The End Of 2016 Mathematics A To Z: Any Requests?


I have fun with these, and they’re surprisingly easy to write once I get started. So I’d like to send November and December out with another of my Mathematics A To Z projects. To that end I’m open for suggestions. Have you got a mathematical term that you’d like to dare me to explain? I’m happy to give it a try. Please leave a comment here with the word, or words, you’d like to suggest. And please send folks who might like a couple paragraphs on some mathematical term over this way. I’ll need help filling out the alphabet, especially, based on past experience, the letter ‘y’. There’s not enough mathematical terms starting with ‘y’ to make it easy for me. I’ll need help.

I usually take this as a first-come, first-serve sort of thing. But I reserve the right to fiddle with synonyms or alternate phrasings if I’m intrigued by something whose letter was already taken. I’ll try to update the roster here with what’s taken and what’s free.

Here’s the roundup for the Summer 2015 A To Z, and then here’s the roundup for the Leap Day 2016 A To Z. So those cover words I’ve already gotten to. And now I’ve discovered I was inconsistent about whether to use the WordPress tag ‘atoz’ or ‘a-to-z’ and don’t think that isn’t going to drive me crazy.

Here I’ll try to keep an updated roster of what letters have gotten knocked out:

algebra Jordan curve smooth
boundary value problems kernel tree
Cantor’s middle third local unlink
distribution (statistics) Monster Group Voronoi diagram
ergodic normal numbers Weierstrass Function
Fredholm alternative osculating circle Xi function
general covariance principal Yang Hui’s Triangle
hat quotient groups Zermelo-Fraenkel Axioms
image Riemann sum

Is there anything sure to get a word explained by me? Not sure. Picking a letter that’s free helps considerably. I am so going to need a ‘y’ word. Picking a letter early helps. I’m not sure whether it’s better to pick a word that’s got broad applicability or a specialized term. A broadly applicable word tends to be an important one. A specialized term lets me dig into a field I might not actually know much about. That can be fun. Mostly, though, pick the lousy letters of the alphabet. ‘x’ and ‘z’ don’t make things easy for me either. ‘q’ could use some help too.

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