Friendly-index set

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Contents
1

2

3

4

Algebraic structure

1

1.1

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1

1.2

Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1

1.2.1

One set with operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1

1.2.2

Two sets with operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3

1.3

Hybrid structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4

1.4

Universal algebra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4

1.5

Category theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5

1.6

See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5

1.7

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5

1.8

External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6

Binary operation

7

2.1

Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7

2.2

Properties and examples

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7

2.3

Notation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

8

2.4

Pair and tuple . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

8

2.5

Binary operations as ternary relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9

2.6

External binary operations

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9

2.7

See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9

2.8

Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9

2.9

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9

2.10 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9

Complete Boolean algebra

10

3.1

Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10

3.2

Properties of complete Boolean algebras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

3.3

The completion of a Boolean algebra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

3.4

Free κ-complete Boolean algebras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12

3.5

See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12

3.6

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12

Complete Heyting algebra

13
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6

7

8

CONTENTS
4.1

Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13

4.2

Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13

4.3

Frames and locales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13

4.4

Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

15

Constant (mathematics)

16

5.1

Constant function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

16

5.2

Context-dependence

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

16

5.3

Notable mathematical constants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

5.4

Constants in calculus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

5.4.1

Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

5.5

See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

5.6

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18

Countable set

19

6.1

Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

19

6.2

History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

19

6.3

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

19

6.4

Formal definition and properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

20

6.5

Minimal model of set theory is countable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25

6.6

Total orders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25

6.7

See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

26

6.8

Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

26

6.9

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

26

6.10 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

26

Enumeration

27

7.1

Enumeration in combinatorics

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27

7.2

Enumeration in set theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27

7.2.1

Enumeration as listing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27

7.2.2

Enumeration in countable vs. uncountable context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

28

7.2.3

Ordinal enumeration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

29

7.2.4

Enumeration as comparison of cardinalities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

29

7.3

Enumeration in computability theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

29

7.4

See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

29

7.5

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

30

7.6

External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

30

Finitary

31

8.1

Finitary argument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

31

8.2

History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

31

8.3

See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

31

8.4

Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

32

CONTENTS

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8.5

32

9

External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Friendly-index set

33

9.1

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

33

9.2

External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

33

10 Index set

34

10.1 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34

10.2 Other uses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34

10.3 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34

10.4 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34

11 Indexed family

35

11.1 Mathematical statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

35

11.2 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

35

11.2.1 Index notation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

35

11.2.2 Matrices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

36

11.3 Functions, sets and families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

36

11.4 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

36

11.5 Operations on families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

37

11.6 Subfamily . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

37

11.7 Usage in category theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

37

11.8 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

37

11.9 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

37

12 Indicator function

38

12.1 Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

38

12.2 Remark on notation and terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

12.3 Basic properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

12.4 Mean, variance and covariance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

40

12.5 Characteristic function in recursion theory, Gödel’s and Kleene’s representing function

. . . . . . .

40

12.6 Characteristic function in fuzzy set theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

40

12.7 Derivatives of the indicator function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

41

12.8 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

41

12.9 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

42

12.10References

42

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13 Mathematics

43

13.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

13.1.1 Evolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

13.1.2 Etymology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46

13.2 Definitions of mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

47

13.2.1 Mathematics as science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

47

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CONTENTS
13.3 Inspiration, pure and applied mathematics, and aesthetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

50

13.4 Notation, language, and rigor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

51

13.5 Fields of mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

51

13.5.1 Foundations and philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

52

13.5.2 Pure mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

53

13.5.3 Applied mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

55

13.6 Mathematical awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

55

13.7 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

56

13.8 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

56

13.9 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

58

13.10Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

59

13.11External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

59

14 Operation (mathematics)

61

14.1 Types of operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

61

14.2 General description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

61

14.3 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

62

14.3.1 Special cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

63

14.3.2 Related topics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

63

14.4 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

63

15 Order theory

64

15.1 Background and motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

64

15.2 Basic definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

64

15.2.1 Partially ordered sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

65

15.2.2 Visualizing a poset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

65

15.2.3 Special elements within an order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

65

15.2.4 Duality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

67

15.2.5 Constructing new orders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

67

15.3 Functions between orders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

67

15.4 Special types of orders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

68

15.5 Subsets of ordered sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

15.6 Related mathematical areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

15.6.1 Universal algebra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

15.6.2 Topology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

15.6.3 Category theory

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

15.7 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

70

15.8 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

70

15.9 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

70

15.10References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

70

15.11External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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CONTENTS

v

16 Outline of algebraic structures
16.1 Study of algebraic structures

72
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

72

16.2 Types of algebraic structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

73

16.2.1 One binary operation on one set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

73

16.2.2 Two binary operations on one set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

73

16.2.3 Two binary operations and two sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

73

16.2.4 Three binary operations and two sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

74

16.3 Algebraic structures with additional non-algebraic structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

74

16.4 Algebraic structures in different disciplines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

74

16.5 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

16.6 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

16.7 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

16.8 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

76

17 Structure (mathematical logic)

77

17.1 Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

17.1.1 Domain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

17.1.2 Signature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

17.1.3 Interpretation function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

78

17.1.4 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

78

17.2 Induced substructures and closed subsets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

78

17.2.1 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

79

17.3 Homomorphisms and embeddings

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

79

17.3.1 Homomorphisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

79

17.3.2 Embeddings

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

80

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

80

17.3.4 Homomorphism problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

80

17.3.3 Example

17.4 Structures and first-order logic

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

80

17.4.1 Satisfaction relation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

81

17.4.2 Definable relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

81

17.5 Many-sorted structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

82

17.6 Other generalizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

82

17.6.1 Partial algebras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

82

17.6.2 Structures for typed languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

82

17.6.3 Higher-order languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

83

17.6.4 Structures that are proper classes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

83

17.7 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

83

17.8 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

83

17.9 References

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

83

17.10External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

84

18 Surjective function

85

vi

CONTENTS
18.1 Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

86

18.2 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

86

18.3 Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

86

18.3.1 Surjections as right invertible functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

87

18.3.2 Surjections as epimorphisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

88

18.3.3 Surjections as binary relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

89

18.3.4 Cardinality of the domain of a surjection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

89

18.3.5 Composition and decomposition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

89

18.3.6 Induced surjection and induced bijection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

89

18.4 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

89

18.5 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

90

18.6 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

90

19 Unary operation

91

19.1 Unary negative and positive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

91

19.2 Examples from programming languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

91

19.2.1 C family of languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

91

19.2.2 Unix Shell (Bash) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

92

19.2.3 Other languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

92

19.3 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

92

19.4 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

92

20 Universal algebra

93

20.1 Basic idea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

93

20.1.1 Equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

93

20.2 Varieties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

93

20.2.1 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

94

20.3 Basic constructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95

20.4 Some basic theorems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95

20.5 Motivations and applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95

20.6 Generalizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

96

20.7 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

96

20.8 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

97

20.9 Footnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

97

20.10References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

97

20.11External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

98

20.12Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

99

20.12.1 Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

99

20.12.2 Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
20.12.3 Content license . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

Chapter 1

Algebraic structure
In mathematics, and more specifically in abstract algebra, the term algebraic structure generally refers to a set (called
carrier set or underlying set) with one or more finitary operations defined on it.[1]
Examples of algebraic structures include groups, rings, fields, and lattices. More complex structures can be defined
by introducing multiple operations, different underlying sets, or by altering the defining axioms. Examples of more
complex algebraic structures include vector spaces, modules, and algebras.
The properties of specific algebraic structures are studied in abstract algebra. The general theory of algebraic structures has been formalized in universal algebra. Category theory is used to study the relationships between two or
more classes of algebraic structures, often of different kinds. For example, Galois theory studies the connection
between certain fields and groups, algebraic structures of two different kinds.
In a slight abuse of notation, the word “structure” can also refer only to the operations on a structure, and not the
underlying set itself. For example, a phrase “we have defined a ring structure (a structure of ring) on the set A " means
that we have defined ring operations on the set A . For another example, the group (Z, +) can be seen as a set Z that
is equipped with an algebraic structure, namely the operation + .

1.1 Introduction
Addition and multiplication on numbers are the prototypical example of an operation that combines two elements of
a set to produce a third. These operations obey several algebraic laws. For example a+ (b + c) = (a + b) + c and
a(bc) = (ab)c, both examples of the associative law. Also a + b = b + a, and ab = ba, the commutative law. Many
systems studied by mathematicians have operations that obey some, but not necessarily all, of the laws of ordinary
arithmetic. For example, rotations of objects in three-dimensional space can be combined by performing the first
rotation and then applying the second rotation to the object in its new orientation. This operation on rotations obeys
the associative law, but can fail the commutative law.
Mathematicians give names to sets with one or more operations that obey a particular collection of laws, and study
them in the abstract as algebraic structures. When a new problem can be shown to follow the laws of one of these
algebraic structures, all the work that has been done on that category in the past can be applied to the new problem.
In full generality, algebraic structures may involve an arbitrary number of sets and operations that can combine more
than two elements (higher arity), but this article focuses on binary operations on one or two sets. The examples
here are by no means a complete list, but they are meant to be a representative list and include the most common
structures. Longer lists of algebraic structures may be found in the external links and within Category:Algebraic
structures. Structures are listed in approximate order of increasing complexity.

1.2 Examples
1.2.1

One set with operations

Simple structures: No binary operation:
1

2

CHAPTER 1. ALGEBRAIC STRUCTURE
• Set: a degenerate algebraic structure having no operations.
• Pointed set: S has one or more distinguished elements, often 0, 1, or both.
• Unary system: S and a single unary operation over S.
• Pointed unary system: a unary system with S a pointed set.

Group-like structures: One binary operation. The binary operation can be indicated by any symbol, or with no
symbol (juxtaposition) as is done for ordinary multiplication of real numbers.
• Magma or groupoid: S and a single binary operation over S.
• Semigroup: an associative magma.
• Monoid: a semigroup with identity.
• Group: a monoid with a unary operation (inverse), giving rise to inverse elements.
• Abelian group: a group whose binary operation is commutative.
• Semilattice: a semigroup whose operation is idempotent and commutative. The binary operation can be called
either meet or join.
• Quasigroup: a magma obeying the latin square property. A quasigroup may also be represented using three
binary operations.[2]
• Loop: a quasigroup with identity.
Ring-like structures or Ringoids: Two binary operations, often called addition and multiplication, with multiplication distributing over addition.
• Semiring: a ringoid such that S is a monoid under each operation. Addition is typically assumed to be commutative and associative, and the monoid product is assumed to distribute over the addition on both sides, and
the additive identity satisfies 0 x = 0 for all x.
• Near-ring: a semiring whose additive monoid is a (not necessarily Abelian) group.
• Ring: a semiring whose additive monoid is an Abelian group.
• Lie ring: a ringoid whose additive monoid is an abelian group, but whose multiplicative operation satisfies the
Jacobi identity rather than associativity.
• Boolean ring: a commutative ring with idempotent multiplication operation.
• Field: a commutative ring which contains a multiplicative inverse for every nonzero element
• Kleene algebras: a semiring with idempotent addition and a unary operation, the Kleene star, satisfying additional properties.
• *-algebra: a ring with an additional unary operation (*) satisfying additional properties.
Lattice structures: Two or more binary operations, including operations called meet and join, connected by the
absorption law.[3]
• Complete lattice: a lattice in which arbitrary meet and joins exist.
• Bounded lattice: a lattice with a greatest element and least element.
• Complemented lattice: a bounded lattice with a unary operation, complementation, denoted by postfix ⊥ . The
join of an element with its complement is the greatest element, and the meet of the two elements is the least
element.
• Modular lattice: a lattice whose elements satisfy the additional modular identity.

1.2. EXAMPLES

3

• Distributive lattice: a lattice in which each of meet and join distributes over the other. Distributive lattices are
modular, but the converse does not hold.
• Boolean algebra: a complemented distributive lattice. Either of meet or join can be defined in terms of the
other and complementation. This can be shown to be equivalent with the ring-like structure of the same name
above.
• Heyting algebra: a bounded distributive lattice with an added binary operation, relative pseudo-complement,
denoted by infix →, and governed by the axioms x → x = 1, x (x → y) = x y, y (x → y) = y, x → (y z) = (x → y)
(x → z).
Arithmetics: Two binary operations, addition and multiplication. S is an infinite set. Arithmetics are pointed unary
systems, whose unary operation is injective successor, and with distinguished element 0.
• Robinson arithmetic. Addition and multiplication are recursively defined by means of successor. 0 is the
identity element for addition, and annihilates multiplication. Robinson arithmetic is listed here even though it
is a variety, because of its closeness to Peano arithmetic.
• Peano arithmetic. Robinson arithmetic with an axiom schema of induction. Most ring and field axioms bearing
on the properties of addition and multiplication are theorems of Peano arithmetic or of proper extensions
thereof.

1.2.2

Two sets with operations

Module-like structures: composite systems involving two sets and employing at least two binary operations.
• Group with operators: a group G with a set Ω and a binary operation Ω × G → G satisfying certain axioms.
• Module: an Abelian group M and a ring R acting as operators on M. The members of R are sometimes called
scalars, and the binary operation of scalar multiplication is a function R × M → M, which satisfies several
axioms. Counting the ring operations these systems have at least three operations.
• Vector space: a module where the ring R is a division ring or field.
• Graded vector space: a vector space with a direct sum decomposition breaking the space into “grades”.
• Quadratic space: a vector space V over a field F with a function from V into F satisfying certain properties.
Every quadratic space is also an inner product space (see below).
Algebra-like structures: composite system defined over two sets, a ring R and a R module M equipped with an
operation called multiplication. This can be viewed as a system with five binary operations: two operations on R, two
on M and one involving both R and M.
• Algebra over a ring (also R-algebra): a module over a commutative ring R, which also carries a multiplication
operation that is compatible with the module structure. This includes distributivity over addition and linearity
with respect to multiplication by elements of R. The theory of an algebra over a field is especially well developed.
• Associative algebra: an algebra over a ring such that the multiplication is associative.
• Nonassociative algebra: a module over a commutative ring, equipped with a ring multiplication operation that
is not necessarily associative. Often associativity is replaced with a different identity, such as alternation, the
Jacobi identity, or the Jordan identity.
• Coalgebra: a vector space with a “comultiplication” defined dually to that of associative algebras.
• Lie algebra: a special type of nonassociative algebra whose product satisfies the Jacobi identity.
• Lie coalgebra: a vector space with a “comultiplication” defined dually to that of Lie algebras.
• Graded algebra: a graded vector space with an algebra structure compatible with the grading. The idea is that
if the grades of two elements a and b are known, then the grade of ab is known, and so the location of the
product ab is determined in the decomposition.

4

CHAPTER 1. ALGEBRAIC STRUCTURE
• Inner product space: an F vector space V with a bilinear binary operation from V × V → F.

Four or more binary operations:
• Bialgebra: an associative algebra with a compatible coalgebra structure.
• Lie bialgebra: a Lie algebra with a compatible bialgebra structure.
• Clifford algebra: a graded associative algebra equipped with an exterior product from which may be derived
several possible inner products. Exterior algebras and geometric algebras are special cases of this construction.

