Questions about the origin of mathematical terms.

**1**

vote

**0**answers

98 views

### Why are they called 'pernicious' numbers?

The definition of a pernicious number:
In number theory, a pernicious number is a positive integer where the Hamming weight (or digit sum) of its binary representation is prime.
The meaning of ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

681 views

### Why are they called Specht Modules?

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

**4**

votes

**1**answer

541 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. ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

423 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 ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

561 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

**1**answer

446 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

**1**answer

660 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

**1**answer

488 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

**2**answers

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 ...

**13**

votes

**5**answers

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

**2**answers

466 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?