Sunday, June 12, 2016

The biggest problem with Mathematics today

I start this time with a little disclaimer: This is, after all, a blog, and most blogs still fit the original definition, which is a public forum used for a person to state or explain their beliefs and/or feelings. So it is without further ado, that I proceed, unabashed:

The biggest problem with Mathematics today, particularly around people approaching, or new to the field, is the conventions of naming things.

Historically, and seemingly by convention, mathematical concepts are named after the first person to define or make serious contributions to that field. This is what is known as an eponym.

This is terrible practice, even tear-able! I am bitter about the amount of time I waste trying to find the 'name' of the mathmatical concept I wish to express or research, or when I have to derail my research to go define a term or concept I don't recognize, only to find out that I am already know what it was.

If people would just name stuff after what it actually fucking does, instead of some person's last name, we would all be a lot better off (except for maybe the aforementioned person).

In software development, we have this concept known as refactoring. This term includes fundamental re-structuring of the code, but also can be as simple as a bunch of renaming of everything to fit a more consistent, or holistic, view or concept. A similar thing needs to happen to the field of mathematics, and sooner rather than later!

No more eponyms in Mathematics!

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