1.3 Hybrid structures
Algebraic structures can also coexist with added structure of non-algebraic nature, such as partial order or a topology.
The added structure must be compatible, in some sense, with the algebraic structure.
• Topological group: a group with a topology compatible with the group operation.
• Lie group: a topological group with a compatible smooth manifold structure.
• Ordered groups, ordered rings and ordered fields: each type of structure with a compatible partial order.
• Archimedean group: a linearly ordered group for which the Archimedean property holds.
• Topological vector space: a vector space whose M has a compatible topology.
• Normed vector space: a vector space with a compatible norm. If such a space is complete (as a metric space)
then it is called a Banach space.
• Hilbert space: an inner product space over the real or complex numbers whose inner product gives rise to a
Banach space structure.
• Vertex operator algebra
• Von Neumann algebra: a *-algebra of operators on a Hilbert space equipped with the weak operator topology.

1.4 Universal algebra
Algebraic structures are defined through different configurations of axioms. Universal algebra abstractly studies such
objects. One major dichotomy is between structures that are axiomatized entirely by identities and structures that are
not. If all axioms defining a class of algebras are identities, then the class of objects is a variety (not to be confused
with algebraic variety in the sense of algebraic geometry).
Identities are equations formulated using only the operations the structure allows, and variables that are tacitly
universally quantified over the relevant universe. Identities contain no connectives, existentially quantified variables,
or relations of any kind other than the allowed operations. The study of varieties is an important part of universal
algebra. An algebraic structure in a variety may be understood as the quotient algebra of term algebra (also called
“absolutely free algebra") divided by the equivalence relations generated by a set of identities. So, a collection of
functions with given signatures generate a free algebra, the term algebra T. Given a set of equational identities (the
axioms), one may consider their symmetric, transitive closure E. The quotient algebra T/E is then the algebraic structure or variety. Thus, for example, groups have a signature containing two operators: the multiplication operator m,
taking two arguments, and the inverse operator i, taking one argument, and the identity element e, a constant, which
may be considered an operator that takes zero arguments. Given a (countable) set of variables x, y, z, etc. the term
algebra is the collection of all possible terms involving m, i, e and the variables; so for example, m(i(x), m(x,m(y,e)))
would be an element of the term algebra. One of the axioms defining a group is the identity m(x, i(x)) = e; another is
m(x,e) = x. The axioms can be represented as trees. These equations induce equivalence classes on the free algebra;
the quotient algebra then has the algebraic structure of a group.
Several non-variety structures fail to be varieties, because either:

1.5. CATEGORY THEORY

5

1. It is necessary that 0 ≠ 1, 0 being the additive identity element and 1 being a multiplicative identity element,
but this is a nonidentity;
2. Structures such as fields have some axioms that hold only for nonzero members of S. For an algebraic structure
to be a variety, its operations must be defined for all members of S; there can be no partial operations.
Structures whose axioms unavoidably include nonidentities are among the most important ones in mathematics, e.g.,
fields and hence also vector spaces and algebras. Although structures with nonidentities retain an undoubted algebraic
flavor, they suffer from defects varieties do not have. For example, the product of two fields is not a field.

1.5 Category theory
Category theory is another tool for studying algebraic structures (see, for example, Mac Lane 1998). A category is
a collection of objects with associated morphisms. Every algebraic structure has its own notion of homomorphism,
namely any function compatible with the operation(s) defining the structure. In this way, every algebraic structure
gives rise to a category. For example, the category of groups has all groups as objects and all group homomorphisms
as morphisms. This concrete category may be seen as a category of sets with added category-theoretic structure.
Likewise, the category of topological groups (whose morphisms are the continuous group homomorphisms) is a
category of topological spaces with extra structure. A forgetful functor between categories of algebraic structures
“forgets” a part of a structure.
There are various concepts in category theory that try to capture the algebraic character of a context, for instance
• algebraic category
• essentially algebraic category
• presentable category
• locally presentable category
• monadic functors and categories
• universal property.

1.6 See also
• Mathematical structure
• Structure (mathematical logic)
• List of algebraic structures
• Signature (logic)
• Free object

1.7 References
[1] P.M. Cohn. (1981) Universal Algebra, Springer, p. 41.
[2] Jonathan D. H. Smith. An Introduction to Quasigroups and Their Representations. Chapman & Hall. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
[3] Ringoids and lattices can be clearly distinguished despite both having two defining binary operations. In the case of ringoids,
the two operations are linked by the distributive law; in the case of lattices, they are linked by the absorption law. Ringoids
also tend to have numerical models, while lattices tend to have set-theoretic models.

• Mac Lane, Saunders; Birkhoff, Garrett (1999), Algebra (2nd ed.), AMS Chelsea, ISBN 978-0-8218-1646-2

6

CHAPTER 1. ALGEBRAIC STRUCTURE
• Michel, Anthony N.; Herget, Charles J. (1993), Applied Algebra and Functional Analysis, New York: Dover
Publications, ISBN 978-0-486-67598-5
• Burris, Stanley N.; Sankappanavar, H. P. (1981), A Course in Universal Algebra, Berlin, New York: SpringerVerlag, ISBN 978-3-540-90578-3

Category theory
• Mac Lane, Saunders (1998), Categories for the Working Mathematician (2nd ed.), Berlin, New York: SpringerVerlag, ISBN 978-0-387-98403-2
• Taylor, Paul (1999), Practical foundations of mathematics, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-52163107-5

1.8 External links
• Jipsen’s algebra structures. Includes many structures not mentioned here.
• Mathworld page on abstract algebra.
• Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Algebra by Vaughan Pratt.

Chapter 2

Binary operation
Not to be confused with Bitwise operation.
In mathematics, a binary operation on a set is a calculation that combines two elements of the set (called operands) to
produce another element of the set (more formally, an operation whose arity is two, and whose two domains and one
codomain are (subsets of) the same set). Examples include the familiar elementary arithmetic operations of addition,
subtraction, multiplication and division. Other examples are readily found in different areas of mathematics, such as
vector addition, matrix multiplication and conjugation in groups.

2.1 Terminology
More precisely, a binary operation on a set S is a map which sends elements of the Cartesian product S × S to S:[1][2][3]

f : S × S → S.
Because the result of performing the operation on a pair of elements of S is again an element of S, the operation
is called a closed binary operation on S (or sometimes expressed as having the property of closure).[4] If f is not
a function, but is instead a partial function, it is called a partial binary operation. For instance, division of real
numbers is a partial binary operation, because one can't divide by zero: a/0 is not defined for any real a. Note
however that both in algebra and model theory the binary operations considered are defined on all of S × S.
Sometimes, especially in computer science, the term is used for any binary function.
Binary operations are the keystone of algebraic structures studied in abstract algebra: they are essential in the definitions of groups, monoids, semigroups, rings, and more. Most generally, a magma is a set together with some binary
operation defined on it.

2.2 Properties and examples
Typical examples of binary operations are the addition (+) and multiplication (×) of numbers and matrices as well as
composition of functions on a single set. For instance,
• On the set of real numbers R, f(a, b) = a + b is a binary operation since the sum of two real numbers is a real
number.
• On the set of natural numbers N, f(a, b) = a + b is a binary operation since the sum of two natural numbers is
a natural number. This is a different binary operation than the previous one since the sets are different.
• On the set M(2,2) of 2 × 2 matrices with real entries, f(A, B) = A + B is a binary operation since the sum of
two such matrices is another 2 × 2 matrix.
7

8

CHAPTER 2. BINARY OPERATION
• On the set M(2,2) of 2 × 2 matrices with real entries, f(A, B) = AB is a binary operation since the product of
two such matrices is another 2 × 2 matrix.
• For a given set C, let S be the set of all functions h: C → C. On S, f(g, h) = g ∘ h = g(h(c)), the composition of
the two functions g and h, is a binary operation since the composition of the two functions is another function
on the set C (that is, a member of S).

Many binary operations of interest in both algebra and formal logic are commutative, satisfying f(a, b) = f(b, a) for
all elements a and b in S, or associative, satisfying f(f(a, b), c) = f(a, f(b, c)) for all a, b and c in S. Many also have
identity elements and inverse elements.
The first three examples above are commutative and all of the above examples are associative.
On the set of real numbers R, subtraction, that is, f(a, b) = a − b, is a binary operation which is not commutative
since, in general, a − b ≠ b − a. It is also not associative, since, in general, a − (b − c) ≠ (a − b) − c; for instance, 1 −
(2 − 3) = 2 but (1 − 2) − 3 = −4.
On the set of natural numbers N, the binary operation exponentiation, f(a,b) = ab , is not commutative since, in
general, ab ≠ ba and is also not associative since f(f(a, b), c) ≠ f(a, f(b, c)). For instance, with a = 2, b = 3 and c
= 2, f(23 ,2) = f(8,2) = 64, but f(2,32 ) = f(2,9) = 512. By changing the set N to the set of integers Z, this binary
operation becomes a partial binary operation since it is now undefined when a = 0 and b is any negative integer. For
either set, this operation has a right identity (which is 1) since f(a, 1) = a for all a in the set, which is not an identity
(two sided identity) since f(1, b) ≠ b in general.
Division (/), a partial binary operation on the set of real or rational numbers, is not commutative or associative as
well. Tetration (↑↑), as a binary operation on the natural numbers, is not commutative nor associative and has no
identity element.

2.3 Notation
Binary operations are often written using infix notation such as a ∗ b, a + b, a · b or (by juxtaposition with no symbol)
ab rather than by functional notation of the form f(a, b). Powers are usually also written without operator, but with
the second argument as superscript.
Binary operations sometimes use prefix or (probably more often) postfix notation, both of which dispense with parentheses. They are also called, respectively, Polish notation and reverse Polish notation.

2.4 Pair and tuple
A binary operation, ab, depends on the ordered pair (a, b) and so (ab)c (where the parentheses here mean first operate
on the ordered pair (a, b) and then operate on the result of that using the ordered pair ((ab), c)) depends in general
on the ordered pair ((a, b), c). Thus, for the general, non-associative case, binary operations can be represented with
binary trees.
However:
• If the operation is associative, (ab)c = a(bc), then the value of (ab)c depends only on the tuple (a, b, c).
• If the operation is commutative, ab = ba, then the value of (ab)c depends only on { {a, b}, c}, where braces
indicate multisets.
• If the operation is both associative and commutative then the value of (ab)c depends only on the multiset {a,
b, c}.
• If the operation is associative, commutative and idempotent, aa = a, then the value of (ab)c depends only on
the set {a, b, c}.

2.5. BINARY OPERATIONS AS TERNARY RELATIONS

9

2.5 Binary operations as ternary relations
A binary operation f on a set S may be viewed as a ternary relation on S, that is, the set of triples (a, b, f(a,b)) in S ×
S × S for all a and b in S.

2.6 External binary operations
An external binary operation is a binary function from K × S to S. This differs from a binary operation in the strict
sense in that K need not be S; its elements come from outside.
An example of an external binary operation is scalar multiplication in linear algebra. Here K is a field and S is a
vector space over that field.
An external binary operation may alternatively be viewed as an action; K is acting on S.
Note that the dot product of two vectors is not a binary operation, external or otherwise, as it maps from S× S to K,
where K is a field and S is a vector space over K.

2.7 See also
• Binary operator
• Iterated binary operation
• Operator (programming)
• Ternary operation
• Unary operation

2.8 Notes
[1] Rotman 1973, pg. 1
[2] Hardy & Walker 2002, pg. 176, Definition 67
[3] Fraleigh 1976, pg. 10
[4] Hall 1959, pg. 1

2.9 References
• Fraleigh, John B. (1976), A First Course in Abstract Algebra (2nd ed.), Reading: Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0201-01984-1
• Hall, Jr., Marshall (1959), The Theory of Groups, New York: Macmillan
• Hardy, Darel W.; Walker, Carol L. (2003), Applied Algebra: Codes, Ciphers and Discrete Algorithms, Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-067464-8
• Rotman, Joseph J. (1973), The Theory of Groups: An Introduction (2nd ed.), Boston: Allyn and Bacon

2.10 External links
• Weisstein, Eric W., “Binary Operation”, MathWorld.

Chapter 3

Complete Boolean algebra
This article is about a type of mathematical structure. For complete sets of Boolean operators, see Functional completeness.
In mathematics, a complete Boolean algebra is a Boolean algebra in which every subset has a supremum (least
upper bound). Complete Boolean algebras are used to construct Boolean-valued models of set theory in the theory
of forcing. Every Boolean algebra A has an essentially unique completion, which is a complete Boolean algebra
containing A such that every element is the supremum of some subset of A. As a partially ordered set, this completion
of A is the Dedekind-MacNeille completion.
More generally, if κ is a cardinal then a Boolean algebra is called κ-complete if every subset of cardinality less than
κ has a supremum.

3.1 Examples
• Every finite Boolean algebra is complete.
• The algebra of subsets of a given set is a complete Boolean algebra.
• The regular open sets of any topological space form a complete Boolean algebra. This example is of particular
importance because every forcing poset can be considered as a topological space (a base for the topology
consisting of sets that are the set of all elements less than or equal to a given element). The corresponding
regular open algebra can be used to form Boolean-valued models which are then equivalent to generic extensions
by the given forcing poset.
• The algebra of all measurable subsets of a σ-finite measure space, modulo null sets, is a complete Boolean
algebra. When the measure space is the unit interval with the σ-algebra of Lebesgue measurable sets, the
Boolean algebra is called the random algebra.
• The algebra of all measurable subsets of a measure space is a ℵ1 -complete Boolean algebra, but is not usually
complete.
• The algebra of all subsets of an infinite set that are finite or have finite complement is a Boolean algebra but is
not complete.
• The Boolean algebra of all Baire sets modulo meager sets in a topological space with a countable base is
complete; when the topological space is the real numbers the algebra is sometimes called the Cantor algebra.
• Another example of a Boolean algebra that is not complete is the Boolean algebra P(ω) of all sets of natural
numbers, quotiented out by the ideal Fin of finite subsets. The resulting object, denoted P(ω)/Fin, consists of
all equivalence classes of sets of naturals, where the relevant equivalence relation is that two sets of naturals are
10

3.2. PROPERTIES OF COMPLETE BOOLEAN ALGEBRAS

11

equivalent if their symmetric difference is finite. The Boolean operations are defined analogously, for example,
if A and B are two equivalence classes in P(ω)/Fin, we define A ∧ B to be the equivalence class of a ∩ b , where
a and b are some (any) elements of A and B respectively.
Now let a0 , a1 ,... be pairwise disjoint infinite sets of naturals, and let A0 , A1 ,... be their corresponding
equivalence classes in P(ω)/Fin . Then given any upper bound X of A0 , A1 ,... in P(ω)/Fin, we can find
a lesser upper bound, by removing from a representative for X one element of each an. Therefore the
An have no supremum.
• A Boolean algebra is complete if and only if its Stone space of prime ideals is extremally disconnected.

