As of May 4 2007 the scripts will autodetect your timezone settings. Nothing here has to be changed, but there are a few things

Please follow this blog

Search this blog

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mathematics and culture


Because I study mathematics at a British university I am starting to notice that the British insist on doing things their -own- way as much in mathematics as they do in general. I am not judging this, but it fits the pattern, i.e. traffic, currency, etc.

It is just that I thought mathematicians would be -wiser-. Wiser, how ignorant of me, how can I possibly understand the essence of 'being British'? I can't, of course.

Let me give two ( recent ) examples.

An Open University forum moderator switching to UPPERCASE in reply to my mentioning that permutations are applied from left to right in default GAP while the only correct way is the British right-to-left. ( Going uppercase is about the rudest imaginable attitude known in internet etiquette and as you can imagine I was flabbergasted. )

A note in a book published by the American Mathematical Society written by an English mathematician. I quote:

"Readers who prefer this convention should read this book upside down in a mirror."

He referred to a generally accepted style of notation in continental Europe. My jaws dropped. This wasn't meant as a joke.

;-) !

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Welcome to The Bridge

Mathematics: is it the fabric of MEST?
This is my voyage
My continuous mission
To uncover hidden structures
To create new theorems and proofs
To boldly go where no man has gone before

(Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion, colloquially aka Raumpatrouille Orion was the first German science fiction television series. Its seven episodes were broadcast by ARD beginning September 17, 1966. The series has since acquired cult status in Germany. Broadcast six years before Star Trek first aired in West Germany (in 1972), it became a huge success.)