Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics
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Are Wikipedia's mathematics articles targeted at professional mathematicians?
No, we target our articles at an appropriate audience. Usually this is an interested layman. However, this is not always possible. Some advanced topics require substantial mathematical background to understand. This is no different from other specialized fields such as law and medical science. If you believe that an article is too advanced, please leave a detailed comment on the article's talk page. If you understand the article and believe you can make it simpler, you are also welcome to improve it, in the framework of the BOLD, revert, discuss cycle.
Why is it so difficult to learn mathematics from Wikipedia articles?
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a textbook. Wikipedia articles are not supposed to be pedagogic treatments of their topics. Readers who are interested in learning a subject should consult a textbook listed in the article's references. If the article does not have references, ask for some on the article's talk page or at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Mathematics. Wikipedia's sister projects Wikibooks which hosts textbooks, and Wikiversity which hosts collaborative learning projects, may be additional resources to consider.
See also: Using Wikipedia for mathematics selfstudy Why are Wikipedia mathematics articles so abstract?
Abstraction is a fundamental part of mathematics. Even the concept of a number is an abstraction. Comprehensive articles may be forced to use abstract language because that language is the only language available to give a correct and thorough description of their topic. Because of this, some parts of some articles may not be accessible to readers without a lot of mathematical background. If you believe that an article is overly abstract, then please leave a detailed comment on the talk page. If you can provide a more downtoearth exposition, then you are welcome to add that to the article.
Why don't Wikipedia's mathematics articles define or link all of the terms they use?
Sometimes editors leave out definitions or links that they believe will distract the reader. If you believe that a mathematics article would be more clear with an additional definition or link, please add to the article. If you are not able to do so yourself, ask for assistance on the article's talk page.
Why don't many mathematics articles start with a definition?
We try to make mathematics articles as accessible to the largest likely audience as possible. In order to achieve this, often an intuitive explanation of something precedes a rigorous definition. The first few paragraphs of an article (called the lead) are supposed to provide an accessible summary of the article appropriate to the target audience. Depending on the target audience, it may or may not be appropriate to include any formal details in the lead, and these are often put into a dedicated section of the article. If you believe that the article would benefit from having more formal details in the lead, please add them or discuss the matter on the article's talk page.
Why don't mathematics articles include lists of prerequisites?
A wellwritten article should establish its context well enough that it does not need a separate list of prerequisites. Furthermore, directly addressing the reader breaks Wikipedia's encyclopedic tone. If you are unable to determine an article's context and prerequisites, please ask for help on the talk page.
Why are Wikipedia's mathematics articles so hard to read?
We strive to make our articles comprehensive, technically correct and easy to read. Sometimes it is difficult to achieve all three. If you have trouble understanding an article, please post a specific question on the article's talk page.
Why don't math pages rely more on helpful YouTube videos and media coverage of mathematical issues?
Mathematical content of YouTube videos is often unreliable (though some may be useful for pedagogical purposes rather than as references). Media reports are typically sensationalistic. This is why they are generally avoided.
Why is wikipedia lagging behind the rest of the world in not creating an article on τ (2π)?
The notability of τ=2π is not yet established. Neither the mathematics community nor the math education community has responded to the proposed new constant in any notable way. τ=2π does not at this point of time meet the criteria of notability as per Notability or Wikipedia:Notability (numbers). See also Turn (geometry)#Tau proposal.