3.2 Properties of complete Boolean algebras
• Sikorski’s extension theorem states that
if A is a subalgebra of a Boolean algebra B, then any homomorphism from A to a complete Boolean algebra C can be
extended to a morphism from B to C.
• Every subset of a complete Boolean algebra has a supremum, by definition; it follows that every subset also has
an infimum (greatest lower bound).
• For a complete boolean algebra both infinite distributive laws hold.
• For a complete boolean algebra infinite de-Morgan’s laws hold.

3.3 The completion of a Boolean algebra
The completion of a Boolean algebra can be defined in several equivalent ways:
• The completion of A is (up to isomorphism) the unique complete Boolean algebra B containing A such that A
is dense in B; this means that for every nonzero element of B there is a smaller non-zero element of A.
• The completion of A is (up to isomorphism) the unique complete Boolean algebra B containing A such that
every element of B is the supremum of some subset of A.
The completion of a Boolean algebra A can be constructed in several ways:
• The completion is the Boolean algebra of regular open sets in the Stone space of prime ideals of A. Each
element x of A corresponds to the open set of prime ideals not containing x (which open and closed, and
therefore regular).
• The completion is the Boolean algebra of regular cuts of A. Here a cut is a subset U of A+ (the non-zero
elements of A) such that if q is in U and p≤q then p is in U, and is called regular if whenever p is not in U there
is some r ≤ p such that U has no elements ≤r. Each element p of A corresponds to the cut of elements ≤p.
If A is a metric space and B its completion then any isometry from A to a complete metric space C can be extended to
a unique isometry from B to C. The analogous statement for complete Boolean algebras is not true: a homomorphism
from a Boolean algebra A to a complete Boolean algebra C cannot necessarily be extended to a (supremum preserving)
homomorphism of complete Boolean algebras from the completion B of A to C. (By Sikorski’s extension theorem it
can be extended to a homomorphism of Boolean algebras from B to C, but this will not in general be a homomorphism
of complete Boolean algebras; in other words, it need not preserve suprema.)

12

CHAPTER 3. COMPLETE BOOLEAN ALGEBRA

3.4 Free κ-complete Boolean algebras
Unless the Axiom of Choice is relaxed,[1] free complete boolean algebras generated by a set do not exist (unless the set
is finite). More precisely, for any cardinal κ, there is a complete Boolean algebra of cardinality 2κ greater than κ that
is generated as a complete Boolean algebra by a countable subset; for example the Boolean algebra of regular open
sets in the product space κω , where κ has the discrete topology. A countable generating set consists of all sets am,n
for m, n integers, consisting of the elements x∈κω such that x(m)<x(n). (This boolean algebra is called a collapsing
algebra, because forcing with it collapses the cardinal κ onto ω.)
In particular the forgetful functor from complete Boolean algebras to sets has no left adjoint, even though it is continuous and the category of Boolean algebras is small-complete. This shows that the “solution set condition” in Freyd’s
adjoint functor theorem is necessary.
Given a set X, one can form the free Boolean algebra A generated by this set and then take its completion B. However
B is not a “free” complete Boolean algebra generated by X (unless X is finite or AC is omitted), because a function
from X to a free Boolean algebra C cannot in general be extended to a (supremum-preserving) morphism of Boolean
algebras from B to C.
On the other hand, for any fixed cardinal κ, there is a free (or universal) κ-complete Boolean algebra generated by
any given set.

3.5 See also
• Complete lattice
• Complete Heyting algebra

3.6 References
[1] Stavi, Jonathan (1974), “A model of ZF with an infinite free complete Boolean algebra” (reprint), Israel Journal of Mathematics 20 (2): 149–163, doi:10.1007/BF02757883.

• Johnstone, Peter T. (1982), Stone spaces, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-33779-8
• Koppelberg, Sabine (1989), Monk, J. Donald; Bonnet, Robert, eds., Handbook of Boolean algebras 1, Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Co., pp. xx+312, ISBN 0-444-70261-X, MR 0991565
• Monk, J. Donald; Bonnet, Robert, eds. (1989), Handbook of Boolean algebras 2, Amsterdam: North-Holland
Publishing Co., ISBN 0-444-87152-7, MR 0991595
• Monk, J. Donald; Bonnet, Robert, eds. (1989), Handbook of Boolean algebras 3, Amsterdam: North-Holland
Publishing Co., ISBN 0-444-87153-5, MR 0991607
• Vladimirov, D.A. (2001), “Boolean algebra”, in Hazewinkel, Michiel, Encyclopedia of Mathematics, Springer,
ISBN 978-1-55608-010-4

Chapter 4

Complete Heyting algebra
In mathematics, especially in order theory, a complete Heyting algebra is a Heyting algebra that is complete as a
lattice. Complete Heyting algebras are the objects of three different categories; the category CHey, the category Loc
of locales, and its opposite, the category Frm of frames. Although these three categories contain the same objects,
they differ in their morphisms, and thus get distinct names. Only the morphisms of CHey are homomorphisms of
complete Heyting algebras.
Locales and frames form the foundation of pointless topology, which, instead of building on point-set topology,
recasts the ideas of general topology in categorical terms, as statements on frames and locales.

4.1 Definition
Consider a partially ordered set (P, ≤) that is a complete lattice. Then P is a complete Heyting algebra if any of the
following equivalent conditions hold:
• P is a Heyting algebra, i.e. the operation ( x ∧ − ) has a right adjoint (also called the lower adjoint of a
(monotone) Galois connection), for each element x of P.
• For all elements x of P and all subsets S of P, the following infinite distributivity law holds:
x∧


s∈S

s=

(x ∧ s).

s∈S

• P is a distributive lattice, i.e., for all x, y and z in P, we have
x ∧ (y ∨ z) = (x ∧ y) ∨ (x ∧ z)
and the meet operations ( x ∧ − ) are Scott continuous for all x in P (i.e., preserve the suprema of directed
sets) .

4.2 Examples
The system of all open sets of a given topological space ordered by inclusion is a complete Heyting algebra.

4.3 Frames and locales
The objects of the category CHey, the category Frm of frames and the category Loc of locales are the complete
lattices satisfying the infinite distributive law. These categories differ in what constitutes a morphism.
13

14

CHAPTER 4. COMPLETE HEYTING ALGEBRA

The morphisms of Frm are (necessarily monotone) functions that preserve finite meets and arbitrary joins. Such
functions are not homomorphisms of complete Heyting algebras. The definition of Heyting algebras crucially involves the existence of right adjoints to the binary meet operation, which together define an additional implication
operation ⇒. Thus, a homomorphism of complete Heyting algebras is a morphism of frames that in addition preserves
implication. The morphisms of Loc are opposite to those of Frm, and they are usually called maps (of locales).
The relation of locales and their maps to topological spaces and continuous functions may be seen as follows. Let

f: X →Y
be any map. The power sets P(X) and P(Y) are complete Boolean algebras, and the map

f −1 : P (Y ) → P (X)
is a homomorphism of complete Boolean algebras. Suppose the spaces X and Y are topological spaces, endowed with
the topology O(X) and O(Y) of open sets on X and Y. Note that O(X) and O(Y) are subframes of P(X) and P(Y). If
ƒ is a continuous function, then

f −1 : O(Y ) → O(X)
preserves finite meets and arbitrary joins of these subframes. This shows that O is a functor from the category Top
of topological spaces to the category Loc of locales, taking any continuous map

f: X →Y
to the map

O(f ) : O(X) → O(Y )
in Loc that is defined in Frm to be the inverse image frame homomorphism

f −1 : O(Y ) → O(X).
It is common, given a map of locales

f: A→B
in Loc, to write

f∗ : B → A
for the frame homomorphism that defines it in Frm. Hence, using this notation, O(ƒ) is defined by the equation O(ƒ)*
= ƒ−1 .
Conversely, any locale A has a topological space S(A) that best approximates the locale, called its spectrum. In
addition, any map of locales

f: A→B
determines a continuous map

4.4. LITERATURE

15

S(A) → S(B),
and this assignment is functorial: letting P(1) denote the locale that is obtained as the powerset of the terminal set 1
= { * }, the points of S(A) are the maps
p : P (1) → A
in Loc, i.e., the frame homomorphisms
p∗ : A → P (1).
For each a ∈ A we define the set Ua ⊆ S(A) that consists of the points p ∈ S(A) such that p*(a) = { * }. It is easy to
verify that this defines a frame homomorphism A → P(S(A)), whose image is therefore a topology on S(A). Then, if
f: A→B
to each point p ∈ S(A) we assign the point S(ƒ)(q) defined by letting S(ƒ)(p)* be the composition of p* with ƒ*, hence
obtaining a continuous map
S(f ) : S(A) → S(B).
This defines a functor S from Loc to Top, which is right adjoint to O.
Any locale that is isomorphic to the topology of its spectrum is called spatial, and any topological space that is
homeomorphic to the spectrum of its locale of open sets is called sober. The adjunction between topological spaces
and locales restricts to an equivalence of categories between sober spaces and spatial locales.
Any function that preserves all joins (and hence any frame homomorphism) has a right adjoint, and, conversely, any
function that preserves all meets has a left adjoint. Hence, the category Loc is isomorphic to the category whose
objects are the frames and whose morphisms are the meet preserving functions whose left adjoints preserve finite
meets. This is often regarded as a representation of Loc, but it should not be confused with Loc itself, whose
morphisms are formally the same as frame homomorphisms in the opposite direction.

4.4 Literature
• P. T. Johnstone, Stone Spaces, Cambridge Studies in Advanced Mathematics 3, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, 1982. (ISBN 0-521-23893-5)
Still a great resource on locales and complete Heyting algebras.
• G. Gierz, K. H. Hofmann, K. Keimel, J. D. Lawson, M. Mislove, and D. S. Scott, Continuous Lattices and
Domains, In Encyclopedia of Mathematics and its Applications, Vol. 93, Cambridge University Press, 2003.
ISBN 0-521-80338-1
Includes the characterization in terms of meet continuity.
• Francis Borceux: Handbook of Categorical Algebra III, volume 52 of Encyclopedia of Mathematics and its
Applications. Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Surprisingly extensive resource on locales and Heyting algebras. Takes a more categorical viewpoint.
• Steven Vickers, Topology via logic, Cambridge University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-521-36062-5.
• Pedicchio, Maria Cristina; Tholen, Walter, eds. (2004). Categorical foundations. Special topics in order, topology, algebra, and sheaf theory. Encyclopedia of Mathematics and Its Applications 97. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 0-521-83414-7. Zbl 1034.18001.

Chapter 5

Constant (mathematics)
In mathematics, the adjective constant means non-varying. The noun constant may have two different meanings. It
may refer to a fixed and well defined number or other mathematical object. The term mathematical constant (and also
physical constant) is sometimes used to distinguish this meaning from the other one. A constant may also refer to a
constant function or its value (it is a common usage to identify them). Such a constant is commonly represented by
a variable which does not depend on the main variable(s) of the studied problem. This is the case, for example, for
a constant of integration which is an arbitrary constant function (not depending on the variable of integration) added
to a particular antiderivative to get all the antiderivatives of the given function.
For example, a general quadratic function is commonly written as:
ax2 + bx + c ,
where a, b and c are constants (or parameters), while x is the variable, a placeholder for the argument of the function
being studied. A more explicit way to denote this function is
x 7→ ax2 + bx + c ,
which makes the function-argument status of x clear, and thereby implicitly the constant status of a, b and c. In this
example a, b and c are coefficients of the polynomial. Since c occurs in a term that does not involve x, it is called the
constant term of the polynomial and can be thought of as the coefficient of x0 ; any polynomial term or expression of
degree zero is a constant.[1]:18

5.1 Constant function
Main articles: Constant function and Nullary
A constant may be used to define a constant function that ignores its arguments and always gives the same value. A
constant function of a single variable, such as f (x) = 5 , has a graph that is a horizontal straight line, parallel to
the x-axis. Such a function always takes the same value (in this case, 5) because its argument does not appear in the
expression defining the function.

5.2 Context-dependence
The context-dependent nature of the concept of “constant” can be seen in this example from elementary calculus:
d x
dx 2

= limh→0 2 h−2
h
= 2x limh→0 2 h−1
x
= 2 · constant,
x+h

x

= limh→0 2x 2 h−1
sincex on depend not does (i.e. constant is h)
where constant on depending not means x.
h

16

5.3. NOTABLE MATHEMATICAL CONSTANTS

17

“Constant” means not depending on some variable; not changing as that variable changes. In the first case above, it
means not depending on h; in the second, it means not depending on x.

5.3 Notable mathematical constants
Main article: Mathematical constant
Some values occur frequently in mathematics and are conventionally denoted by a specific symbol. These standard
symbols and their values are called mathematical constants. Examples include:
• 0 (zero).
• 1 (one), the natural number after zero.
• π (pi), the constant representing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, approximately equal to
3.141592653589793238462643...[2]
• e, approximately equal to 2.718281828459045235360287...

• i, the imaginary unit such that i2 = −1.


2 (square root of 2), the length of the diagonal of a square with unit sides, approximately equal to 1.414213562373095048801688
• φ (golden ratio), approximately equal to 1.618033988749894848204586, or algebraically,


1+ 5
2

.

5.4 Constants in calculus
In calculus, constants are treated in several different ways depending on the operation. For example, the derivative
of a constant function is zero. This is because the derivative measures the rate of change of a function with respect
to a variable, and since constants, by definition, do not change, their derivative is therefore zero. Conversely, when
integrating a constant function, the constant is multiplied by the variable of integration. During the evaluation of a
limit, the constant remains the same as it was before and after evaluation.
Integration of a function of one variable often involves a constant of integration. This arises because of the integral
operator’s nature as the inverse of the differential operator, meaning the aim of integration is to recover the original
function before differentiation. The differential of a constant function is zero, as noted above, and the differential
operator is a linear operator, so functions that only differ by a constant term have the same derivative. To acknowledge
this, a constant of integration is added to an indefinite integral; this ensures that all possible solutions are included.
The constant of integration is generally written as 'c' and represents a constant with a fixed but undefined value.

5.4.1

Examples

f (x) = 72 ⇒ f∫ ′ (x) = 0
f (x) = 72 ⇒ 72 dx = 72x + c
f (x) = 72 ⇒ limx→∞ 72 = 72

5.5 See also
• Expression
• Physical constant
• Constant (disambiguation)

18

CHAPTER 5. CONSTANT (MATHEMATICS)

5.6 References
[1] Foerster, Paul A. (2006). Algebra and Trigonometry: Functions and Applications, Teacher’s Edition (Classics ed.). Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-165711-9.
[2] Arndt, Jörg; Haenel, Christoph (2001). Pi - Unleashed. Springer. p. 240. ISBN 978-3540665724.

Chapter 6

Countable set
“Countable” redirects here. For the linguistic concept, see Count noun.
Not to be confused with (recursively) enumerable sets.
In mathematics, a countable set is a set with the same cardinality (number of elements) as some subset of the set
of natural numbers. A countable set is either a finite set or a countably infinite set. Whether finite or infinite, the
elements of a countable set can always be counted one at a time and, although the counting may never finish, every
element of the set is associated with a natural number.
Some authors use countable set to mean infinitely countable alone.[1] To avoid this ambiguity, the term at most
countable may be used when finite sets are included and countably infinite, enumerable, or denumerable[2] otherwise.
The term countable set was originated by Georg Cantor who contrasted sets which are countable with those which are
uncountable (a.k.a. nonenumerable and nondenumerable[3] ). Today, countable sets are researched by a branch of
mathematics called discrete mathematics.

