Questions tagged [vocabulary]

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31 votes
7 answers
9k views

Is it harmful to use the word "Cancel"?

Elsewhere, among a group of high school math teachers, I encountered a discussion of the term 'cancel'. Most (>20) people in the discussion had very strong feelings about why the term should be ...
JTP - Apologise to Monica's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
49 views

Problem solving or question answering

What can be the most appropriate way of asking , Solve the problem or answer the question ? As common usage in examinations we have question papers for all subjects. Therefore like in other subjects ...
Janaka Rodrigo's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
425 views

Phase shift vs. horizontal shift, and frequency vs. angular frequency in sinusoidal functions

TL;DR version: It seems to me that high school curricula no longer distinguish between "horizontal shift" and "phase shift", or between "frequency" and "angular ...
mweiss's user avatar
  • 17.2k
21 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can we avoid confusion over using "let" as a quantifier?

I've encountered the following misunderstanding. I pose a question (to undergraduates in the U.S.), for example: Let $P$ be a polygon of $n$ vertices. Is it true that every triangulation of $P$ has ...
Joseph O'Rourke's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
322 views

Word for the dimension of the vector space in which a vector lives?

The following issue comes up whenever I teach linear algebra: I want to have a quick way to say that a vector $(x,y,z)$ is in $\mathbb{R}^3$. I am tempted to say that it has "length $3$". But then ...
David E Speyer's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
447 views

About the word "limit" used in calculus

In the introduction of the limits chapter of a scholar book I can read (translated and abstract) the following examples: "the price of a product has a limit value that, from this price, the number of ...
pasaba por aqui's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

"Sigma Notation" vs. "Summation Notation"

I was having a discussion with a colleague a few weeks ago, and she opted to use the term "Summation Notation" whereas I had a preference for "Sigma Notation". We didn't have the time to tangentially ...
Andrew Sanfratello's user avatar
13 votes
23 answers
21k views

Examples of vocabulary that have different meanings in Mathematics compared to "everyday" English

I am asking this question here to obtain a nice reference list. I am asking for examples of words which have different connotations or meanings in Mathematics compared to English as taught in ...
Papa 's user avatar
  • 141
9 votes
1 answer
421 views

When did the term and taught technique 'cross multiplication' enter into common use?

The title says it all, I suppose. I'm interested to know when/where the term/technique cross multiply came into use. Sources would be nice. In case it's unfamiliar to anyone, or in case the usage of ...
NiloCK's user avatar
  • 4,960
8 votes
1 answer
157 views

How do you encourage students to use verbs other than "solve"?

I see this a lot with students, "solve this derivative", "solve this integral", "solve the following expression". You can compute a derivative, evaluate an integral, simplify an expression, solve an ...
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