Template talk:Math-stub

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What was wrong with the revision of October 7 2004? If no one answers here, I'm reverting (unless someone beats me to it).msh210 22:50, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)


AllyUnion changed mathematics-related article to mathematical-related article. I don't think he/she is correct: I think a noun has to precede -related. Compare odor-related article to odorous-related article, or vision-related article to visual-related article: doesn't the noun sound better? It certainly does to my ears. (But I'm a native American English speaker; perhaps it's different in Ukogbani or elsewhere.)

Note that Googling mathematics-related yields "about 26500" results; mathematical-related, "about 652".

So unless someone presents a good argument for mathematical, I'd like to revert the change.msh210 18:06, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

   math·e·mat·ics   Audio pronunciation of "mathematics" ( P )
   Pronunciation Key  (mth-mtks)
   n. (used with a sing. verb)
   The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities
   and sets, using numbers and symbols.

-- From Dictionary.com on Mathematics.

   4 entries found for mathematical.
   math·e·mat·i·cal   Audio pronunciation of "mathematical" ( P )
   Pronunciation Key  (mth-mt-kl) also math·e·mat·ic (-k)
  1. Of or relating to mathematics.
        1. Precise; exact.
        2. Absolute; certain.
  3. Possible according to mathematics but highly improbable:
     The team has only a mathematical chance to win the championship.

-- From Dictionary.com on Mathematical

Technically, based on the definition [1], it should be, "mathematical article." "mathematics-related" seems wordy. -- AllyUnion (talk) 22:37, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Google related note: Mathematical produces 17,200,000 raw search results. -- AllyUnion (talk) 22:45, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

And? As your cited definitions show, 'mathematics' has a very specific meaning whereas 'mathematical' has multiple meanings. All your Google result shows is that a word with more meanings (that are also less specific) gets more hits; it still begs the question of whether 'mathematical article' is appropriate. If you use quotes and search Google with "mathematical article" versus "mathematics article", what do you find? That search seems to indicate that the latter is more widespread in usage. I think the former is more grammatically consistent, but that's how it goes sometimes. --C S 13:35, Dec 9, 2004 (UTC)

Because mathematical is ambiguous (see its other meanings you list above), I think mathematics-related is considerably better. (It's also better than math-related, which is strictly an Americanism.) I'm reverting.msh210 05:10, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Pi image: [edit]

Ok, so yet another person thought it was a great idea to add a Pi image to the math stub template. I disagree with this and I'm not alone as the previous reverts show. I've reverted again, and I think it would a good idea if anyone that wants the Pi image explain his/her reason and then people can vote (after announcing this on the WikiProject: mathematics page, etc.). I personally think that it's weird to have Pi be a part of a simple stub notice, and frankly, it's kind of Pi-centric: after all, why not a knot? Do those who say "not knot" (couldn't resist!) have a better reason than those who say "not Pi"? It's best just to avoid the use of an image. --C S 10:41, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

The best reason for not using a picture of a knot is that {{knot-stub}} already uses one for knot-related articles. HTH HAND --Phil | Talk 14:13, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
I agree there should be no image, neither \pi nor anything else. But if there's going to be some image, then alow me to explain why \pi is better than, say, a knot. \pi is used all over math. It is the symbol for a projection map; it's the symbol for a quotient map; \pi(n) is the number of primes less than n; and \pi is (of course) the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. There are probably other uses for the letter which I don't know or can't think of. if we're going to have some picture, \pi is probably high on the list of good ones.msh210 19:08, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
For the sake of argument :-) I think your argument about pi is very Pi-centric. For example, the letter i is used all over math also. Far more often. It is used as an index, inclusion map, square root of minus one, unit vector (i, j, k, etc.), quaternions, I function (and various other functions), I is used as the unit interval and often the index set. Sigma is also used a lot. So much that I'm not going to list examples for that :-) So the question is (for argument's sake), why is pi any better a letter than sigma? Or i? Or r? Let's face it, the reason why you and others like pi is probably because of the formulas in geometry (one of which you mentioned) about circles. While that's a pleasant piece of math, there are other pleasant pieces of math. Ok, here's the best candidate thus far: a picture of a round circle. You're not going to suggest that the letter pi is somehow more "all over math" than a circle are you? --C S 20:04, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
I agree that lots of symbols could be used. However, they have to be readable at the tiny size available for stub icons. And π is a pretty good candidate for a mathematical superstar number, along with e and i. So far, two people have independently come up with pi, and your only contribution has been to erase their work, rather than come up with something better. And, since you ask, π is "more mathematical" than a circle by the following argument; circles occur everywhere in nature -- but the pi symbol is a mmathematical abstraction of several of the crucial properties of a circle. -- The Anome 20:17, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but your argument doesn't make any sense. How is the symbol pi an abstraction of the properties of a circle? If historically we had chosen to use gamma instead, how are the properties of a circle reflected in that?
I'm disturbed that you think that because I don't think an image is fitting for the template that I'm somehow erasing work and not coming up with something better. I think not having an image is better. I'm sorry you disagree, but so far it's two to one against an image. So I'm going to revert. --C S 20:35, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC), Kieff, and The Anome seem to be pro-\pi-picture, with Chan-Ho Suh, Evercat, and msh210 seemingly against. How about we leave it alone for a few days while allowing others to weigh in with ideas or votes? I'll mention this debate in a few places (WikiProjects Math and Stub-sorting, to start) so people can direct their attention to this talk page.msh210 04:39, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think it's a good idea to let people voice their opinions. That's what I wanted originally. The Anome felt it was ok to try and change the stub, re-reverting, without getting a consensus opinion, but my attitude on that kind of thing has always been that the person trying to change an established article, template, etc., should let it be and discuss it first if the change turns out to be controversial. That's why I reverted The Anome's addition, and re-reverted it. I have no desire to start an edit war, so that would have been my last revert if The Anome had persisted. Eventually there should be some kind of consensus; hopefully it won't take more than a couple weeks. --C S 09:49, Jan 27, 2005 (UTC)
There seems to be two different questions that are being discussed here: 1) image or no-image? 2) Is Pi a proper image for the math stub?
As for my own opinions: 1) I prefer stubs with images, although it is not a strong prefer. 2) The Pi image, in my mind, strongly suggests mathematics, and seems an appropriate image to use. Unless someone can come up with a better image, or explain why it is not an appropriate image to use (something other than just complaining it is "Pi-centric"—at least say geometry-centric) then I would say use (or perhaps ). Other possible images? or —both seem to shrink fairly well. BlankVerse 08:05, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Enough pi-centrism. Let's give e a run for it's money. Dysprosia 10:35, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
A quick glance through Wikipedia:Stub categories will reveal that most stubs (including generic stubs) have images these days. (Some of them are somewhat less than ideal, but the trend does seem to be to include images.) If you don't think that math stubs should have images, you should really start a discussion about whether any stubs should have images.
If there is going to be an image, then what else would you recommend? Pi does suggest mathematics to most people, which is the point. The point is not to "represent all mathematics". It's just supposed to be an illustration. -Aranel ("Sarah") 13:47, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I'm all for an image, and I'm all for pi. It's got aesthetic appeal, familiarity and a wonderful CV to its credit. No other symbol has all these things, and a symbol of some sort seems to be appropriate for an image on a math-stub template. (I'd vote for dy/dx, but combinatortionists and other discrete mathematicians might be up in arms about such a suggestion!) Ben Cairns 12:54, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC).