6.1 Definition
A set S is called countable if there exists an injective function f from S to the natural numbers N = {0, 1, 2, 3, ...}.[4]
If such an f can be found which is also surjective (and therefore bijective), then S is called countably infinite.
In other words, a set is called “countably infinite” if it has one-to-one correspondence with the natural number set, N.
As noted above, this terminology is not universal: Some authors use countable to mean what is here called “countably
infinite,” and to not include finite sets.
For alternative (equivalent) formulations of the definition in terms of a bijective function or a surjective function, see
the section Formal definition and properties below.

6.2 History
In the western world, different infinities were first classified by Georg Cantor around 1874.[5]

6.3 Introduction
A set is a collection of elements, and may be described in many ways. One way is simply to list all of its elements;
for example, the set consisting of the integers 3, 4, and 5 may be denoted {3, 4, 5}. This is only effective for small
sets, however; for larger sets, this would be time-consuming and error-prone. Instead of listing every single element,
sometimes an ellipsis ("...”) is used, if the writer believes that the reader can easily guess what is missing; for example,
19

20

CHAPTER 6. COUNTABLE SET

{1, 2, 3, ..., 100} presumably denotes the set of integers from 1 to 100. Even in this case, however, it is still possible
to list all the elements, because the set is finite.
Some sets are infinite; these sets have more than n elements for any integer n. For example, the set of natural numbers,
denotable by {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...}, has infinitely many elements, and we cannot use any normal number to give its
size. Nonetheless, it turns out that infinite sets do have a well-defined notion of size (or more properly, of cardinality,
which is the technical term for the number of elements in a set), and not all infinite sets have the same cardinality.

X

1
2
3
.
x
.

Y

2
4
6
.
2x
.

Bijective mapping from integer to even numbers

To understand what this means, we first examine what it does not mean. For example, there are infinitely many odd
integers, infinitely many even integers, and (hence) infinitely many integers overall. However, it turns out that the
number of even integers, which is the same as the number of odd integers, is also the same as the number of integers
overall. This is because we arrange things such that for every integer, there is a distinct even integer: ... −2→−4,
−1→−2, 0→0, 1→2, 2→4, ...; or, more generally, n→2n, see picture. What we have done here is arranged the integers
and the even integers into a one-to-one correspondence (or bijection), which is a function that maps between two sets
such that each element of each set corresponds to a single element in the other set.
However, not all infinite sets have the same cardinality. For example, Georg Cantor (who introduced this concept)
demonstrated that the real numbers cannot be put into one-to-one correspondence with the natural numbers (nonnegative integers), and therefore that the set of real numbers has a greater cardinality than the set of natural numbers.
A set is countable if: (1) it is finite, or (2) it has the same cardinality (size) as the set of natural numbers. Equivalently, a
set is countable if it has the same cardinality as some subset of the set of natural numbers. Otherwise, it is uncountable.

6.4 Formal definition and properties
By definition a set S is countable if there exists an injective function f : S → N from S to the natural numbers N =
{0, 1, 2, 3, ...}.

6.4. FORMAL DEFINITION AND PROPERTIES

21

It might seem natural to divide the sets into different classes: put all the sets containing one element together; all the
sets containing two elements together; ...; finally, put together all infinite sets and consider them as having the same
size. This view is not tenable, however, under the natural definition of size.
To elaborate this we need the concept of a bijection. Although a “bijection” seems a more advanced concept than a
number, the usual development of mathematics in terms of set theory defines functions before numbers, as they are
based on much simpler sets. This is where the concept of a bijection comes in: define the correspondence
a ↔ 1, b ↔ 2, c ↔ 3
Since every element of {a, b, c} is paired with precisely one element of {1, 2, 3}, and vice versa, this defines a
bijection.
We now generalize this situation and define two sets to be of the same size if (and only if) there is a bijection between
them. For all finite sets this gives us the usual definition of “the same size”. What does it tell us about the size of
infinite sets?
Consider the sets A = {1, 2, 3, ... }, the set of positive integers and B = {2, 4, 6, ... }, the set of even positive integers.
We claim that, under our definition, these sets have the same size, and that therefore B is countably infinite. Recall
that to prove this we need to exhibit a bijection between them. But this is easy, using n ↔ 2n, so that
1 ↔ 2, 2 ↔ 4, 3 ↔ 6, 4 ↔ 8, ....
As in the earlier example, every element of A has been paired off with precisely one element of B, and vice versa.
Hence they have the same size. This gives an example of a set which is of the same size as one of its proper subsets,
a situation which is impossible for finite sets.
Likewise, the set of all ordered pairs of natural numbers is countably infinite, as can be seen by following a path like
the one in the picture:
The resulting mapping is like this:
0 ↔ (0,0), 1 ↔ (1,0), 2 ↔ (0,1), 3 ↔ (2,0), 4 ↔ (1,1), 5 ↔ (0,2), 6 ↔ (3,0) ....
It is evident that this mapping will cover all such ordered pairs.
Interestingly: if you treat each pair as being the numerator and denominator of a vulgar fraction, then for every
positive fraction, we can come up with a distinct number corresponding to it. This representation includes also the
natural numbers, since every natural number is also a fraction N/1. So we can conclude that there are exactly as many
positive rational numbers as there are positive integers. This is true also for all rational numbers, as can be seen below
(a more complex presentation is needed to deal with negative numbers).
Theorem: The Cartesian product of finitely many countable sets is countable.
This form of triangular mapping recursively generalizes to vectors of finitely many natural numbers by repeatedly
mapping the first two elements to a natural number. For example, (0,2,3) maps to (5,3) which maps to 39.
Sometimes more than one mapping is useful. This is where you map the set which you want to show countably infinite,
onto another set; and then map this other set to the natural numbers. For example, the positive rational numbers can
easily be mapped to (a subset of) the pairs of natural numbers because p/q maps to (p, q).
What about infinite subsets of countably infinite sets? Do these have fewer elements than N?
Theorem: Every subset of a countable set is countable. In particular, every infinite subset of a countably infinite set
is countably infinite.
For example, the set of prime numbers is countable, by mapping the n-th prime number to n:
• 2 maps to 1
• 3 maps to 2
• 5 maps to 3
• 7 maps to 4

22

CHAPTER 6. COUNTABLE SET

9

13

18

24

5

8

12

17

2

4

7

11

0

1

3

6

3

2

1

0

0

1

2

3

The Cantor pairing function assigns one natural number to each pair of natural numbers

• 11 maps to 5
• 13 maps to 6
• 17 maps to 7
• 19 maps to 8
• 23 maps to 9
• ...
What about sets being “larger than” N? An obvious place to look would be Q, the set of all rational numbers, which
intuitively may seem much bigger than N. But looks can be deceiving, for we assert:
Theorem: Q (the set of all rational numbers) is countable.
Q can be defined as the set of all fractions a/b where a and b are integers and b > 0. This can be mapped onto the
subset of ordered triples of natural numbers (a, b, c) such that a ≥ 0, b > 0, a and b are coprime, and c ∈ {0, 1} such
that c = 0 if a/b ≥ 0 and c = 1 otherwise.
• 0 maps to (0,1,0)

6.4. FORMAL DEFINITION AND PROPERTIES
• 1 maps to (1,1,0)
• −1 maps to (1,1,1)
• 1/2 maps to (1,2,0)
• −1/2 maps to (1,2,1)
• 2 maps to (2,1,0)
• −2 maps to (2,1,1)
• 1/3 maps to (1,3,0)
• −1/3 maps to (1,3,1)
• 3 maps to (3,1,0)
• −3 maps to (3,1,1)
• 1/4 maps to (1,4,0)
• −1/4 maps to (1,4,1)
• 2/3 maps to (2,3,0)
• −2/3 maps to (2,3,1)
• 3/2 maps to (3,2,0)
• −3/2 maps to (3,2,1)
• 4 maps to (4,1,0)
• −4 maps to (4,1,1)
• ...
By a similar development, the set of algebraic numbers is countable, and so is the set of definable numbers.
Theorem: (Assuming the axiom of countable choice) The union of countably many countable sets is countable.
For example, given countable sets a, b, c ...
Using a variant of the triangular enumeration we saw above:
• a0 maps to 0
• a1 maps to 1
• b0 maps to 2
• a2 maps to 3
• b1 maps to 4
• c0 maps to 5
• a3 maps to 6
• b2 maps to 7
• c1 maps to 8
• d0 maps to 9
• a4 maps to 10
• ...

23

24

CHAPTER 6. COUNTABLE SET

Note that this only works if the sets a, b, c,... are disjoint. If not, then the union is even smaller and is therefore also
countable by a previous theorem.
Also note that the axiom of countable choice is needed in order to index all of the sets a, b, c,...
Theorem: The set of all finite-length sequences of natural numbers is countable.
This set is the union of the length-1 sequences, the length-2 sequences, the length-3 sequences, each of which is
a countable set (finite Cartesian product). So we are talking about a countable union of countable sets, which is
countable by the previous theorem.
Theorem: The set of all finite subsets of the natural numbers is countable.
If you have a finite subset, you can order the elements into a finite sequence. There are only countably many finite
sequences, so also there are only countably many finite subsets.
The following theorem gives equivalent formulations in terms of a bijective function or a surjective function. A proof
of this result can be found in Lang’s text.[2]
Theorem: Let S be a set. The following statements are equivalent:
1. S is countable, i.e. there exists an injective function f : S → N.
2. Either S is empty or there exists a surjective function g : N → S.
3. Either S is finite or there exists a bijection h : N → S.
Several standard properties follow easily from this theorem. We present them here tersely. For a gentler presentation
see the sections above. Observe that N in the theorem can be replaced with any countably infinite set. In particular
we have the following Corollary.
Corollary: Let S and T be sets.
1. If the function f : S → T is injective and T is countable then S is countable.
2. If the function g : S → T is surjective and S is countable then T is countable.
Proof: For (1) observe that if T is countable there is an injective function h : T → N. Then if f : S → T is injective
the composition h o f : S → N is injective, so S is countable.
For (2) observe that if S is countable there is a surjective function h : N → S. Then if g : S → T is surjective the
composition g o h : N → T is surjective, so T is countable.
Proposition: Any subset of a countable set is countable.
Proof: The restriction of an injective function to a subset of its domain is still injective.
Proposition: The Cartesian product of two countable sets A and B is countable.
Proof: Note that N × N is countable as a consequence of the definition because the function f : N × N → N given
by f(m, n) = 2m 3n is injective. It then follows from the Basic Theorem and the Corollary that the Cartesian product
of any two countable sets is countable. This follows because if A and B are countable there are surjections f : N →
A and g : N → B. So
f×g: N×N→A×B
is a surjection from the countable set N × N to the set A × B and the Corollary implies A × B is countable. This result
generalizes to the Cartesian product of any finite collection of countable sets and the proof follows by induction on
the number of sets in the collection.
Proposition: The integers Z are countable and the rational numbers Q are countable.
Proof: The integers Z are countable because the function f : Z → N given by f(n) = 2n if n is non-negative and f(n)
= 3|n| if n is negative is an injective function. The rational numbers Q are countable because the function g : Z × N
→ Q given by g(m, n) = m/(n + 1) is a surjection from the countable set Z × N to the rationals Q.
Proposition: If An is a countable set for each n in N then the union of all An is also countable.

6.5. MINIMAL MODEL OF SET THEORY IS COUNTABLE

25

Proof: This is a consequence of the fact that for each n there is a surjective function gn : N → An and hence the
function

G:N×N→

An

n∈N

given by G(n, m) = gn(m) is a surjection. Since N × N is countable, the Corollary implies that the union is countable.
We are using the axiom of countable choice in this proof in order to pick for each n in N a surjection gn from the
non-empty collection of surjections from N to An.
Cantor’s Theorem asserts that if A is a set and P(A) is its power set, i.e. the set of all subsets of A, then there is no
surjective function from A to P(A). A proof is given in the article Cantor’s Theorem. As an immediate consequence
of this and the Basic Theorem above we have:
Proposition: The set P(N) is not countable; i.e. it is uncountable.
For an elaboration of this result see Cantor’s diagonal argument.
The set of real numbers is uncountable (see Cantor’s first uncountability proof), and so is the set of all infinite
sequences of natural numbers. A topological proof for the uncountability of the real numbers is described at finite
intersection property.

6.5 Minimal model of set theory is countable
If there is a set that is a standard model (see inner model) of ZFC set theory, then there is a minimal standard
model (see Constructible universe). The Löwenheim-Skolem theorem can be used to show that this minimal model
is countable. The fact that the notion of “uncountability” makes sense even in this model, and in particular that this
model M contains elements which are
• subsets of M, hence countable,
• but uncountable from the point of view of M,
was seen as paradoxical in the early days of set theory, see Skolem’s paradox.
The minimal standard model includes all the algebraic numbers and all effectively computable transcendental numbers, as well as many other kinds of numbers.

6.6 Total orders
Countable sets can be totally ordered in various ways, e.g.:
• Well orders (see also ordinal number):
• The usual order of natural numbers (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...)
• The integers in the order (0, 1, 2, 3, ...; −1, −2, −3, ...)
• Other (not well orders):
• The usual order of integers (..., −3, −2, −1, 0, 1, 2, 3, ...)
• The usual order of rational numbers (Cannot be explicitly written as a list!)
Note that in both examples of well orders here, any subset has a least element; and in both examples of non-well
orders, some subsets do not have a least element. This is the key definition that determines whether a total order is
also a well order.

26

CHAPTER 6. COUNTABLE SET

6.7 See also
• Aleph number
• Counting
• Hilbert’s paradox of the Grand Hotel
• Uncountable set

6.8 Notes
[1] For an example of this usage see (Rudin 1976, Chapter 2).
[2] See (Lang 1993, §2 of Chapter I).
[3] See (Apostol 1969, Chapter 13.19).
[4] Since there is an obvious bijection between N and N* = {1, 2, 3, ...}, it makes no difference whether one considers 0 to
be a natural number or not. In any case, this article follows ISO 31-11 and the standard convention in mathematical logic,
which make 0 a natural number.
[5] Stillwell, John C. (2010), Roads to Infinity: The Mathematics of Truth and Proof, CRC Press, p. 10, ISBN 9781439865507,
Cantor’s discovery of uncountable sets in 1874 was one of the most unexpected events in the history of mathematics. Before
1874, infinity was not even considered a legitimate mathematical subject by most people, so the need to distinguish between
countable and uncountable infinities could not have been imagined.

