What Would You Like In The Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z?

Summer 2017 Mathematics A to Z, featuring a coati (it's kind of the Latin American raccoon) looking over alphabet blocks, with a lot of equations in the background.
Art courtesy of Thomas K Dye, creator of the web comic Newshounds. He has a Patreon for those able to support his work.

I would like to now announce exactly what everyone with the ability to draw conclusions expected after I listed the things covered in previous Mathematics A To Z summaries. I’m hoping to write essays about another 26 topics, one for each of the major letters of the alphabet. And, as ever, I’d like your requests. It’s great fun to be tossed out a subject and either know enough about it, or learn enough about it in a hurry, to write a couple hundred words about it.

So that’s what this is for. Please, in comments, list something you’d like to see explained.

For the most part, I’ll do a letter on a first-come, first-serve basis. I’ll try to keep this page updated so that people know which letters have already been taken. I might try rewording or rephrasing a request if I can’t do it under the original letter if I can think of a legitimate way to cover it under another. I’m open to taking another try at something I’ve already defined in the three A To Z runs I’ve previously done, especially since many of the terms have different meanings in different contexts.

I’m always in need of requests for letters such as X and Y. But you knew that if you looked at how sparse Mathworld’s list of words for those letters are.

Letters To Request:

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

I’m flexible about what I mean by “a word” or “a term” in requesting something, especially if it gives me a good subject to write about. And if you think of a clever way to get a particular word covered under a letter that’s really inappropriate, then, good. I like cleverness. I’m not sure what makes for the best kinds of glossary terms. Sometimes a broad topic is good because I can talk about how an idea expresses itself across multiple fields. Sometimes a narrow topic is good because I can dig in to a particular way of thinking. I’m just hoping I’m not going to commit myself to three 2500-word essays a week. Those are fun, but they’re exhausting, as the time between Why Stuff Can Orbit essays may have hinted.

And finally, I’d like to thank Thomas K Dye for creating banner art for this sequence. He’s the creator of the longrunning web comic Newshounds. He’s also got the book version, Newshounds: The Complete Story freshly published, a Patreon to support his comics habit, and plans to resume his Infinity Refugees spinoff strip shortly.


Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

27 thoughts on “What Would You Like In The Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z?”

  1. A – Arithmetic
    C – Cohomology
    D – Diophantine Equations
    E – Elliptic curves
    F – Functor
    G – Gaussian primes/integers/distribution
    H – Height function (elliptic curves)
    I – integration
    L – L-function
    P – Prime number
    Z – zeta function

    I will tell more later. The banner art is very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J – Jordan Canonical Form
      K – Klien Bottle
      M – Meromorphic function
      N – Nine point circle
      O – Open set
      Q – Quasirandom numbers
      R – Real number
      S – Sárkőzy’s Theorem
      T – Torus
      U – Ulam Spiral
      V – Venn diagram
      W – Well ordering principle
      X – <I couldn’t find a word with x, but can discuss the importance of x as a variable>
      Y- Young tableau

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, that’s wonderful! There is this beauty in the way mathematical concepts are expressed — not the structure of the ideas, but the way we write them out, especially when we get a good idea of what we want to express. I’d like if more people could appreciate that without worrying that they don’t know, say, what a Ricci Flow would be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I know there’s a really poetic beauty about astrophysics that I have loved for years. I may not understand all the equations, but I do feel I “get” physics in a way. looks up Ricci Flow. It’s definitely one of my major forms of inspirations…one of my most used muses!


        1. I’m glad you do enjoy. There’s a lot about physics and mathematics that can’t be understood without great equations, but then there’s a lot about architecture that can’t be understood without a lot of mathematics and legal analyses. Nevertheless anyone can appreciate a beautiful building, and surely people can be told interesting enough stories about mathematics to appreciate the beauty there. Ideally, anyway.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. M – Manifold
    T – Topology (or Topological Manifold). Alternative: Tangent Bundle
    V – Volume Forms or Vector Bundle

    So you see, I am still in awe of the math that underpins General Relativity :-) But please, totally explain it from a ‘pure math’ perspective … I am most interested in if and how your perspective may differ from how such things are introduced in theoretical physics.

    Liked by 1 person

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