Questions about the origin of mathematical terms.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

8
votes
1answer
487 views

Why are they called Specht Modules?

I know that the simple modules of $\mathbb{C}S_n$ are called $\it{Specht}$ $ \it{Modules}$, and they are named after the German Mathematician Wilhelm Specht because he studied them, but I think these ...
4
votes
1answer
456 views

Origin of “Woodin cardinal”

Sorry if this is a completely stupid question (I'm a not a set-theorist, though I've been doing some reading in the subject), but I was wondering, specifically, about the exact provenance of the name. ...
5
votes
1answer
360 views

Origin of the term “weight” in representation theory

In representation theory, there are the related concepts of weights and roots. Since both are kinds of generalised eigenvalues, and eigenvalues are roots of e.g. the characteristic polynomial, the ...
12
votes
2answers
416 views

Etymology of cuspidal representations

In the literature on representation theory of $GL_2(\Bbb F_p)$ and $GL_2(\Bbb Q_p)$, the irreducible representations with trivial Jacquet module are often called "cuspidal" or "supercuspidal". Why are ...
5
votes
1answer
424 views

What is the origin of the term magma?

Wikipedia credits Bourbaki with coining it, but doesn't provide a source. Does anyone happen to know the motivation for using this term?
10
votes
1answer
605 views

What is the etymology of model?

What is the etymology of model? The answer is of course pre-WWW, but the better part of an hour in the library searching both classic model theory and modal logic textbooks turned up nothing. Every ...
8
votes
1answer
452 views

What is the etymology of zero-sharp?

I have wondered for a while what gave rise to the notation $0^\sharp$. According to wikipedia this is due to Solovay in 1967, but (perhaps unsurprisingly) there's no discussion of why that notation ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is Drinfeld's Zastava space called Zastava?

I'm trying to get an idea of Drinfeld's Zastava space. It seems to be an infinite-dimensional version of the flag variety, for affine Lie algebras. But, first of all, why is it called Zastava ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

What does the word “symplectic” mean?

I know the definition of symplectic structure, symplectic group, and so on. But what does the word "symplectic" itself mean? Meta question: I have many other mathematical words whose etymologies are ...
1
vote
2answers
445 views

What's “projective” about “projective pro-finite groups”?

A profinite group is said to be projective if its cohomological dimension is $\leq 1$. Is this related to some other notion of "projective"? How so?