6.9 References
• Lang, Serge (1993), Real and Functional Analysis, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 0-387-94001-4
• Rudin, Walter (1976), Principles of Mathematical Analysis, New York: McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-054235-X
• Apostol, Tom M. (June 1969), Multi-Variable Calculus and Linear Algebra with Applications, Calculus 2 (2nd
ed.), New York: John Wiley + Sons, ISBN 978-0-471-00007-5

6.10 External links
• Weisstein, Eric W., “Countable Set”, MathWorld.

Chapter 7

Enumeration
For enumeration types in programming languages, see enumerated type.
An enumeration is a complete, ordered listing of all the items in a collection. The term is commonly used in
mathematics and theoretical computer science (as well as applied computer science) to refer to a listing of all of the
elements of a set. In statistics the term categorical variable is used rather than enumeration. The precise requirements
for an enumeration (for example, whether the set must be finite, or whether the list is allowed to contain repetitions)
depend on the branch of mathematics and the context one is working in.
Some sets can be enumerated by means of a natural ordering (such as 1, 2, 3, 4, ... for the set of positive integers),
but in other cases it may be necessary to impose a (perhaps arbitrary) ordering. In some contexts, such as enumerative
combinatorics, the term enumeration is used more in the sense of counting – with emphasis on determination of the
number of elements that a set contains, rather than the production of an explicit listing of those elements.

7.1 Enumeration in combinatorics
Main article: Enumerative combinatorics
In combinatorics, enumeration means counting, i.e., determining the exact number of elements of finite sets, usually
grouped into infinite families, such as the family of sets each consisting of all permutations of some finite set. There
are flourishing subareas in many branches of mathematics concerned with enumerating in this sense objects of special
kinds. For instance, in partition enumeration and graph enumeration the objective is to count partitions or graphs that
meet certain conditions.

7.2 Enumeration in set theory
In set theory, the notion of enumeration has a broader sense, and does not require the set being enumerated to be
finite.

7.2.1

Enumeration as listing

When an enumeration is used in an ordered list context, we impose some sort of ordering structure requirement on
the index set. While we can make the requirements on the ordering quite lax in order to allow for great generality,
the most natural and common prerequisite is that the index set be well-ordered. According to this characterization,
an ordered enumeration is defined to be a surjection (a many-to-one relationship) with a well-ordered domain. This
definition is natural in the sense that a given well-ordering on the index set provides a unique way to list the next
element given a partial enumeration.
27

28

CHAPTER 7. ENUMERATION

7.2.2

Enumeration in countable vs. uncountable context

The most common use of enumeration in set theory occurs in the context where infinite sets are separated into those
that are countable and those that are not. In this case, an enumeration is merely an enumeration with domain ω, the
ordinal of the natural numbers. This definition can also be stated as follows:
• As a surjective mapping from N (the natural numbers) to S (i.e., every element of S is the image of at least one
natural number). This definition is especially suitable to questions of computability and elementary set theory.
We may also define it differently when working with finite sets. In this case an enumeration may be defined as follows:
• As a bijective mapping from S to an initial segment of the natural numbers. This definition is especially
suitable to combinatorial questions and finite sets; then the initial segment is {1,2,...,n} for some n which is the
cardinality of S.
In the first definition it varies whether the mapping is also required to be injective (i.e., every element of S is the
image of exactly one natural number), and/or allowed to be partial (i.e., the mapping is defined only for some natural
numbers). In some applications (especially those concerned with computability of the set S), these differences are of
little importance, because one is concerned only with the mere existence of some enumeration, and an enumeration
according to a liberal definition will generally imply that enumerations satisfying stricter requirements also exist.
Enumeration of finite sets obviously requires that either non-injectivity or partiality is accepted, and in contexts where
finite sets may appear one or both of these are inevitably present.
Examples
• The natural numbers are enumerable by the function f(x) = x. In this case f : N → N is simply the identity
function.
• Z , the set of integers is enumerable by
{
f (x) :=

−(x + 1)/2, if x is odd
x/2,
if x is even.

f : N → Z is a bijection since every natural number corresponds to exactly one integer. The following table gives
the first few values of this enumeration:
• All (non empty) finite sets are enumerable. Let S be a finite set with n > 0 elements and let K = {1,2,...,n}.
Select any element s in S and assign ƒ(n) = s. Now set S' = S − {s} (where − denotes set difference). Select any
element s’ ∈ S' and assign ƒ(n − 1) = s’ . Continue this process until all elements of the set have been assigned
a natural number. Then f : {1, 2, . . . , n} → S is an enumeration of S.
• The real numbers have no countable enumeration as proved by Cantor’s diagonal argument and Cantor’s first
uncountability proof.
Properties
• There exists an enumeration for a set (in this sense) if and only if the set is countable.
• If a set is enumerable it will have an uncountable infinity of different enumerations, except in the degenerate
cases of the empty set or (depending on the precise definition) sets with one element. However, if one requires
enumerations to be injective and allows only a limited form of partiality such that if ƒ(n) is defined then ƒ(m)
must be defined for all m < n, then a finite set of N elements has exactly N! enumerations.
• An enumeration e of a set S with domain N induces a well-order ≤ on that set defined by s ≤ t if and only if min
e−1 (s) ≤ min e−1 (t). Although the order may have little to do with the underlying set, it is useful when some
order of the set is necessary.

7.3. ENUMERATION IN COMPUTABILITY THEORY

7.2.3

29

Ordinal enumeration

In set theory, there is a more general notion of an enumeration than the characterization requiring the domain of
the listing function to be an initial segment of the Natural numbers where the domain of the enumerating function
can assume any ordinal. Under this definition, an enumeration of a set S is any surjection from an ordinal α onto S.
The more restrictive version of enumeration mentioned before is the special case where α is a finite ordinal or the
first limit ordinal ω. This more generalized version extends the aforementioned definition to encompass transfinite
listings.
Under this definition, the first uncountable ordinal ω1 can be enumerated by the identity function on ω1 so that these
two notions do not coincide. More generally, it is a theorem of ZF that any well-ordered set can be enumerated under
this characterization so that it coincides up to relabeling with the generalized listing enumeration. If one also assumes
the Axiom of Choice, then all sets can be enumerated so that it coincides up to relabeling with the most general form
of enumerations.
Since set theorists work with infinite sets of arbitrarily large cardinalities, the default definition among this group of
mathematicians of an enumeration of a set tends to be any arbitrary α-sequence exactly listing all of its elements.
Indeed, in Jech’s book, which is a common reference for set theorists, an enumeration is defined to be exactly this.
Therefore, in order to avoid ambiguity, one may use the term finitely enumerable or denumerable to denote one of
the corresponding types of distinguished countable enumerations.

7.2.4

Enumeration as comparison of cardinalities

Formally, the most inclusive definition of an enumeration of a set S is any surjection from an arbitrary index set I
onto S. In this broad context, every set S can be trivially enumerated by the identity function from S onto itself. If
one does not assume the axiom of choice or one of its variants, S need not have any well-ordering. Even if one does
assume the axiom of choice, S need not have any natural well-ordering.
This general definition therefore lends itself to a counting notion where we are interested in “how many” rather
than “in what order.” In practice, this broad meaning of enumeration is often used to compare the relative sizes or
cardinalities of different sets. If one works in Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory without the axiom of choice, one may
want to impose the additional restriction that an enumeration must also be injective (without repetition) since in this
theory, the existence of a surjection from I onto S need not imply the existence of an injection from S into I.

7.3 Enumeration in computability theory
In computability theory one often considers countable enumerations with the added requirement that the mapping
from N to the enumerated set must be computable. The set being enumerated is then called recursively enumerable (or
computably enumerable in more contemporary language), referring to the use of recursion theory in formalizations
of what it means for the map to be computable.
In this sense, a subset of the natural numbers is computably enumerable if it is the range of a computable function.
In this context, enumerable may be used to mean computably enumerable. However, these definitions characterize
distinct classes since there are uncountably many subsets of the natural numbers that can be enumerated by an arbitrary function with domain ω and only countably many computable functions. A specific example of a set with an
enumeration but not a computable enumeration is the complement of the halting set.
Furthermore, this characterization illustrates a place where the ordering of the listing is important. There exists a
computable enumeration of the halting set, but not one that lists the elements in an increasing ordering. If there were
one, then the halting set would be decidable, which is provably false. In general, being recursively enumerable is a
weaker condition than being a decidable set.

7.4 See also
• Ordinal number
• Enumerative definition
• Sequence

30

CHAPTER 7. ENUMERATION

7.5 References
• Jech, Thomas (2002). Set theory, third millennium edition (revised and expanded). Springer. ISBN 3-54044085-2.

7.6 External links
• The dictionary definition of enumeration at Wiktionary

Chapter 8

Finitary
In mathematics or logic, a finitary operation is an operation that takes a finite number of input values to produce an
output, like those of arithmetic. Operations on infinite numbers of input values are called infinitary.

8.1 Finitary argument
A finitary argument is one which can be translated into a finite set of symbolic propositions starting from a finite[1]
set of axioms. In other words, it is a proof (including all assumptions) that can be written on a large enough sheet of
paper.
By contrast, infinitary logic studies logics that allow infinitely long statements and proofs. In such a logic, one can
regard the existential quantifier, for instance, as derived from an infinitary disjunction.

8.2 History
The emphasis on finitary methods has historical roots.
In the early 20th century, logicians aimed to solve the problem of foundations; that is, answer the question: “What
is the true base of mathematics?" The program was to be able to rewrite all mathematics starting using an entirely
syntactical language without semantics. In the words of David Hilbert (referring to geometry), “it does not matter if
we call the things chairs, tables and beer mugs or points, lines and planes.”
The stress on finiteness came from the idea that human mathematical thought is based on a finite number of principles
and all the reasonings follow essentially one rule: the modus ponens. The project was to fix a finite number of symbols
(essentially the numerals 1, 2, 3, ... the letters of alphabet and some special symbols like "+", "->", "(", ")", etc.), give
a finite number of propositions expressed in those symbols, which were to be taken as “foundations” (the axioms), and
some rules of inference which would model the way humans make conclusions. From these, regardless of the semantic
interpretation of the symbols the remaining theorems should follow formally using only the stated rules (which make
mathematics look like a game with symbols more than a science) without the need to rely on ingenuity. The hope was
to prove that from these axioms and rules all the theorems of mathematics could be deduced. That aim is known as
logicism.
Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorem is sometimes alleged to undermine logicism because it shows that no particular
axiomatization of mathematics can decide all statements, although such theorem itself is based in logic.

8.3 See also
• Garbage in, garbage out
31

32

CHAPTER 8. FINITARY

8.4 Notes
[1] The number of axioms referenced in the argument will necessarily be finite since the proof is finite, but the number of
axioms from which these are chosen is infinite when the system has axiom schemes, as for example the axiom schemes of
propositional calculus.

8.5 External links
• Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Infinitary Logic

Chapter 9

Friendly-index set
In graph theory, a friendly-index set is a finite set of integers associated with a given undirected graph and generated
by a type of graph labeling called a friendly labeling.
A friendly labeling of an n-vertex undirected graph {{{1}}} is defined to be an assignment of the values 0 and 1 to the
vertices of G with the property that the number of vertices labeled 0 is as close as possible to the number of vertices
labeled 1: they should either be equal (for graphs with an even number of vertices) or differ by one (for graphs with
an odd number of vertices).
Given a friendly labeling of the vertices of G, one may also label the edges: a given edge uv is labeled with a 0 if
its endpoints u and v have equal labels, and it is labeled with a 1 if its endpoints have different labels. The friendly
index of the labeling is the absolute value of the difference between the number of edges labeled 0 and the number
of edges labeled 1.
The friendly index set of G, denoted FI(G), is the set of numbers that can arise as friendly indexes of friendly
labelings of G.[1]
The Dynamic Survey of Graph Labeling contains a list of papers that examines the friendly indices of various
graphs.[2]

9.1 References
[1] Kwong, Harris; Lee, Sin-Min; Ng, Ho (2008). “On friendly index sets of 2-regular graphs”. Discr. Math. 308 (23):
5522–5532. doi:10.1016/j.disc.2007.10.018. MR 2459372.
[2] Callan, Joseph A (2009). “A dynamic survey of graph labelling”. El. J. Combinat 16 (#DS6).

9.2 External links

33

Chapter 10

Index set
Not to be confused with Indexed set.
In mathematics, an index set is a set whose members label (or index) members of another set.[1][2] For instance, if
the elements of a set A may be indexed or labeled by means of a set J, then J is an index set. The indexing consists
of a surjective function from J onto A and the indexed collection is typically called an (indexed) family, often written
as (Aj)j∈J.

10.1 Examples
• An enumeration of a set S gives an index set J ⊂ N , where f : J → S is the particular enumeration of S.
• Any countably infinite set can be indexed by N .
• For r ∈ R , the indicator function on r is the function 1r : R → {0, 1} given by
{
0, if x ̸= r
1r (x) :=
1, if x = r.
The set of all the 1r functions is an uncountable set indexed by R .

10.2 Other uses
In computational complexity theory and cryptography, an index set is a set for which there exists an algorithm I that
can sample the set efficiently; i.e., on input 1n , I can efficiently select a poly(n)-bit long element from the set.[3]

10.3 See also
• Friendly-index set
• Indexed family

10.4 References
[1] Weisstein, Eric. “Index Set”. Wolfram MathWorld. Wolfram Research. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
[2] Munkres, James R. Topology. Vol. 2. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2000.
[3] Goldreich, Oded (2001). Foundations of Cryptography: Volume 1, Basic Tools. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-52179172-3.

34

Chapter 11

Indexed family
In mathematics, an indexed family is a collection of values associated with indices. For example, a family of real
numbers, indexed by the integers is a collection of real numbers, where each integer is associated with one of the real
numbers.
Formally, an indexed family is the same thing as a mathematical function; a function with domain J and codomain
X is equivalent to a family of elements of X indexed by elements of J. The difference is conceptual; indexed families
are interpreted as collections instead of as functions. Every element of the image of the family’s underlying function
is an element of the family.
When a function f : J → X is treated as a family, J is called the index set of the family, the function image f(j) for j
∈ J is denoted xj, and the mapping f is denoted {xj}j∈J or simply {xj}.
Next, if the set X is the power set of a set U, then the family {xj}j∈J is called a family of sets indexed by J .

11.1 Mathematical statement
Definition. Let I and X be sets. The function

x: I → X
i 7→ xi = x(i)
is called a family of elements in X indexed by I .
An indexed family can be turned into a set by considering the set X := {xi : i ∈ I} , that is, the range of x. However,
the mapping x does not need to be injective, that is, there may exist i, j ∈ I with i ̸= j but xi = xj . Thus, | X | <=
| {xi }i∈I | where |A| denotes the cardinality of the set.
Definition. Let I and S be sets. An indexed family of sets {Ci }i∈I with Ci ⊂ S is an indexed family that maps
elements of the index set I to elements of the power set of S.
Hence, an indexed family of sets is conceptually different from a family of sets (which is just a synonym for “set of
sets”), but in practice the distinction is sometimes fuzzy and the indexed family is identified with its range and treated
like an ordinary family.

11.2 Examples
11.2.1

Index notation

Whenever index notation is used the indexed objects form a family. For example, consider the following sentence.
• The vectors v1 , …, vn are linearly independent.
35

36

CHAPTER 11. INDEXED FAMILY

Here (vi)i ∈ {₁, …, n} denotes a family of vectors. The i-th vector vi only makes sense with respect to this family,
as sets are unordered and there is no i-th vector of a set. Furthermore, linear independence is only defined as the
property of a collection; it therefore is important if those vectors are linearly independent as a set or as a family.
If we consider n = 2 and v1 = v2 = (1, 0), the set of them consists of only one element and is linearly independent,
but the family contains the same element twice and is linearly dependent.

