorithm

Mathematicians:removed Donal O’Shea (is a redirect to Donal O'Shea)
Mathematicians:added Donal O'Shea
Mathematicians:added Edward Neuman
Mathematicians:added Ralph Kenna
Mathematicians:added Ravindra Bapat

Notice to participants at this page about adminship[edit]

Many participants here create a lot of content, may have to evaluate whether or not a subject is notable, decide if content complies with BLP policy, and much more. Well, these are just some of the skills considered at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship.

So, please consider taking a look at and watchlisting this page:

You could be very helpful in evaluating potential candidates, and even finding out if you would be a suitable RfA candidate.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:07, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

User:Fmadd and destruction of article leads[edit]

I just saw an edit by User:Fmadd, which had no edit summary and was marked as minor, to the article Tensor, in which the lead of the article was completely gutted. Worried, I looked into this users edit history, and found at least two other articles Feynman diagram and Invertible matrix, where the same thing happened. I have reverted these edits, but there are hundreds of possibly questionable edits that need to be checked. He has been very busy indeed with these "minor" edits. Sławomir Biały (talk)

they weren't 'gutted', I just seperated things out into a few headings, making it easier to link to things Fmadd (talk) 11:25, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
See WP:LEAD. An article is supposed to have a lead to serve as a capsule version of the article. Readers are already complaining on the talk page there that the article was more difficult to read after your questionable "minor" edits, which is how I came to notice them in the first place. Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:28, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

I do think that this version of the lede is too short: [1]. The lede can't have all the article content, but it should summarize all the broad points of the article. In a short article, the lede will be shorter, but in a long article the lede may be several paragraphs. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:13, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Not only did this edit shorten the lede inappropriately, by simply breaking the content in the lede into sections, it disrupted the rest of the article. Paul August 13:50, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
This user has now been blocked indefinitely, see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#OVERLINKING and redirect problems. Paul August 11:46, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Help talk:Citation Style 1#Support multiple DOI, ISBN, MR, OCLC[edit]

I've made a proposal to support multiple {{mr}} links in citation templates. I figure this project might be interested in that, so please comment there if you have an opinion on this. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 12:26, 13 February 2017 (UTC)


I have some concerns over the edits of Alsosaid1987 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) to mathematics articles. He/she seems to be motivated mostly by a desire to amp up the rigor in our math articles, even in cases where extreme formal rigor is not desirable. He/she also has been using questionable inline formatting. Specifically, on balance I find the following sequences of edits to be disimprovements. I submit them for the community's assessment and commentary: Cantor's diagonal argument, complex analysis, Series (mathematics). I see he/she has also rather extensively edited the article real analysis, and exponential function. I believe there must be some worthwhile stuff mixed in with some of this user's edits, but the poor formatting and over-the-top formalization strikes me as a problem that should be looked into. Sławomir Biały (talk) 01:57, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Who the hell are you?! The previous version spend lines talking about how to compose a tangent function with a linear map from (0,1) to (-pi/2, pi/2). Of course this needed fixing! It is important to use correct language, while not wasting time with trivial detail!

Alsosaid1987 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 02:05, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

As I noted on my talk page, the new revision at Cantor's diagonal argument uses unexplained terminology, fails to link key terms, and uses symbols rather than words to communicate. That is not good writing for an encyclopedia, although it may be for a mathematics textbook. Also problematic are the edits to complex analysis, with the muddled insertion of the unexplained symbol . I am concerned about other edits too, but I will wait until others have opined before continuing to engage on this matter. Sławomir Biały (talk) 02:15, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I have reviewed edits on series (mathematics). They do not improve the article and I have reverted them. However, they contain two good thing that I have reinserted (with a different formulation). In details, the bad things: restricting series to numerical series (although this is implicit for most readers, there are also non-numerical series, such as formal series and series of matrices); removing the mention that series are also called infinite series; too much technical details in the lead; mention of doubly infinite series in section "Absolute convergence" (these are not important enough to appear here, the corresponding "main article" is a better place). The good things: removing generating methods from the lead; referring to expression (however a merge between old formulation and Alsosaid1987's one is better than Alsosaid1987's formulation). D.Lazard (talk) 10:15, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I acknowledge that it was an error to limit the discussion to numerical series. Thanks for catching this. My main problem with the article was the mention that series are infinite sums. Sure, they are informally so, but the article makes it sound like you can just add an infinite number of terms. I think your criticisms are valid, as long as the article mentions in the lead that series are to be regarded as formal objects whose value may be assigned if the limit of partial sums exists.Alsosaid1987 (talk) 02:33, 15 February 2017 (UTC)


The template {{algebraic-geometry-stub}} has been accepted, and I have created it. For the moment, it has the same image as {{geometry-stub}}. A better suited image would be helpful. Please, modify the stub template, when editing a stub relevant to algebraic geometry. D.Lazard (talk) 18:24, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Okay. Thanks for letting me know. --Jimmy Alsosaid1987 (talk) 02:33, 15 February 2017 (UTC)


These two articles need work:

The first lacks references and could use more work otherwise as well. The second is in laughable condition so far Michael Hardy (talk) 22:15, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