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call for abstracts
Posting this here since it would be great if someone could come along and talk about Wikipedia's mathematical culture.
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS (deadline: 30th June 2017)
ENABLING MATHEMATICAL CULTURES, University of Oxford, 5th7th December 2017
This workshop celebrates the completion of the EPSRCfunded project “Social Machines of Mathematics”, led by Professor Ursula Martin at the University of Oxford. We will present research arising from the project, and bring together interested researchers who want to build upon and complement our work. We invite interested researchers from a broad range of fields, including: Computer Science, Philosophy, Sociology, History of Mathematics and Science, Argumentation theory, and Mathematics Education. Through such a diverse mix of disciplines we aim to foster new insights, perspectives and conversations around the theme of Enabling Mathematical Cultures.
Our intention is to build upon previous events in the “Mathematical Cultures” series. These conferences explored diverse topics concerning the sociocultural, historical and philosophical aspects of mathematics. Our workshop will, likewise, explore the social nature of mathematical knowledge production, through analysis of historical and contemporary examples of mathematical practice. Our specific focus will be on how social, technological and conceptual tools are developed and transmitted, so as to enable participation in mathematics, as well as the sharing and construction of group knowledge in mathematics. In particular, we are interested in the way online mathematics, such as exhibited by the Polymath Projects, MathOverflow and the ArXiv, enable and affect the mathematical interactions and cultures.
We hereby invite the submission of abstracts of up to 500 words for papers to be presented in approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes Q+A). The Enabling Mathematical Cultures workshop will have space on Days 2 and 3 of the meeting for a number of accepted talks addressing the themes of social machines of mathematics, mathematical collaboration, mathematical practices, ethnographic or sociological studies of mathematics, computerassisted proving, and argumentation theory as applied in the mathematical realm. Please send your abstracts to [email protected] by the deadline of the 30th June 2017.
The event takes place in the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford on 5th, 6th and 7th December 2017, with a dinner on 5th December and an informal supper on 6th December.
The focus of Day 1 will be on success, failure and impact of foundational research with an emphasis on history and long term development. Days 2 and 3 will focus on studies of contemporary and prospective mathematical cultures from sociological, philosophical, educational and computational perspectives.
Confirmed speakers include: Andrew Aberdein, Michael Barany, Alan Bundy, Joe Corneli, Matthew Inglis, Lorenzo Lane, Ursula Martin, Dave MurrayRust, Alison Pease and Fenner Tanswell.
Organising Committee: Ursula Martin, Joe Corneli, Lorenzo Lane, Fenner Tanswell, Sarah Baldwin, Brendan Larvor, Benedikt Loewe, Alison Pease
Further information will be added to the website at https://enablingmaths.wordpress.com
Previous "Mathematical Cultures" events can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/mathematicalcultures/ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arided (talk • contribs)
More eyes needed
Sharaf alDīn alṬūsī, father of algebraic geometry  really??? Bill Cherowitzo (talk) 21:10, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
List of mathematics competitions
Hello, folks. Last year, I proposed that the listing in the abovenamed article be drastically reduced, by removing all competitions that haven't been shown to be notable. That proposal is at Talk:List of mathematics competitions#Indiscriminate list. No comments were received. I'm prepared to take action now on this, but will be happy to receive comments from this WikiProject before doing so. NewYorkActuary (talk) 03:25, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
 Yes, please go ahead. None of the sources listed in the footnotes there look particularly significant or worthwhile, so my suggestion would be to keep all of and only the bluelinked entries. —David Eppstein (talk) 03:34, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Lobachevsky integral formula
Lobachevsky integral formula might bear examination. Or might not? Michael Hardy (talk) 02:41, 9 September 2017 (UTC)
Gaussian integer
An edit war seems start at Gaussian integer. See also Talk:Gaussian integer. Other opinions are strongly needed. D.Lazard (talk) 13:38, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Contravariant and Covariant Vectors
I have made a couple of entries on the talk page, but nobody seems interested and there has not been much article edit activity for a while. Could somebody have a look at the article and assess whether it needs attention. My opinion is that it could benefit from a thorough rewrite. The content is good, but wordy and disorganised, and the notation slightly distracting. I am prepared to put in some effort, but I don't want to stir up a hornets nest.Foucault (talk) 16:38, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
 You mean Covariance and contravariance of vectors. Boris Tsirelson (talk) 16:54, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Thankyou. I wrote this as an afterthought, when I was about to go to bed  230am.Foucault (talk) 17:00, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
 Note: I have reverted the edit and left a message at the article page.  DVdm (talk) 08:37, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
Geometry of an algebraic curve
I hope someone has an idea for what to do with this page. It reads like the backs of several envelopes. The title does not appear to be suitable (the material is much more narrow and esoteric than the title suggests, IMO); but before a better title can be chosen, the content needs clarification. XOR'easter (talk) 23:07, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
 It doesn’t really seem like an article on anything, just a collection of snippets on some topic, not necessarily the topic given by the title which seems too vague. I see this was raised on the talk page but was rejected with a "so fix it" argument, but with no proposal how it could actually be fixed and I don’t think it can be. AfD perhaps?JohnBlackburne^{words}_{deeds} 23:50, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