11.2.2

Matrices

Suppose a text states the following:
• A square matrix A is invertible, if and only if the rows of A are linearly independent.
As in the previous example it is important that the rows of A are linearly independent as a family, not as a set. For
Example, consider the matrix
[
1
A=
1

]
1
.
1

The set of rows only consists of a single element (1, 1) and is linearly independent, but the matrix is not invertible. The
family of rows contains two elements and is linearly dependent. The statement is therefore correct if it refers to the
family of rows, but wrong if it refers to the set of rows. (The statement is also correct when “the rows” is interpreted
as referring to a multiset, in which the elements are also kept distinct but which lacks some of the structure of an
indexed family.)

11.3 Functions, sets and families
Surjective functions and families are formally equivalent, as any function f with domain I induces a family (f(i))i∈I.
In practice, however, a family is viewed as a collection, not as a function: being an element of a family is equivalent
with being in the range of the corresponding function. A family contains any element exactly once, if and only if the
corresponding function is injective.
Like a set, a family is a container and any set X gives rise to a family (xx)x∈X. Thus any set naturally becomes a
family. For any family (Ai)i∈I there is the set of all elements {Ai | i∈I}, but this does not carry any information on
multiple containment or the structure given by I. Hence, by using a set instead of the family, some information might
be lost.

11.4 Examples
Let n be the finite set {1, 2, …, n}, where n is a positive integer.
• An ordered pair is a family indexed by the two element set 2 = {1, 2}.
• An n-tuple is a family indexed by n.
• An infinite sequence is a family indexed by the natural numbers.
• A list is an n-tuple for an unspecified n, or an infinite sequence.
• An n×m matrix is a family indexed by the cartesian product n×m.
• A net is a family indexed by a directed set.

11.5. OPERATIONS ON FAMILIES

37

11.5 Operations on families
Index sets are often used in sums and other similar operations. For example, if (ai)i∈I is a family of numbers, the
sum of all those numbers is denoted by

ai .

i∈I

When (Ai)i∈I is a family of sets, the union of all those sets is denoted by

Ai .

i∈I

Likewise for intersections and cartesian products.

11.6 Subfamily
A family (Bi)i∈J is a subfamily of a family (Ai)i∈I, if and only if J is a subset of I and for all i in J
Bi = Ai

11.7 Usage in category theory
Main article: Diagram (category theory)
The analogous concept in category theory is called a diagram. A diagram is a functor giving rise to an indexed family
of objects in a category C, indexed by another category J, and related by morphisms depending on two indices.

11.8 See also
• Coproduct
• Disjoint union
• Tagged union
• Index notation
• Array data type
• Net (mathematics)
• Diagram (category theory)
• Parametric family

11.9 References
• Mathematical Society of Japan, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mathematics, 2nd edition, 2 vols., Kiyosi Itô (ed.),
MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1993. Cited as EDM (volume).

Chapter 12

Indicator function

The graph of the indicator function of a two-dimensional subset of a square.

In mathematics, an indicator function or a characteristic function is a function defined on a set X that indicates
membership of an element in a subset A of X, having the value 1 for all elements of A and the value 0 for all elements
of X not in A. It is usually denoted by a bold or blackboard bold 1 symbol with a subscript describing the event of
inclusion.

12.1 Definition
The indicator function of a subset A of a set X is a function

1A : X → {0, 1}
defined as
38

12.2. REMARK ON NOTATION AND TERMINOLOGY

{
1A (x) :=

1
0

39

ifx ∈ A,
ifx ∈
/ A.

The Iverson bracket allows the equivalent notation, [x ∈ A] , to be used instead of 1A (x) .
The function 1A is sometimes denoted IA , χA or even just A . (The Greek letter χ appears because it is the initial
letter of the Greek word characteristic.)

12.2 Remark on notation and terminology
• The notation 1A is also used to denote the identity function of A.
• The notation χA is also used to denote the characteristic function in convex analysis.
A related concept in statistics is that of a dummy variable. (This must not be confused with “dummy variables” as
that term is usually used in mathematics, also called a bound variable.)
The term "characteristic function" has an unrelated meaning in probability theory. For this reason, probabilists use
the term indicator function for the function defined here almost exclusively, while mathematicians in other fields are
more likely to use the term characteristic function to describe the function that indicates membership in a set.

12.3 Basic properties
The indicator or characteristic function of a subset A of some set X, maps elements of X to the range {0,1}.
This mapping is surjective only when A is a non-empty proper subset of X. If A ≡ X, then 1A = 1. By a similar
argument, if A ≡ Ø then 1A = 0.
In the following, the dot represents multiplication, 1·1 = 1, 1·0 = 0 etc. "+" and "−" represent addition and subtraction.
" ∩ " and " ∪ " is intersection and union, respectively.
If A and B are two subsets of X , then

1A∩B = min{1A , 1B } = 1A · 1B ,
1A∪B = max{1A , 1B } = 1A + 1B − 1A · 1B ,
and the indicator function of the complement of A i.e. AC is:

1A∁ = 1 − 1A
More generally, suppose A1 , . . . , An is a collection of subsets of X. For any x ∈ X:

(1 − 1Ak (x))

k∈I

is clearly a product of 0s and 1s. This product has the value 1 at precisely those x ∈ X that belong to none of the sets
Ak and is 0 otherwise. That is

(1 − 1Ak ) = 1X−∪k Ak = 1 − 1∪k Ak .

k∈I

Expanding the product on the left hand side,

40

CHAPTER 12. INDICATOR FUNCTION

1∪k Ak = 1 −

(−1)|F | 1∩F Ak =

(−1)|F |+1 1∩F Ak

∅̸=F ⊆{1,2,...,n}

F ⊆{1,2,...,n}

where |F| is the cardinality of F. This is one form of the principle of inclusion-exclusion.
As suggested by the previous example, the indicator function is a useful notational device in combinatorics. The
notation is used in other places as well, for instance in probability theory: if X is a probability space with probability
measure P and A is a measurable set, then 1A becomes a random variable whose expected value is equal to the
probability of A :

E(1A ) =

1A (x) dP =
X

dP = P(A)
A

This identity is used in a simple proof of Markov’s inequality.
In many cases, such as order theory, the inverse of the indicator function may be defined. This is commonly called
the generalized Möbius function, as a generalization of the inverse of the indicator function in elementary number
theory, the Möbius function. (See paragraph below about the use of the inverse in classical recursion theory.)

12.4 Mean, variance and covariance
Given a probability space (Ω, F, P) with A ∈ F , the indicator random variable 1A : Ω → R is defined by 1A (ω) = 1
if ω ∈ A, otherwise 1A (ω) = 0.
Mean E(1A (ω)) = P(A)
Variance Var(1A (ω)) = P(A)(1 − P(A))
Covariance Cov(1A (ω), 1B (ω)) = P(A ∩ B) − P(A) P(B)

12.5 Characteristic function in recursion theory, Gödel’s and Kleene’s representing function
Kurt Gödel described the representing function in his 1934 paper “On Undecidable Propositions of Formal Mathematical Systems”. (The paper appears on pp. 41–74 in Martin Davis ed. The Undecidable):
“There shall correspond to each class or relation R a representing function φ(x1 , . . ., x ) = 0 if R(x1 , .
. ., x ) and φ(x1 , . . ., x ) = 1 if ~R(x1 , . . ., x ).” (p. 42; the "~" indicates logical inversion i.e. “NOT”)
Stephen Kleene (1952) (p. 227) offers up the same definition in the context of the primitive recursive functions as a
function φ of a predicate P takes on values 0 if the predicate is true and 1 if the predicate is false.
For example, because the product of characteristic functions φ1 *φ2 * . . . *φ = 0 whenever any one of the functions
equals 0, it plays the role of logical OR: IF φ1 = 0 OR φ2 = 0 OR . . . OR φ = 0 THEN their product is 0. What
appears to the modern reader as the representing function’s logical inversion, i.e. the representing function is 0 when
the function R is “true” or satisfied”, plays a useful role in Kleene’s definition of the logical functions OR, AND, and
IMPLY (p. 228), the bounded- (p. 228) and unbounded- (p. 279ff) mu operators (Kleene (1952)) and the CASE
function (p. 229).

12.6 Characteristic function in fuzzy set theory
In classical mathematics, characteristic functions of sets only take values 1 (members) or 0 (non-members). In fuzzy
set theory, characteristic functions are generalized to take value in the real unit interval [0, 1], or more generally, in

12.7. DERIVATIVES OF THE INDICATOR FUNCTION

41

some algebra or structure (usually required to be at least a poset or lattice). Such generalized characteristic functions
are more usually called membership functions, and the corresponding “sets” are called fuzzy sets. Fuzzy sets model
the gradual change in the membership degree seen in many real-world predicates like “tall”, “warm”, etc.

12.7 Derivatives of the indicator function
A particular indicator function, which is very well known, is the Heaviside step function. The Heaviside step function
is the indicator function of the one-dimensional positive half-line, i.e. the domain [0, ∞). It is well known that the
distributional derivative of the Heaviside step function, indicated by H(x), is equal to the Dirac delta function, i.e.

δ(x) =

dH(x)
dx ,

with the following property:

f (x) δ(x)dx = f (0).
−∞

The derivative of the Heaviside step function can be seen as the 'inward normal derivative' at the 'boundary' of the
domain given by the positive half-line. In higher dimensions, the derivative naturally generalises to the inward normal
derivative, while the Heaviside step function naturally generalises to the indicator function of some domain D. The
surface of D will be denoted by S. Proceeding, it can be derived that the inward normal derivative of the indicator
gives rise to a 'surface delta function', which can be indicated by δS(x):

δS (x) = −nx · ∇x 1x∈D
where n is the outward normal of the surface S. This 'surface delta function' has the following property:[1]

I
f (x) nx · ∇x 1x∈D dn x =

Rn

f (β) dn−1 β.
S

By setting the function f equal to one, it follows that the inward normal derivative of the indicator integrates to the
numerical value of the surface area S.

12.8 See also
• Dirac measure
• Laplacian of the indicator
• Dirac delta
• Extension (predicate logic)
• Free variables and bound variables
• Heaviside step function
• Iverson bracket
• Kronecker delta, a function that can be viewed as an indicator for the identity relation
• Macaulay brackets
• Multiset
• Membership function

42

CHAPTER 12. INDICATOR FUNCTION
• Simple function
• Dummy variable (statistics)
• Statistical classification
• Zero-one loss function

12.9 Notes
[1] Lange, Rutger-Jan (2012), “Potential theory, path integrals and the Laplacian of the indicator”, Journal of High Energy
Physics (Springer) 2012 (11): 29–30, arXiv:1302.0864, Bibcode:2012JHEP...11..032L, doi:10.1007/JHEP11(2012)032

12.10 References
• Folland, G.B. (1999). Real Analysis: Modern Techniques and Their Applications (Second ed.). John Wiley &
Sons, Inc.
• Cormen, Thomas H.; Leiserson, Charles E.; Rivest, Ronald L.; Stein, Clifford (2001). “Section 5.2: Indicator
random variables”. Introduction to Algorithms (Second Edition ed.). MIT Press and McGraw-Hill. pp. 94–99.
ISBN 0-262-03293-7.
• Davis, Martin, ed. (1965). The Undecidable. New York: Raven Press Books, Ltd.
• Kleene, Stephen (1971) [1952]. Introduction to Metamathematics (Sixth Reprint with corrections). Netherlands: Wolters-Noordhoff Publishing and North Holland Publishing Company.
• Boolos, George; Burgess, John P.; Jeffrey, Richard C. (2002). Computability and Logic. Cambridge UK:
Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-00758-5.
• Zadeh, Lotfi A. (June 1965). “Fuzzy sets” (PDF). Information and Control 8 (3): 338–353. doi:10.1016/S00199958(65)90241-X.
• Goguen, Joseph (1967). "L-fuzzy sets”. Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications 18 (1): 145–174.
doi:10.1016/0022-247X(67)90189-8.

Chapter 13

Mathematics
This article is about the study of topics such as quantity and structure. For other uses, see Mathematics (disambiguation).
“Math” redirects here. For other uses, see Math (disambiguation).

Euclid (holding calipers), Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, as imagined by Raphael in this detail from The School of Athens.[1]

Mathematics (from Greek μάθημα máthēma, “knowledge, study, learning”) is the study of topics such as quantity
(numbers),[2] structure,[3] space,[2] and change.[4][5][6] There is a range of views among mathematicians and philosophers as to the exact scope and definition of mathematics.[7][8]
Mathematicians seek out patterns[9][10] and use them to formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth
43

44

CHAPTER 13. MATHEMATICS

or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proof. When mathematical structures are good models of real phenomena,
then mathematical reasoning can provide insight or predictions about nature. Through the use of abstraction and
logic, mathematics developed from counting, calculation, measurement, and the systematic study of the shapes and
motions of physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity for as far back as written records exist.
The research required to solve mathematical problems can take years or even centuries of sustained inquiry.
Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics, most notably in Euclid's Elements. Since the pioneering
work of Giuseppe Peano (1858–1932), David Hilbert (1862–1943), and others on axiomatic systems in the late 19th
century, it has become customary to view mathematical research as establishing truth by rigorous deduction from
appropriately chosen axioms and definitions. Mathematics developed at a relatively slow pace until the Renaissance,
when mathematical innovations interacting with new scientific discoveries led to a rapid increase in the rate of mathematical discovery that has continued to the present day.[11]
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) said, “The universe cannot be read until we have learned the language and become
familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the letters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single
word. Without these, one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth.”[12] Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855) referred to
mathematics as “the Queen of the Sciences”.[13] Benjamin Peirce (1809–1880) called mathematics “the science that
draws necessary conclusions”.[14] David Hilbert said of mathematics: “We are not speaking here of arbitrariness in
any sense. Mathematics is not like a game whose tasks are determined by arbitrarily stipulated rules. Rather, it is a
conceptual system possessing internal necessity that can only be so and by no means otherwise.”[15] Albert Einstein
(1879–1955) stated that “as far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they
are certain, they do not refer to reality.”[16] French mathematician Claire Voisin states “There is creative drive in
mathematics, it’s all about movement trying to express itself.” [17]
Mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural science, engineering,
medicine, finance and the social sciences. Applied mathematics, the branch of mathematics concerned with application of mathematical knowledge to other fields, inspires and makes use of new mathematical discoveries, which has
led to the development of entirely new mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and game theory. Mathematicians
also engage in pure mathematics, or mathematics for its own sake, without having any application in mind. There is
no clear line separating pure and applied mathematics, and practical applications for what began as pure mathematics
are often discovered.[18]

