O'Reilly logo

How to Think Like a Mathematician by Kevin Houston

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

CHAPTER 15

image

How to read a definition

image

In Geometry . . . men begin at settling the significations of their words; which . . . they call Definitions.

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651

Precise definitions are vital in high-level mathematics. We need precision so that we can all agree on what we are talking about. Nonetheless, owing to personal preferences, definitions may vary slightly from mathematician to mathematician so it pays to be vigilant.

The reason for giving a mathematical object a particular name is often lost in the mists of time. Frequently ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required