Mathematical Signs And Symbols And Their Meanings Pdf

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A mathematical symbol is a figure or a combination of figures that is used to represent a mathematical object , an action on mathematical objects, a relation between mathematical objects, or for structuring the other symbols that occur in a formula. As formulas are entirely constituted with symbols of various types, many symbols are needed for expressing all mathematics.

Skip to Main Content. A not-for-profit organization, IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Use of this web site signifies your agreement to the terms and conditions. Special symbols peculiar to certain branches of mathematics, such as non-Euclidean Geometries, Abstract Algebras, Topology, and Mathematics of Finance, which are not ordinarily applied to the physical sciences and engineering, are omitted.

Table of mathematical symbols by introduction date

Theories in and of Mathematics Education pp Cite as. It is obvious that mathematicians throughout history have used signs of various kinds, such as symbols, diagrams, graphs, and formulae, but they also occur in everyday language and scientific language. The technical symbols and formulas of mathematics have contributed in particular to its specific status, and many learning difficulties have been attributed to these characteristics, which are viewed as turning mathematics into a highly abstract and inaccessible field of scientific enquiry.

Even for the most basic mathematical activities such as arithmetic calculations, the use of number symbols is unavoidable, and it can also be said that much of the strength and relevance of mathematics for applications derives from its symbolic techniques.

The use of symbolic techniques within mathematics, such as in proofs, needs no further discussion. To understand mathematics, one has to do it; this doing in a very deep sense is an activity with signs and based on signs, as should become even clearer from the following considerations.

So far most people concerned in some way or the other with mathematics will agree with what was stated above. Pronounced differences show up when one turns to what one can term the meaning of the signs and symbols of mathematics. In the common understanding, signs are used to designate something that is different from and independent of the sign, namely, the object of the sign, and this object is viewed as the source of the meaning of the sign.

Often the signs are considered as being secondary to what they designate and arbitrary and neutral with respect to the mathematical content. Their main use in this view is to communicate and express the mathematical ideas.

Hersh , p. The signs and notations in this view have no influence on invention and creation in mathematics or music. In a general way, in all these positions of mathematical realism mathematical signs and notations have been viewed as describing what have been termed mathematical objects, whatever those might be and wherever they might be located.

Thus numerals denote numbers and diagrams denote geometric objects. Only algebraic formulas have sometimes been spared this descriptive role, yet they have then been reduced to a purely technical means for calculations and proofs. I will not continue these ontological and philosophical issues any further, but these short hints should serve to make the possible impact of the views taken by Peirce and Wittgenstein more conspicuous.

Peirce — was an American mathematician, logician, and philosopher. From among his comprehensive works, only his fundamental work in semiotics can very briefly be considered here.

Peirce developed a complex and comprehensive theory of signs by devising a multilevel categorization of signs, starting with the differentiation into index, icon, and symbol.

Interestingly, for decades mathematics educators apparently have not taken note of the potential of the theories presented by Peirce. Yet Peirce was interested in educational questions and has written a very interesting draft for a textbook on elementary arithmetic [see the two articles by Radu in Hoffmann ].

Peirce treats the concepts meaning, natural law, continuum—and some others like representation or mind—as synonyms. By that they all acquire those paradoxical qualities which have been since long discussed for the example of the continuum and which recently have been addressed in different contexts, as in systems theory.

The meaning of a sign, for example, for sure cannot be separated from its application—what is already stipulated by the Pragmatic Maxim of Peirce. On the other hand, it cannot be identified either with a single application or with some well-defined set of applications but it rather rests on the general conditions for possible applications.

The latter shall be elucidated first, through the relation to the history of mathematics; and second, through the comparison with other phenomenological positions during the foundational crisis of mathematics.

The significance of mathematics results from the fact that in mathematics, the two pillars mentioned most deeply confront each other. Otte , p. One of the most salient arguments in favour of a semiotic approach… claims that semiotics is most appropriate for treating the interaction between socio-cultural and objective aspects of knowledge problems. If we want to take such claims seriously, however, we have to revise our basic conceptions about reality, existence, cognition, and cultural development.

The semiotic evolutionary realism of Charles S. Peirce provides—or appears to provide—an appropriate basis for such intentions. As there is no thought without a sign, we have to accept thoughts, concepts, theories, or works of art as realities sui generis. Concepts or theories have to be recognized as real before we ask for their meaning or relevance. An important early contribution to the dissemination of the semiotics of Peirce was Hoffmann Hoffmann a , which explicated many aspects of Peircean semiotics, especially with emphasis on mathematics.

A related work is that by Stjernfelt , which also contains very worthwhile interpretations of ideas and notions in Peirce. Within mathematics education, in addition to the triadic structure of sign, the notion of diagram and diagrammatic thinking was mainly exploited.