How about this proposal: instead of wasting time arguing over what picture to put in a stub you edit an article? In the end of this argument, you will not have accomplished anything. I know, it's a radical proposal. I've recently learned a similar lesson for a similar situation. Cburnett 22:05, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division[edit]

I remember seeing an image that looked something like:

+ | -
× | ÷

Well, let's put it this way. Instead of being a stick in the mud, start listing suggestions. -- AllyUnion (talk) 07:16, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"Stick in the mud"? Hmmm...if you're talking to me, then my suggestion is not to have an image. Once the consensus is clear that an image is better than no image, I may list suggestions if it seems people are unhappy with the current image. --C S 21:01, Feb 4, 2005 (UTC)
I don't like this suggestion. Math is not arithmetic. (It is in most people's minds; let's not reinforce that misconception.) dbenbenn | talk 07:39, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Math is not pi. Math is not exp. Math is not i. Math is not any one concept or operator. So I don't get your point, dbenbenn. However, most of mathematics are rooted in the use of these four basic operators. You will not find an icon that represents math as a whole and this debate will continue forever. This is why I previously stated that this argument, of what to put in a 30x24 picture, is a waste of time. Cburnett 20:38, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Some people have suggested that the stub image should not be something that "represents" mathematics but is something that invokes "ah, that's math!" in the average person. I don't agree with this; for one thing, even pi is less recognizable than just having a bunch of numbers or the symbols for the arithmetical operations as above, and I definitely would not like something like that as the stub image. On the other hand, if the consensus (which is difficult to tell here) is that there should not only be an image, but the image should suggest math to as many non-math people as possible, there's no point in arguing against that. --C S 21:01, Feb 4, 2005 (UTC)

See Template:Ling-stub, for linguistics stubs. It uses an image which is a linguistics-oriented depiction of the fact that the article is a stub (not a depiction of linguistics). This makes more sense to me. After all, everyone who's read the article knows it's about math; the stub notice is to announce that it's a stub! I'm not sure how one would do that with math, though. I am simultaneously starting a discussion along these lines at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Stub sorting/Policy#Pictures. [[—msh210 01:32, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

An elegant expression[edit]

How about this:

That's e, i, and π all making appearances (placating their respective fan-clubs), and all coming to -1, symbolizing the need for something to be added... -- Karada 12:30, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Now done: the reduced image is:


-- Karada 14:01, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This suggestion seems fine to me. Plain π would work too. e and i are bad, because they don't look mathematical to regular people. dbenbenn | talk 07:40, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Regular people (who don't know what e and i are) shouldn't be helping with math stubs. linas 15:41, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

All well and fine if the only people who saw stubs were people helping with them, but this isn't the case. Regular people are the people who read Wikipedia and would therefore be likely to see maths stubs. To them, the best known symbol that typifies higher mathematics would almost certainly be π, whereas e, for all that mathematicians know of its wonderful properties, to regular people looks like the fifth letter of the alphabet. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with pi, but if you don't like it, then something simple that looks suitably esoteric to regular people but also has some mathematical meaning would be best, like... hmmm... , say. Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg 12:13, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I've just come across this edit: [1], which suggests that the current template is not as clear as it should be. -- EJ 21:27, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]