The former is a nice article, tells the truth... but I have no idea how to source it. Terrible. Boris Tsirelson (talk) 08:41, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
By the way, 456 articles in nLab contain the word "characterize": [2]. Boris Tsirelson (talk) 08:58, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Since creating this present discussion section, I have moved Characterization theorem to Characterization of probability distributions and then redirected Characterization theorem to Characterization (mathematics). Michael Hardy (talk) 19:33, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Characterization of probability distributions is now much improved, but has only two examples and should probably have about 50. Michael Hardy (talk) 19:26, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Uriel Rothblum[edit]

The following looks to me like what would appear in an article created by copying and pasting from somewhere else:


Let P denote the convex hull of the set of partitions in F, i.e., P is a polygon in Rdxp. If G is quasi-convex, then there exists a vertex which maximizes G. The poly-hedral approach studies the representations and characterizations of vertices, counts or enumerates the set of vertices and analyzes the efficiency of doing these tasks.


Let P denote the convex hull of the set of partitions in F, i.e., P is a polygon in Rd×p. If G is quasi-convex, then there exists a vertex which maximizes G. The polyhedral approach studies the representations and characterizations of vertices, counts or enumerates the set of vertices and analyzes the efficiency of doing these tasks.

Before I edited it, it said "Rdxp", and the only thing I could think of that that could reasonably have meant is "Rd×p".

Before I edited it, it had "poly-hedral", with a hyphen, in the middle of a line. Usually a line-end hyphen would appear there if, but only if, it's at the end of a line, put there by a typist or by typesetting software.

A document may say this:

and when one copies and pastes, the copy says this:


A document may say this:

a vertex which maximizes G. The poly-
hedral approach studies the representations

and when one copies and pasts, the copy says this:

a vertex which maximizes G. The poly-hedral approach studies the representations and

One question is whether a source from which it was copied may be subject to copyright. Michael Hardy (talk) 19:12, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

It's copied from Loewy, Raphael (2012), "Uriel G. Rothblum (1947–2012)", Linear Algebra and its Applications, 437 (12): 2997–3009, doi:10.1016/j.laa.2012.07.010, MR 2966614 . —David Eppstein (talk) 19:39, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Copied by User:Lermanico, see this diff. Boris Tsirelson (talk) 20:40, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Even the first edit creating the article as a draft was a copyvio, from . I have stubbed the article down and revdelled all the old copyright-violating revisions. —David Eppstein (talk) 21:04, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Supporting PageAssessments in {{maths rating}}[edit]

Hi! I maintain the metadata gadget. I've been doing some prototyping on a new version of the gadget that will try to pull page assessments from the PageAssessments API instead of munging the talk page with regular expressions (its current approach). While taking some sample API output, I noticed that {{maths rating}} does not support PageAssessments, mostly because unlike most WikiProject templates, it's not based on {{WPBannerMeta}}, which includes the new {{#assessment}} tag.

I'd like to make sure that this project's ratings are accessible through the API. To do that, I'd like to add an {{#assessment}} tag to the template. I'm thinking that this would be a straightforward drop-in: <includeonly>{{#assessment:Mathematics|{{{class|}}}|{{{importance|}}}}}</includeonly>. It'd be nice to normalize parts (e.g. using {{class mask}}) but that's not strictly necessary.

Does anyone have particular opinions about or objections to this? Thanks, {{Nihiltres |talk |edits}} 00:41, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

As long as it doesn't change the appearance of the banner, but only adds invisible metadata that makes it easier to parse, I don't see any reason to object. —David Eppstein (talk) 00:50, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Ditto. If I can't see a difference, I have no reason to object. Does our use of the label priority instead of importance on many pages create a problem? --Bill Cherowitzo (talk) 05:32, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
@Bill: Hmm. I hadn't looked closely enough; I stopped and started this discussion here upon reading "Please do not make any nontrivial changes to this template without proposing them at WT:WPM first" in the template source—better to consult people than have objections after the fact. The use of "priority" doesn't create a significant problem: I'll just tweak the code from the example above to use {{{priority|{{{importance|}}}}}} instead of {{{importance|}}} to compensate.

Since this doesn't seem controversial, I'll implement it now; if it's problematic we can revert the update and discuss it further. {{Nihiltres |talk |edits}} 16:35, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

No article for √[edit]

I mean the symbol, not the operation. Most operation symbols have separate articles, e.g. Multiplication sign, Plus and minus signs, Equals sign. But gets lost in "redirect hell" and the only article that comes close is Check mark. Did I miss it or should I go ahead and create an article. Or perhaps it would be better to fit into an existing article. --RDBury (talk) 23:21, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

