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Complete list of mathematical notations

  1. Aug 17, 2012 #1

    is there a complete list of mathematical notations?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2012 #2
    Lame joke response

    - No, by a diagonal argument no list of notations can be complete.

    - Yes, but only if the list is inconsistent.

    Straightforward response

    Wiki's got a decent list.


    You can google "math LaTeX" to get many lists of math symbols, like this one:

    http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Wiki/index.php/LaTeX:Symbols [Broken]

    Snarky response

    Why, is your Google broken?

    Philosophical response

    No list of mathematical notations can ever be complete as long as math continues to be active research subject. Mathematicians are always inventing new notations to express new ideas or new viewpoints on old ideas. As one striking example, the idea of expressing mathematics using two-dimensional arrow diagrams, aka Category theory, came into existence in the 1940s. You don't see it much as an undergrad, but in higher math it's everywhere. And in just the past twenty years it's started showing up in Computer Science and physics.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Aug 17, 2012 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    This looks to me like a compete list of responses to questions asking for complete lists of mathematical notation.:tongue:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Aug 17, 2012 #4

    I would just add one thing.

    Part of math is being inventive. There certainly are examples in the history of math where a change in notation helped move along the subject.

    Even if a notation exists for a particular branch of mathematics, there may yet still be a better one waiting to be explored. Hence there really is no definitive THIS IS THE CORRECT NOTATION.

    We simply use the best notation we have invented thus far.
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