13.1 History
13.1.1

Evolution

Main article: History of mathematics
The evolution of mathematics can be seen as an ever-increasing series of abstractions. The first abstraction, which
is shared by many animals,[19] was probably that of numbers: the realization that a collection of two apples and a
collection of two oranges (for example) have something in common, namely quantity of their members.
As evidenced by tallies found on bone, in addition to recognizing how to count physical objects, prehistoric peoples
may have also recognized how to count abstract quantities, like time – days, seasons, years.[20]
More complex mathematics did not appear until around 3000 BC, when the Babylonians and Egyptians began using
arithmetic, algebra and geometry for taxation and other financial calculations, for building and construction, and for
astronomy.[21] The earliest uses of mathematics were in trading, land measurement, painting and weaving patterns
and the recording of time.
In Babylonian mathematics elementary arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) first appears in
the archaeological record. Numeracy pre-dated writing and numeral systems have been many and diverse, with the
first known written numerals created by Egyptians in Middle Kingdom texts such as the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus.
Between 600 and 300 BC the Ancient Greeks began a systematic study of mathematics in its own right with Greek
mathematics.[22]
Mathematics has since been greatly extended, and there has been a fruitful interaction between mathematics and
science, to the benefit of both. Mathematical discoveries continue to be made today. According to Mikhail B.
Sevryuk, in the January 2006 issue of the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, “The number of papers and

13.1. HISTORY

45

Greek mathematician Pythagoras (c. 570 – c. 495 BC), commonly credited with discovering the Pythagorean theorem

books included in the Mathematical Reviews database since 1940 (the first year of operation of MR) is now more
than 1.9 million, and more than 75 thousand items are added to the database each year. The overwhelming majority
of works in this ocean contain new mathematical theorems and their proofs.”[23]

46

CHAPTER 13. MATHEMATICS

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11 12 13 14

15 16 17 18 19
Mayan numerals

13.1.2

Etymology

The word mathematics comes from the Greek μάθημα (máthēma), which, in the ancient Greek language, means “that
which is learnt”,[24] “what one gets to know”, hence also “study” and “science”, and in modern Greek just “lesson”. The
word máthēma is derived from μανθάνω (manthano), while the modern Greek equivalent is μαθαίνω (mathaino),
both of which mean “to learn”. In Greece, the word for “mathematics” came to have the narrower and more technical
meaning “mathematical study” even in Classical times.[25] Its adjective is μαθηματικός (mathēmatikós), meaning
“related to learning” or “studious”, which likewise further came to mean “mathematical”. In particular, μαθηματικὴ
τέχνη (mathēmatikḗ tékhnē), Latin: ars mathematica, meant “the mathematical art”.
In Latin, and in English until around 1700, the term mathematics more commonly meant “astrology” (or sometimes
“astronomy”) rather than “mathematics"; the meaning gradually changed to its present one from about 1500 to 1800.
This has resulted in several mistranslations: a particularly notorious one is Saint Augustine's warning that Christians should beware of mathematici meaning astrologers, which is sometimes mistranslated as a condemnation of

13.2. DEFINITIONS OF MATHEMATICS

47

mathematicians.[26]
The apparent plural form in English, like the French plural form les mathématiques (and the less commonly used
singular derivative la mathématique), goes back to the Latin neuter plural mathematica (Cicero), based on the Greek
plural τα μαθηματικά (ta mathēmatiká), used by Aristotle (384–322 BC), and meaning roughly “all things mathematical"; although it is plausible that English borrowed only the adjective mathematic(al) and formed the noun
mathematics anew, after the pattern of physics and metaphysics, which were inherited from the Greek.[27] In English,
the noun mathematics takes singular verb forms. It is often shortened to maths or, in English-speaking North America,
math.[28]

13.2 Definitions of mathematics
Main article: Definitions of mathematics
Aristotle defined mathematics as “the science of quantity”, and this definition prevailed until the 18th century.[29]
Starting in the 19th century, when the study of mathematics increased in rigor and began to address abstract topics
such as group theory and projective geometry, which have no clear-cut relation to quantity and measurement, mathematicians and philosophers began to propose a variety of new definitions.[30] Some of these definitions emphasize the
deductive character of much of mathematics, some emphasize its abstractness, some emphasize certain topics within
mathematics. Today, no consensus on the definition of mathematics prevails, even among professionals.[7] There
is not even consensus on whether mathematics is an art or a science.[8] A great many professional mathematicians
take no interest in a definition of mathematics, or consider it undefinable.[7] Some just say, “Mathematics is what
mathematicians do.”[7]
Three leading types of definition of mathematics are called logicist, intuitionist, and formalist, each reflecting a
different philosophical school of thought.[31] All have severe problems, none has widespread acceptance, and no
reconciliation seems possible.[31]
An early definition of mathematics in terms of logic was Benjamin Peirce's “the science that draws necessary conclusions” (1870).[32] In the Principia Mathematica, Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead advanced the philosophical program known as logicism, and attempted to prove that all mathematical concepts, statements, and principles can be defined and proven entirely in terms of symbolic logic. A logicist definition of mathematics is Russell’s
“All Mathematics is Symbolic Logic” (1903).[33]
Intuitionist definitions, developing from the philosophy of mathematician L.E.J. Brouwer, identify mathematics with
certain mental phenomena. An example of an intuitionist definition is “Mathematics is the mental activity which
consists in carrying out constructs one after the other.”[31] A peculiarity of intuitionism is that it rejects some mathematical ideas considered valid according to other definitions. In particular, while other philosophies of mathematics
allow objects that can be proven to exist even though they cannot be constructed, intuitionism allows only mathematical objects that one can actually construct.
Formalist definitions identify mathematics with its symbols and the rules for operating on them. Haskell Curry defined
mathematics simply as “the science of formal systems”.[34] A formal system is a set of symbols, or tokens, and some
rules telling how the tokens may be combined into formulas. In formal systems, the word axiom has a special meaning,
different from the ordinary meaning of “a self-evident truth”. In formal systems, an axiom is a combination of tokens
that is included in a given formal system without needing to be derived using the rules of the system.

13.2.1

Mathematics as science

Gauss referred to mathematics as “the Queen of the Sciences”.[13] In the original Latin Regina Scientiarum, as well
as in German Königin der Wissenschaften, the word corresponding to science means a “field of knowledge”, and
this was the original meaning of “science” in English, also; mathematics is in this sense a field of knowledge. The
specialization restricting the meaning of “science” to natural science follows the rise of Baconian science, which
contrasted “natural science” to scholasticism, the Aristotelean method of inquiring from first principles. The role
of empirical experimentation and observation is negligible in mathematics, compared to natural sciences such as
psychology, biology, or physics. Albert Einstein stated that “as far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they
are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”[16] More recently, Marcus du Sautoy has
called mathematics “the Queen of Science ... the main driving force behind scientific discovery”.[35]
Many philosophers believe that mathematics is not experimentally falsifiable, and thus not a science according to the

48

CHAPTER 13. MATHEMATICS

Leonardo Fibonacci, the Italian mathematician who established the Hindu–Arabic numeral system to the Western World

definition of Karl Popper.[36] However, in the 1930s Gödel’s incompleteness theorems convinced many mathematicians that mathematics cannot be reduced to logic alone, and Karl Popper concluded that “most mathematical theories
are, like those of physics and biology, hypothetico-deductive: pure mathematics therefore turns out to be much closer
to the natural sciences whose hypotheses are conjectures, than it seemed even recently.”[37] Other thinkers, notably
Imre Lakatos, have applied a version of falsificationism to mathematics itself.
An alternative view is that certain scientific fields (such as theoretical physics) are mathematics with axioms that are

13.2. DEFINITIONS OF MATHEMATICS

49

Carl Friedrich Gauss, known as the prince of mathematicians

intended to correspond to reality. The theoretical physicist J.M. Ziman proposed that science is public knowledge,
and thus includes mathematics.[38] Mathematics shares much in common with many fields in the physical sciences,
notably the exploration of the logical consequences of assumptions. Intuition and experimentation also play a role in
the formulation of conjectures in both mathematics and the (other) sciences. Experimental mathematics continues to
grow in importance within mathematics, and computation and simulation are playing an increasing role in both the
sciences and mathematics.
The opinions of mathematicians on this matter are varied. Many mathematicians feel that to call their area a science
is to downplay the importance of its aesthetic side, and its history in the traditional seven liberal arts; others feel that

50

CHAPTER 13. MATHEMATICS

to ignore its connection to the sciences is to turn a blind eye to the fact that the interface between mathematics and
its applications in science and engineering has driven much development in mathematics. One way this difference of
viewpoint plays out is in the philosophical debate as to whether mathematics is created (as in art) or discovered (as
in science). It is common to see universities divided into sections that include a division of Science and Mathematics,
indicating that the fields are seen as being allied but that they do not coincide. In practice, mathematicians are typically
grouped with scientists at the gross level but separated at finer levels. This is one of many issues considered in the
philosophy of mathematics.

13.3 Inspiration, pure and applied mathematics, and aesthetics
Main article: Mathematical beauty

Isaac Newton (left) and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (right), developers of infinitesimal calculus
Mathematics arises from many different kinds of problems. At first these were found in commerce, land measurement,
architecture and later astronomy; today, all sciences suggest problems studied by mathematicians, and many problems
arise within mathematics itself. For example, the physicist Richard Feynman invented the path integral formulation
of quantum mechanics using a combination of mathematical reasoning and physical insight, and today’s string theory,
a still-developing scientific theory which attempts to unify the four fundamental forces of nature, continues to inspire
new mathematics.[39]
Some mathematics is relevant only in the area that inspired it, and is applied to solve further problems in that area.
But often mathematics inspired by one area proves useful in many areas, and joins the general stock of mathematical
concepts. A distinction is often made between pure mathematics and applied mathematics. However pure mathematics topics often turn out to have applications, e.g. number theory in cryptography. This remarkable fact, that even the
“purest” mathematics often turns out to have practical applications, is what Eugene Wigner has called "the unreason-

13.4. NOTATION, LANGUAGE, AND RIGOR

51

able effectiveness of mathematics".[40] As in most areas of study, the explosion of knowledge in the scientific age has
led to specialization: there are now hundreds of specialized areas in mathematics and the latest Mathematics Subject
Classification runs to 46 pages.[41] Several areas of applied mathematics have merged with related traditions outside
of mathematics and become disciplines in their own right, including statistics, operations research, and computer
science.
For those who are mathematically inclined, there is often a definite aesthetic aspect to much of mathematics. Many
mathematicians talk about the elegance of mathematics, its intrinsic aesthetics and inner beauty. Simplicity and
generality are valued. There is beauty in a simple and elegant proof, such as Euclid's proof that there are infinitely
many prime numbers, and in an elegant numerical method that speeds calculation, such as the fast Fourier transform.
G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician’s Apology expressed the belief that these aesthetic considerations are, in themselves,
sufficient to justify the study of pure mathematics. He identified criteria such as significance, unexpectedness, inevitability, and economy as factors that contribute to a mathematical aesthetic.[42] Mathematicians often strive to find
proofs that are particularly elegant, proofs from “The Book” of God according to Paul Erdős.[43][44] The popularity
of recreational mathematics is another sign of the pleasure many find in solving mathematical questions.

13.4 Notation, language, and rigor
Main article: Mathematical notation
Most of the mathematical notation in use today was not invented until the 16th century.[45] Before that, mathematics was written out in words, a painstaking process that limited mathematical discovery.[46] Euler (1707–1783)
was responsible for many of the notations in use today. Modern notation makes mathematics much easier for the
professional, but beginners often find it daunting. It is extremely compressed: a few symbols contain a great deal
of information. Like musical notation, modern mathematical notation has a strict syntax (which to a limited extent
varies from author to author and from discipline to discipline) and encodes information that would be difficult to
write in any other way.
Mathematical language can be difficult to understand for beginners. Words such as or and only have more precise
meanings than in everyday speech. Moreover, words such as open and field have been given specialized mathematical
meanings. Technical terms such as homeomorphism and integrable have precise meanings in mathematics. Additionally, shorthand phrases such as iff for "if and only if" belong to mathematical jargon. There is a reason for special
notation and technical vocabulary: mathematics requires more precision than everyday speech. Mathematicians refer
to this precision of language and logic as “rigor”.
Mathematical proof is fundamentally a matter of rigor. Mathematicians want their theorems to follow from axioms
by means of systematic reasoning. This is to avoid mistaken "theorems", based on fallible intuitions, of which many
instances have occurred in the history of the subject.[47] The level of rigor expected in mathematics has varied over
time: the Greeks expected detailed arguments, but at the time of Isaac Newton the methods employed were less
rigorous. Problems inherent in the definitions used by Newton would lead to a resurgence of careful analysis and
formal proof in the 19th century. Misunderstanding the rigor is a cause for some of the common misconceptions
of mathematics. Today, mathematicians continue to argue among themselves about computer-assisted proofs. Since
large computations are hard to verify, such proofs may not be sufficiently rigorous.[48]
Axioms in traditional thought were “self-evident truths”, but that conception is problematic.[49] At a formal level,
an axiom is just a string of symbols, which has an intrinsic meaning only in the context of all derivable formulas
of an axiomatic system. It was the goal of Hilbert’s program to put all of mathematics on a firm axiomatic basis,
but according to Gödel’s incompleteness theorem every (sufficiently powerful) axiomatic system has undecidable
formulas; and so a final axiomatization of mathematics is impossible. Nonetheless mathematics is often imagined to
be (as far as its formal content) nothing but set theory in some axiomatization, in the sense that every mathematical
statement or proof could be cast into formulas within set theory.[50]

13.5 Fields of mathematics
See also: Areas of mathematics and Glossary of areas of mathematics
Mathematics can, broadly speaking, be subdivided into the study of quantity, structure, space, and change (i.e.
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and analysis). In addition to these main concerns, there are also subdivisions dedicated
to exploring links from the heart of mathematics to other fields: to logic, to set theory (foundations), to the empirical
mathematics of the various sciences (applied mathematics), and more recently to the rigorous study of uncertainty.

52

CHAPTER 13. MATHEMATICS

Leonhard Euler, who created and popularized much of the mathematical notation used today

13.5.1

Foundations and philosophy

In order to clarify the foundations of mathematics, the fields of mathematical logic and set theory were developed.
Mathematical logic includes the mathematical study of logic and the applications of formal logic to other areas of
mathematics; set theory is the branch of mathematics that studies sets or collections of objects. Category theory,
which deals in an abstract way with mathematical structures and relationships between them, is still in development.
The phrase “crisis of foundations” describes the search for a rigorous foundation for mathematics that took place from
approximately 1900 to 1930.[51] Some disagreement about the foundations of mathematics continues to the present
day. The crisis of foundations was stimulated by a number of controversies at the time, including the controversy
over Cantor’s set theory and the Brouwer–Hilbert controversy.