It's mentioned briefly in Table of mathematical symbols by introduction date, but without a linked article. The table calls it the "radical symbol", so that might be an adequate title for an article; currently, radical symbol is a redirect. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:46, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
This is talked about in the lead of nth root and its etymology section, too. This is the best redirect I could find. --Mark viking (talk) 01:37, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
The name could be "radical symbol" or "radical sign"; I think usually the word "sign" is used for for say +, ×, etc. The nth root article does have the start of what I'm thinking about, but there is more that could be added but would be out of place in an article about the operation. E.g. ℞ was used before it started be confused with other things. Meanwhile the etymology section talks about "surd" but not the use of "root" or "radical". Also, there is some material about the symbol being Arabic in origin, and while there is a reference it doesn't seem to support what is stated, besides which it's seems to be a blog with no particular standard of reliability. --RDBury (talk) 06:15, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
All good points. If you want to create an article about the radical symbol, go for it! I've seen both radical sign and radical symbol used, but I think symbol is the more precise name for a class of glyphs. Radical sign seems to be a more informal name for it. --Mark viking (talk) 19:24, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
Older texts, like Cajori, used "sign" but a more modern reference, such as Mazur (2014), uses "symbol". Cajori has a lot of material on the radical sign and, if I recall correctly, so does Smith. None of the references I am familiar with say anything about an arabic origin of the symbol, but there is considerable discussion of the arabic origin of the word "surd". I think that there is enough material available for a stand alone article, especially if the scope of the article is radix symbols, but even if the scope is restricted to the radical sign (√). (As you can see, I am a bit ambivalent about using sign/symbol.)--Bill Cherowitzo (talk) 19:50, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

User:Loessperson and references by I.J. Smalley[edit]

User:Loessperson appears to have the sole goal of adding references to articles by one I.J. Smalley to Wikipedia. A very brief poke suggested that these are usually topical but not necessarily top-quality references. I was not sufficiently bothered to start aggressively investigating, but I thought I would bring it to a wider audience. --JBL (talk) 14:31, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Loessperson here; ready to acknowledge a burst of enthusiasm (perhaps too much). Its the novelty and wonder of Wikipedia- hard to hang on to your sense of proportion. Loessperson is largely dedicated to spreading the word on loess (its a one-eyed view of the world)..If you are interested in loess look at the 'Loess Ground' blog or the Loess Appreciation Group page on facebook, or head for Michigan State University's site — Preceding unsigned comment added by Loessperson (talkcontribs) 09:55, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

requested move at Talk:Voting system#Requested move 11 February 2017[edit]

Hi all

There is a requested move discussion open at Talk:Voting system#Requested move 11 February 2017, which is of interest to this WikiProject. Thanks  — Homunq () 14:35, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Deja vu[edit]

A rash of edits by Prototypehumanoid to some basic math articles strongly reminds me of similar edits made a while ago. These anti-Greek pro-Indian edits are very similar to what I recollect. Edit summaries written in a hostile tone, removal of cited and uncited material that disagrees with his point of view, and long quotes of a peripheral nature that are then synthesized into support of his position are all present. Unfortunately I can not recall the username, pages involved or approximate date of these earlier disruptive edits. However, several editors in this project were involved in fixing things up and I hope that someone does remember the details. Thanks. --Bill Cherowitzo (talk) 20:59, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure what sequence of edits that would be, but this certainly bears the hallmarks of an editing pattern consistent with attempting to push a point of view rather than summarize the position of established scholarship in the area. For example, the removal of Newton and Leibniz from the lead of the Calculus article is just wanton POV-pushing. I'm certainly open to the idea that mainstream scholarship suffers from systemic bias, and I do think that alternative perspectives should be summarized, being careful to establish due weight, would be a worthwhile addition. But the sources I would start with would most likely not include Telegraph India and archaeology online. I think we're roughly in the area of WP:NPOV/WP:FRINGE that makes "attributed opinions" ok, but "presenting conclusions in Wikipedia voice as if they represented established scholarship" not ok. Prototypehumanoid (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) should be gently encouraged to find peer reviewed secondary sources (preferably in academic journals) discussing the relation of Indian mathematics to the (in many cases later) European developments, and in addition that of many other peoples and civilizations throughout time. There is an enormous body of reliable secondary literature out there. Sławomir Biały (talk) 21:40, 20 February 2017 (UTC)


Would appreciate some more contributors to Talk:Polyhedron, especially Talk:Polyhedron#Duality and citation. I am asking questions and getting evasive answers. There is so much animosity coming at me that I cannot tell what is ad hominem bile and what is a genuine content issue, but whichever it is, I am unable to have a sensible discussion. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 18:04, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Some context, as the discussion is long and rambling: this concerns the definition of (non-convex) polyhedra, most recently significantly modified here, and whether we should say that all non-convex polyhedra have duals or qualify that statement somehow, most recently significantly modified here (but with several reverts and reinstatements after). As for the supposed animosity of the discussion, see here and here. —David Eppstein (talk) 18:32, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
If we are into the historical context we should add User talk:Steelpillow#February 2017 and Talk:Dual polyhedron. But the current content debate is what matters now. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:58, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
I am not acquainted with (non-convex) polyhedra, but, as far as I understand, different definitions coexist in their theory. If so, then we should honestly inform the reader that this is so. I did such things sometimes, both here (Baire set) and on EoM (Measurable space#On terminology). Why not? Boris Tsirelson (talk) 21:38, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
"I am unable to have a sensible discussion." This is sad but does seem to be an accurate description of the situation. --JBL (talk) 23:41, 21 February 2017 (UTC)