It should be noted that for Peirce, signs always possessed an object that they explored in an ongoing semiotic process; the only exception was diagrams, for which Peirce allowed the object to be fictional or ideal, especially with respect to mathematics. Before concentrating on the concept of diagrammatic thinking, which appears to be of special value for mathematics and the learning of mathematics, some more references on the work on Peircean semiotics within German mathematics education are included: Hoffmann , , Hoffmann et al.

Of course, on an international level semiotics in general and Peircean notions in particular have also received growing attention. In addition to the publications that have an explicit focus on semiotics, one could refer to the vast literature on visualization and representation. Yet because in these the signs have mostly been considered in their descriptive and representational function see below , this is beyond the scope of this contribution.

In addition to Peirce, there have been other semiotic traditions and theories which have been exploited in mathematics education; for instance, Duval It has long been a puzzle how it could be that, on the one hand, mathematics is purely deductive in its nature, and draws its conclusions apodictically, while on the other hand, it presents as rich and apparently unending a series of surprising discoveries as any observational science.

Various have been the attempts to solve the paradox by breaking down one or other of these assertions, but without success.

The truth, however, appears to be that all deductive reasoning, even simple syllogism, involves an element of observation; namely, deduction consists in constructing an icon or diagram the relations of whose parts shall present a complete analogy with those of the parts of the object of reasoning, of experimenting upon this image in the imagination, and of observing the result so as to discover unnoticed and hidden relations among the parts….

As for algebra, the very idea of the art is that it presents formulae, which can be manipulated and that by observing the effects of such manipulation we find properties not to be otherwise discerned.

In such manipulation, we are guided by previous discoveries, which are embodied in general formulae. These are patterns, which we have the right to imitate in our procedure, and are the icons par excellence of algebra. I have chosen to stick to the term diagram as it has been used by Peirce and others, though I am aware that this term might cause some misunderstandings and arouse false expectations. First of all, the reader should dismiss all geometric connotations. This can be seen from the above reference to Peirce, who includes formulas of all kinds in his notion of diagram or icon.

What is important are the spatial structure of a diagram, the spatial relationships of its parts to one another, and the operations and transformations of and with the diagrams.

The constitutive parts of a diagram can be any kind of inscriptions such including letters, numerals, special signs, or geometric figures. Diagrammatic inscriptions have a structure consisting of a specific spatial arrangement of and spatial relationships among their parts and elements. This structure often has a conventional character. Based on this diagrammatic structure, there are rule-governed operations on and with the inscriptions by transforming, composing, decomposing, or combining them calculations in arithmetic and algebra, constructions in geometry, and derivations in formal logic.

These operations and transformations could be called the internal meaning of the respective diagram compare to Wittgenstein on meaning. Depending on the operations and transformations applied, an inscription might give rise to essentially different diagrams. Thus, a triangular inscription will be a general or isosceles triangle, depending on which of those properties is used in diagrammatic arguments; this is similar to the same card playing different roles in different card games.

Another set of conventionalized rules governs the application and interpretation of the diagram within and outside of mathematics, i. These rules could be termed the external or referential meaning algebraic terms standing for calculations with numbers or a graph depicting a network or a social structure.

The two meanings closely inform and depend on each other. Diagrammatic inscriptions express or can be viewed as expressing relationships by their very structure, from which those relationships must be inferred based on the given operation rules.

Diagrams are not to be understood in a figurative but rather in a relational sense such as a circle expressing the relation of its peripheral points to the midpoint. There is a type-token relationship between the individual and specific material inscription and the diagram of which it is an instance such as between a written letter and the letter as such.

Operations with diagrammatic inscriptions are based on the perceptive activity of the individual such as pattern recognition that turns mathematics into a perceptive and material activity. Diagrammatic reasoning is a rule-based but inventive and constructive manipulation of diagrams for investigating their properties and relationships.

Diagrammatic reasoning is not mechanistic or purely algorithmic; it is imaginative and creative. Analogy: the music of Bach is based on strict rules of counterpoint but is highly creative and variegated. Many steps and arguments of diagrammatic reasoning have no referential meaning, nor do they need any. In diagrammatic reasoning the focus is on the diagrammatic inscriptions irrespective of what their referential meaning might be. The objects of diagrammatic reasoning are the diagrams themselves and their established properties.

Diagrammatic inscriptions arise from many sources and for many purposes: as models of structures and processes, by deliberate design and construction, by idealization and abstraction from experiential reality, etc. Efficient and successful diagrammatic reasoning presupposes intensive and extensive experience with manipulating diagrams. An analogy: expert chess players have command over a great supply of chess diagrams that guide their strategic problem solving.

Consequence: learning mathematics has to comprise diagrammatic knowledge of a great variety. Diagrams can be viewed as ideograms, such as those in Chinese writing systems. The latter usually is a system of relationships between the elements or the parts of the diagram and of operations and transformations. Diagrams are composed of signs of different characters in the sense of Peirce.

