# Tagged Questions

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### Insightful books about elementary mathematics

What are some books that discuss elementary mathematical topics ('school mathematics'), like arithmetic, basic non-abstract algebra, plane & solid geometry, trigonometry, etc, in an insightful ...
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### Good Books on the history of Zero

I am looking for books that discuss the origins of the zero, specifically the differences in the use and concept of the zero number among different civilizations (considering also the Mesoamerican ...
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### Why do mathematicians prefer one definition over the other when they both define the same concept?

Here is a basic, though very important, example: Hilbert takes as primary the notion of “congruence” (or “equal”) between segments. His first axiom of congruence “requires the possibility of ...
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### What is the history of $\sqrt{}$

Why we use the symbol $\sqrt{}$ when we take square roots ? Anybody knows the history ?
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### Is there evidence whether undergraduate math courses improve problem-solving?

The most commonly stated reason for why mathematics should be a required condition for graduating is }to improve problem-solving skills". Usually it's taken for granted that taking a mathematics ...
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It can be difficult to learn mathematics on your own from textbooks, and I often wish universities videotaped their mathematics courses and distributed them for free online. Fortunately, some ...
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### Is the boundary $\partial S$ analogous to a derivative?

Without prethought, I mentioned in class once that the reason the symbol $\partial$ is used to represent the boundary operator in topology is that its behavior is akin to a derivative. But after ...
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### Uppercase Point Labels in High-School Diagrams: from Euclid?

I wonder if the convention of labeling points in geometric diagrams with uppercase symbols ultimately derives from Greek mathematics, which was originally written in "majuscule" (uppercase) Greek ...
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### Less-known conjectures of significant influence and the contrary

In mathematics, it is common that theorems/results and problems appearing dull in one generation get revitalized and become the center of research in another one. Sometimes conjectures that are ...