WP:BLAR to algebraic geometry, maybe? —David Eppstein (talk) 23:56, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
 That makes sense. The page history is still there for anyone who thinks they can do something with it. But asis better a redirect until that happens.JohnBlackburne^{words}_{deeds} 23:59, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
 A redirect to algebraic geometry sounds good to me. XOR'easter (talk) 00:27, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
 That makes sense. The page history is still there for anyone who thinks they can do something with it. But asis better a redirect until that happens.JohnBlackburne^{words}_{deeds} 23:59, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

WP:BLAR to algebraic geometry, maybe? —David Eppstein (talk) 23:56, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
 Move back to the draftspace: I still think moving it back to the draftspace makes the most sense. There, it should be possible to work out what materials should belong to the draft with the current title. The error was to move it to the mainspace. The redirect makes little sense since it doesn't lead anywhere (i.e., people cannot work on it.)  Taku (talk) 03:09, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
 About the title. "Geometry" is there to compare it to arithmetic of algebraic curves, another important topic.  Taku (talk) 03:11, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
 I disagree with redirecting to algebraic geometry: almost everything in the article could be merged into Algebraic curve, and "Geometry of algebraic curves" refers clearly to algebraic curves, the first word being somehow a pleonasm. Thus I'll be bold and modify the redirect. D.Lazard (talk) 08:57, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
 Oppose back to draft space: The move was already debated. I would note that this would not be the first, second, third, or fourth time that Taku has tried to leverage this back into draft space to try and escape generally accepted operating procedures. IF the page can be improved, it can be done as a subsection of a larger article until such time that WP:SPINOFF becomes a useful solution to the parent article having too much content. Hasteur (talk) 23:10, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
Please Review my Article
I wrote an article on geometric mixed motives and I would like to have a mathematician on this site to review it. It was previously revoked by a nonmathematician, but their criterion for revoking the article is invalid: the sources I provided are notable. In addition, I made sure to cite other articles on wikipedia and gave detailed explanations on the page. Any help is appreciated! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.166.193.229 (talk • contribs)
 Maybe these could help: "Geometric MixedMotives". Apparently not a huge subject, but the chances of approval increase considerably if you cite peerreviewed publications. The sources you gave are, by definition, not notable or reliable. This has nothing to do with the meaning of the terms in the real world. YohanN7 (talk) 16:09, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
 Why is the handbook of Ktheory or the journal of Ktheory not notable? One is published through Springer and the other is a peerreviewed journal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.138.65.89 (talk • contribs)



 These are notable, however, up until yesterday they were so poorly referenced that this fact was hidden. You have to realize that in writing for an encyclopedia you can not assume that readers and even editors are going to be familiar with the perfectly good sources in your subfield. The publication data is needed to establish that these sources have been vetted by the mathematical community–just providing the links to these sources does not give that information. As I looked over your article I also noticed another problem that you will have. There are no inline citations. The sources that you provide are meant to support the statements made in the article. Without the inline links to the sources (including page numbers) the statements you make can not be verified by a reader and that is the heart of what Wikipedia is all about. If you keep at it this article will eventually be in good enough shape to be accepted. Bill Cherowitzo (talk) 18:40, 19 September 2017 (UTC)


RfC: Should the WP:TALK guideline discourage interleaving?
Opinions are needed on the following matter: Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines#RfC: Should the guideline discourage interleaving? #2. A permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 18:41, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Calculators and software in external links
I tend to be a bit fussy with external links and I see a lot of calculators in elementary articles (which I tend to remove) and software, either working programs or code, in CS articles (which I tend to leave alone hoping that someone else will deal with it). My feeling is that these things are not in the spirit of proper external links and they can usually be snagged on the basis of not being reliable sources. However, it would be nice (I think) if there was an explicit point addressing this issue on the list at WP:ELNO. Before proposing anything to a wider audience I thought that I would first like to gather the reactions of the members of this project, since it would affect us the most. If an outright ban is not in order then maybe some guidelines as to what would be acceptable could be given. Thanks for your consideration. Bill Cherowitzo (talk) 23:13, 19 September 2017 (UTC)