There are icons, indices, and symbols as well, and a whole diagram has iconic and symbolic functionality if in itself it is considered to be a sign in the sense of Peirce. Diagrams are extra-linguistic signs. One cannot speak the diagram, but one can speak about the diagram. Thus, on the other hand specialized language as extension of natural language is equally indispensable.

As a final remark: it would be misleading to consider diagrams as mathematical objects. They are the objects and the means of mathematical activity for which we do not have to view them as designating mathematical objects.

The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein — dedicated a great part of his work to the philosophy of mathematics e.

Together with other features of his writings, this might have prevented any notable recognition within mathematics education. Therefore, this contribution will also try to alert the community of mathematics education to the potential of the ideas of Wittgenstein which might also influence general attitudes and basic orientations of the concrete teaching in the classroom. A caveat is, of course, that only a few aspects can be treated here and these in only a rather superficial way.

Contrary to the traditional view, Wittgenstein views the meaning of many signs, words, and symbols in general and of mathematics as well to reside in the use made of those signs in what he calls language games or sign games. Thus, signs do not express a meaning that exists independently of the sign game and that is given by something outside of the sign game that the signs refer to and denote.

For mathematics, then, the meaning of the signs, symbols, and diagrams does not come from outside of mathematics but is created by a great variety of activities with the signs within mathematics. Wittgenstein introduces the metaphor of mathematics as a game, in particular by pointing to chess.

In chess, the figures receive all their meaning from the rules of the game, and they do not refer to anything outside of the system of rules. The figures correspond to the signs in mathematics and the game rules correspond to the rules in mathematics for calculating, manipulating, and deriving i.

There has been and continues to be a great deal of discussion about what this sign denotes and how it could designate a number. Thus, there is no mystery and no miracle about zero if you do not ask questions that are outside the purview of math what Wittgenstein in a telling way calls the prose of mathematics.

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Theories in and of Mathematics Education pp Cite as. It is obvious that mathematicians throughout history have used signs of various kinds, such as symbols, diagrams, graphs, and formulae, but they also occur in everyday language and scientific language. The technical symbols and formulas of mathematics have contributed in particular to its specific status, and many learning difficulties have been attributed to these characteristics, which are viewed as turning mathematics into a highly abstract and inaccessible field of scientific enquiry. Even for the most basic mathematical activities such as arithmetic calculations, the use of number symbols is unavoidable, and it can also be said that much of the strength and relevance of mathematics for applications derives from its symbolic techniques. The use of symbolic techniques within mathematics, such as in proofs, needs no further discussion. To understand mathematics, one has to do it; this doing in a very deep sense is an activity with signs and based on signs, as should become even clearer from the following considerations.


There is a Wikibooks guide for using maths in LaTeX,[1] and a comprehensive LaTeX symbol list.[2] It is also More advanced meanings are included with some symbols listed here. Symbols is the PDF of the variable.[16].


Glossary of mathematical symbols

The following table lists many specialized symbols commonly used in mathematics , ordered by their introduction date. Note that the table can also be ordered alphabetically by clicking on the relevant header title. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article contains Unicode mathematical symbols.

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The following list of mathematical symbols by subject features a selection of the most common symbols used in modern mathematical notation within formulas, grouped by mathematical topic. As it is impossible to know if a complete list exisitng today of all symbols used in history is a representation of all ever used in history, as this would necessitate knowing if extant records are of all usages, only those symbols which occur often in mathematics or mathematics education are included. The following list is largely limited to non-alphanumeric characters. It is divided by areas of mathematics and grouped within sub-regions.

Algebra Symbols Pdf Symbols are used in maths to express a formula or to replace a constant. The symbol cX denotes the matrix each entry of which is c times the corresponding entry of X. View Math 50 Exam 1. Symbolic algebra has symbols for the arithmetic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, powers, and roots as well as symbols for. Further, it is unclear what e ect a di erent choice of basis might have on this process.

На ступенях прямо перед Халохотом сверкнул какой-то металлический предмет. Он вылетел из-за поворота на уровне лодыжек подобно рапире фехтовальщика. Халохот попробовал отклониться влево, но не успел и со всей силы ударился об него голенью. В попытке сохранить равновесие он резко выбросил руки в стороны, но они ухватились за пустоту. Внезапно он взвился в воздух и боком полетел вниз, прямо над Беккером, распростертым на животе с вытянутыми вперед руками, продолжавшими сжимать подсвечник, об который споткнулся Халохот.

List of mathematical symbols

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 - Джабба сплюнул.  - От взрывной волны я чуть не упал со стула. Где Стратмор. - Коммандер Стратмор погиб. - Справедливость восторжествовала, как в дешевой пьесе.

Маломощный двигатель отчаянно выл, стараясь одолеть подъем. Беккер выжал из него все, что мог, и отчаянно боялся, что мотоцикл заглохнет в любую минуту. Нельзя было даже оглянуться: такси остановится в любой момент и снова начнется стрельба. Однако выстрелов не последовало. Мотоцикл каким-то чудом перевалил через гребень склона, и перед Беккером предстал центр города.

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