Portal:Mathematics
The Mathematics Portal
Mathematics is the study of numbers, quantity, space, pattern, structure, and change. Mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. It is used for calculation and considered as the most important subject. Applied mathematics, the branch of mathematics concerned with application of mathematical knowledge to other fields, inspires and makes use of new mathematical discoveries and sometimes leads to the development of entirely new mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and game theory. Mathematicians also engage in pure mathematics, or mathematics for its own sake, without having any application in mind. There is no clear line separating pure and applied mathematics, and practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are often discovered. (Full article...)
Selected article –
Example of a four color map Image credit: User:Inductiveload |
The four color theorem states that given any plane separated into regions, such as a political map of the counties of a state, the regions may be colored using no more than four colors in such a way that no two adjacent regions receive the same color. Two regions are called adjacent if they share a border segment, not just a point. "Color by Number" worksheets and exercises, which combine learning art and math for people of young ages, are a good example of the four color theorem.
It is often the case that using only three colors is inadequate. This applies already to the map with one region surrounded by three other regions (even though with an even number of surrounding countries three colors are enough) and it is not at all difficult to prove that five colors are sufficient to color a map.
The four color theorem was the first major theorem to be proven using a computer, and the proof is disputed by some mathematicians because it would be infeasible for a human to verify by hand (see computer-aided proof). Ultimately, in order to believe the proof, one has to have faith in the correctness of the compiler and hardware executing the program used for the proof.
The lack of mathematical elegance was another factor, and to paraphrase comments of the time, "a good mathematical proof is like a poem — this is a telephone directory!" (Full article...)
View all selected articles |
Selected image –
Did you know –
- ...that it is possible to stack identical dominoes off the edge of a table to create an arbitrarily large overhang?
- ...that in Floyd's algorithm for cycle detection, the tortoise and hare move at very different speeds, but always finish at the same spot?
- ...that in graph theory, a pseudoforest can contain trees and pseudotrees, but cannot contain any butterflies, diamonds, handcuffs, or bicycles?
- ...that it is not possible to configure two mutually inscribed quadrilaterals in the Euclidean plane, but the Möbius–Kantor graph describes a solution in the complex projective plane?
- ...that the six permutations of the vector (1,2,3) form a hexagon in 3D space, the 24 permutations of (1,2,3,4) form a truncated octahedron in four dimensions, and both are examples of permutohedra?
- ...that the Rule 184 cellular automaton can simultaneously model the behavior of cars moving in traffic, the accumulation of particles on a surface, and particle-antiparticle annihilation reactions?
- ...that a cyclic cellular automaton is a system of simple mathematical rules that can generate complex patterns mixing random chaos, blocks of color, and spirals?
WikiProjects
The Mathematics WikiProject is the center for mathematics-related editing on Wikipedia. Join the discussion on the project's talk page.
Project pages
Essays
Subprojects
Related projects
Things you can do
Subcategories
Algebra | Arithmetic | Analysis | Complex analysis | Applied mathematics | Calculus | Category theory | Chaos theory | Combinatorics | Dynamic systems | Fractals | Game theory | Geometry | Algebraic geometry | Graph theory | Group theory | Linear algebra | Mathematical logic | Model theory | Multi-dimensional geometry | Number theory | Numerical analysis | Optimization | Order theory | Probability and statistics | Set theory | Statistics | Topology | Algebraic topology | Trigonometry | Linear programming
Mathematics (books) | History of mathematics | Mathematicians | Awards | Education | Literature | Notation | Organizations | Theorems | Proofs | Unsolved problems
Topics in mathematics
General | Foundations | Number theory | Discrete mathematics |
---|---|---|---|
| |||
Algebra | Analysis | Geometry and topology | Applied mathematics |
Index of mathematics articles
ARTICLE INDEX: | |
MATHEMATICIANS: |
Related portals
In other Wikimedia projects