13.5. FIELDS OF MATHEMATICS

53

An abacus, a simple calculating tool used since ancient times

Mathematical logic is concerned with setting mathematics within a rigorous axiomatic framework, and studying the
implications of such a framework. As such, it is home to Gödel’s incompleteness theorems which (informally) imply
that any effective formal system that contains basic arithmetic, if sound (meaning that all theorems that can be proven
are true), is necessarily incomplete (meaning that there are true theorems which cannot be proved in that system).
Whatever finite collection of number-theoretical axioms is taken as a foundation, Gödel showed how to construct a
formal statement that is a true number-theoretical fact, but which does not follow from those axioms. Therefore, no
formal system is a complete axiomatization of full number theory. Modern logic is divided into recursion theory,
model theory, and proof theory, and is closely linked to theoretical computer science, as well as to category theory.
Theoretical computer science includes computability theory, computational complexity theory, and information theory. Computability theory examines the limitations of various theoretical models of the computer, including the most
well-known model – the Turing machine. Complexity theory is the study of tractability by computer; some problems,
although theoretically solvable by computer, are so expensive in terms of time or space that solving them is likely to
remain practically unfeasible, even with the rapid advancement of computer hardware. A famous problem is the "P =
NP?" problem, one of the Millennium Prize Problems.[52] Finally, information theory is concerned with the amount
of data that can be stored on a given medium, and hence deals with concepts such as compression and entropy.

13.5.2

Pure mathematics

Quantity
The study of quantity starts with numbers, first the familiar natural numbers and integers (“whole numbers”) and
arithmetical operations on them, which are characterized in arithmetic. The deeper properties of integers are studied
in number theory, from which come such popular results as Fermat’s Last Theorem. The twin prime conjecture and
Goldbach’s conjecture are two unsolved problems in number theory.
As the number system is further developed, the integers are recognized as a subset of the rational numbers ("fractions").
These, in turn, are contained within the real numbers, which are used to represent continuous quantities. Real numbers are generalized to complex numbers. These are the first steps of a hierarchy of numbers that goes on to include
quaternions and octonions. Consideration of the natural numbers also leads to the transfinite numbers, which formalize the concept of "infinity". Another area of study is size, which leads to the cardinal numbers and then to another
conception of infinity: the aleph numbers, which allow meaningful comparison of the size of infinitely large sets.

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CHAPTER 13. MATHEMATICS

Structure
Many mathematical objects, such as sets of numbers and functions, exhibit internal structure as a consequence of
operations or relations that are defined on the set. Mathematics then studies properties of those sets that can be
expressed in terms of that structure; for instance number theory studies properties of the set of integers that can be
expressed in terms of arithmetic operations. Moreover, it frequently happens that different such structured sets (or
structures) exhibit similar properties, which makes it possible, by a further step of abstraction, to state axioms for a
class of structures, and then study at once the whole class of structures satisfying these axioms. Thus one can study
groups, rings, fields and other abstract systems; together such studies (for structures defined by algebraic operations)
constitute the domain of abstract algebra.
By its great generality, abstract algebra can often be applied to seemingly unrelated problems; for instance a number of ancient problems concerning compass and straightedge constructions were finally solved using Galois theory,
which involves field theory and group theory. Another example of an algebraic theory is linear algebra, which is
the general study of vector spaces, whose elements called vectors have both quantity and direction, and can be used
to model (relations between) points in space. This is one example of the phenomenon that the originally unrelated
areas of geometry and algebra have very strong interactions in modern mathematics. Combinatorics studies ways of
enumerating the number of objects that fit a given structure.

Space
The study of space originates with geometry – in particular, Euclidean geometry. Trigonometry is the branch of
mathematics that deals with relationships between the sides and the angles of triangles and with the trigonometric
functions; it combines space and numbers, and encompasses the well-known Pythagorean theorem. The modern
study of space generalizes these ideas to include higher-dimensional geometry, non-Euclidean geometries (which
play a central role in general relativity) and topology. Quantity and space both play a role in analytic geometry,
differential geometry, and algebraic geometry. Convex and discrete geometry were developed to solve problems in
number theory and functional analysis but now are pursued with an eye on applications in optimization and computer
science. Within differential geometry are the concepts of fiber bundles and calculus on manifolds, in particular,
vector and tensor calculus. Within algebraic geometry is the description of geometric objects as solution sets of
polynomial equations, combining the concepts of quantity and space, and also the study of topological groups, which
combine structure and space. Lie groups are used to study space, structure, and change. Topology in all its many
ramifications may have been the greatest growth area in 20th-century mathematics; it includes point-set topology,
set-theoretic topology, algebraic topology and differential topology. In particular, instances of modern day topology
are metrizability theory, axiomatic set theory, homotopy theory, and Morse theory. Topology also includes the now
solved Poincaré conjecture, and the still unsolved areas of the Hodge conjecture. Other results in geometry and
topology, including the four color theorem and Kepler conjecture, have been proved only with the help of computers.

Change
Understanding and describing change is a common theme in the natural sciences, and calculus was developed as a
powerful tool to investigate it. Functions arise here, as a central concept describing a changing quantity. The rigorous
study of real numbers and functions of a real variable is known as real analysis, with complex analysis the equivalent
field for the complex numbers. Functional analysis focuses attention on (typically infinite-dimensional) spaces of
functions. One of many applications of functional analysis is quantum mechanics. Many problems lead naturally
to relationships between a quantity and its rate of change, and these are studied as differential equations. Many
phenomena in nature can be described by dynamical systems; chaos theory makes precise the ways in which many of
these systems exhibit unpredictable yet still deterministic behavior.

13.6. MATHEMATICAL AWARDS

13.5.3

55

Applied mathematics

Applied mathematics concerns itself with mathematical methods that are typically used in science, engineering, business, and industry. Thus, “applied mathematics” is a mathematical science with specialized knowledge. The term
applied mathematics also describes the professional specialty in which mathematicians work on practical problems;
as a profession focused on practical problems, applied mathematics focuses on the “formulation, study, and use of
mathematical models” in science, engineering, and other areas of mathematical practice.
In the past, practical applications have motivated the development of mathematical theories, which then became the
subject of study in pure mathematics, where mathematics is developed primarily for its own sake. Thus, the activity
of applied mathematics is vitally connected with research in pure mathematics.

Statistics and other decision sciences
Applied mathematics has significant overlap with the discipline of statistics, whose theory is formulated mathematically, especially with probability theory. Statisticians (working as part of a research project) “create data that makes
sense” with random sampling and with randomized experiments;[53] the design of a statistical sample or experiment
specifies the analysis of the data (before the data be available). When reconsidering data from experiments and
samples or when analyzing data from observational studies, statisticians “make sense of the data” using the art of
modelling and the theory of inference – with model selection and estimation; the estimated models and consequential
predictions should be tested on new data.[54]
Statistical theory studies decision problems such as minimizing the risk (expected loss) of a statistical action, such as
using a procedure in, for example, parameter estimation, hypothesis testing, and selecting the best. In these traditional
areas of mathematical statistics, a statistical-decision problem is formulated by minimizing an objective function, like
expected loss or cost, under specific constraints: For example, designing a survey often involves minimizing the
cost of estimating a population mean with a given level of confidence.[55] Because of its use of optimization, the
mathematical theory of statistics shares concerns with other decision sciences, such as operations research, control
theory, and mathematical economics.[56]

Computational mathematics
Computational mathematics proposes and studies methods for solving mathematical problems that are typically too
large for human numerical capacity. Numerical analysis studies methods for problems in analysis using functional
analysis and approximation theory; numerical analysis includes the study of approximation and discretization broadly
with special concern for rounding errors. Numerical analysis and, more broadly, scientific computing also study nonanalytic topics of mathematical science, especially algorithmic matrix and graph theory. Other areas of computational
mathematics include computer algebra and symbolic computation.

13.6 Mathematical awards
Arguably the most prestigious award in mathematics is the Fields Medal,[57][58] established in 1936 and now awarded
every four years. The Fields Medal is often considered a mathematical equivalent to the Nobel Prize.
The Wolf Prize in Mathematics, instituted in 1978, recognizes lifetime achievement, and another major international
award, the Abel Prize, was introduced in 2003. The Chern Medal was introduced in 2010 to recognize lifetime
achievement. These accolades are awarded in recognition of a particular body of work, which may be innovational,
or provide a solution to an outstanding problem in an established field.
A famous list of 23 open problems, called "Hilbert’s problems", was compiled in 1900 by German mathematician
David Hilbert. This list achieved great celebrity among mathematicians, and at least nine of the problems have now
been solved. A new list of seven important problems, titled the "Millennium Prize Problems", was published in 2000.
A solution to each of these problems carries a $1 million reward, and only one (the Riemann hypothesis) is duplicated
in Hilbert’s problems.

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CHAPTER 13. MATHEMATICS

13.7 See also
Main article: Lists of mathematics topics

• Mathematics and art
• Mathematics education
• Relationship between mathematics and physics
• STEM fields

13.8 Notes
[1] No likeness or description of Euclid’s physical appearance made during his lifetime survived antiquity. Therefore, Euclid’s
depiction in works of art depends on the artist’s imagination (see Euclid).
[2] “mathematics, n.". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012. The science
of space, number, quantity, and arrangement, whose methods involve logical reasoning and usually the use of symbolic
notation, and which includes geometry, arithmetic, algebra, and analysis.
[3] Kneebone, G.T. (1963). Mathematical Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics: An Introductory Survey. Dover. pp. 4.
ISBN 0-486-41712-3. Mathematics ... is simply the study of abstract structures, or formal patterns of connectedness.
[4] LaTorre, Donald R., John W. Kenelly, Iris B. Reed, Laurel R. Carpenter, and Cynthia R Harris (2011). Calculus Concepts:
An Informal Approach to the Mathematics of Change. Cengage Learning. pp. 2. ISBN 1-4390-4957-2. Calculus is the
study of change—how things change, and how quickly they change.
[5] Ramana (2007). Applied Mathematics. Tata McGraw–Hill Education. p. 2.10. ISBN 0-07-066753-5. The mathematical
study of change, motion, growth or decay is calculus.
[6] Ziegler, Günter M. (2011). “What Is Mathematics?". An Invitation to Mathematics: From Competitions to Research.
Springer. pp. 7. ISBN 3-642-19532-6.
[7] Mura, Roberta (Dec 1993). “Images of Mathematics Held by University Teachers of Mathematical Sciences”. Educational
Studies in Mathematics 25 (4): 375–385.
[8] Tobies, Renate and Helmut Neunzert (2012). Iris Runge: A Life at the Crossroads of Mathematics, Science, and Industry.
Springer. pp. 9. ISBN 3-0348-0229-3. It is first necessary to ask what is meant by mathematics in general. Illustrious
scholars have debated this matter until they were blue in the face, and yet no consensus has been reached about whether
mathematics is a natural science, a branch of the humanities, or an art form.
[9] Steen, L.A. (April 29, 1988). The Science of Patterns Science, 240: 611–616. And summarized at Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, www.ascd.org.
[10] Devlin, Keith, Mathematics: The Science of Patterns: The Search for Order in Life, Mind and the Universe (Scientific
American Paperback Library) 1996, ISBN 978-0-7167-5047-5
[11] Eves
[12] Marcus du Sautoy, A Brief History of Mathematics: 1. Newton and Leibniz, BBC Radio 4, September 27, 2010.
[13] Waltershausen
[14] Peirce, p. 97.
[15] Hilbert, D. (1919–20), Natur und Mathematisches Erkennen: Vorlesungen, gehalten 1919–1920 in Göttingen. Nach der
Ausarbeitung von Paul Bernays (Edited and with an English introduction by David E. Rowe), Basel, Birkhäuser (1992).
[16] Einstein, p. 28. The quote is Einstein’s answer to the question: “how can it be that mathematics, being after all a product
of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality?" He, too, is
concerned with The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.
[17] “Claire Voisin, Artist of the Abstract”. .cnrs.fr. Retrieved October 13, 2013.

13.8. NOTES

57

[18] Peterson
[19] Dehaene, Stanislas; Dehaene-Lambertz, Ghislaine; Cohen, Laurent (Aug 1998). “Abstract representations of numbers in
the animal and human brain”. Trends in Neuroscience 21 (8): 355–361. doi:10.1016/S0166-2236(98)01263-6. PMID
9720604.
[20] See, for example, Raymond L. Wilder, Evolution of Mathematical Concepts; an Elementary Study, passim
[21] Kline 1990, Chapter 1.
[22] "A History of Greek Mathematics: From Thales to Euclid". Thomas Little Heath (1981). ISBN 0-486-24073-8
[23] Sevryuk
[24] “mathematic”. Online Etymology Dictionary.
[25] Both senses can be found in Plato. μαθηματική. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the
Perseus Project
[26] Cipra, Barry (1982). “St. Augustine v. The Mathematicians”. osu.edu. Ohio State University Mathematics department.
Retrieved July 14, 2014.
[27] The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, Oxford English Dictionary, sub “mathematics”, “mathematic”, “mathematics”
[28] “maths, n." and “math, n.3". Oxford English Dictionary, on-line version (2012).
[29] James Franklin, “Aristotelian Realism” in Philosophy of Mathematics”, ed. A.D. Irvine, p. 104. Elsevier (2009).
[30] Cajori, Florian (1893). A History of Mathematics. American Mathematical Society (1991 reprint). pp. 285–6. ISBN
0-8218-2102-4.
[31] Snapper, Ernst (September 1979). “The Three Crises in Mathematics: Logicism, Intuitionism, and Formalism”. Mathematics Magazine 52 (4): 207–16. doi:10.2307/2689412. JSTOR 2689412.
[32] Peirce, Benjamin (1882). Linear Associative Algebra. p. 1.
[33] Bertrand Russell, The Principles of Mathematics, p. 5. University Press, Cambridge (1903)
[34] Curry, Haskell (1951). Outlines of a Formalist Philosophy of Mathematics. Elsevier. pp. 56. ISBN 0-444-53368-0.
[35] Marcus du Sautoy, A Brief History of Mathematics: 10. Nicolas Bourbaki, BBC Radio 4, October 1, 2010.
[36] Shasha, Dennis Elliot; Lazere, Cathy A. (1998). Out of Their Minds: The Lives and Discoveries of 15 Great Computer
Scientists. Springer. p. 228.
[37] Popper 1995, p. 56
[38] Ziman
[39] Johnson, Gerald W.; Lapidus, Michel L. (2002). The Feynman Integral and Feynman’s Operational Calculus. Oxford
University Press. ISBN 0-8218-2413-9.
[40] Wigner, Eugene (1960). “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences”. Communications on
Pure and Applied Mathematics 13 (1): 1–14. doi:10.1002/cpa.3160130102.
[41] “Mathematics Subject Classification 2010” (PDF). Retrieved November 9, 2010.
[42] Hardy, G.H. (1940). A Mathematician’s Apology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-42706-1.
[43] Gold, Bonnie; Simons, Rogers A. (2008). Proof and Other Dilemmas: Mathematics and Philosophy. MAA.
[44] Aigner, Martin; Ziegler, Günter M. (2001). Proofs from The Book. Springer. ISBN 3-540-40460-0.
[45] “Earliest Uses of Various Mathematical Symbols”. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
[46] Kline, p. 140, on Diophantus; p. 261, on Vieta.
[47] See false proof for simple examples of what can go wrong in a formal proof.
[48] Ivars Peterson, The Mathematical Tourist, Freeman, 1988, ISBN 0-7167-1953-3. p. 4 “A few complain that the computer
program can't be verified properly”, (in reference to the Haken–Apple proof of the Four Color Theorem).

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[49] " The method of “postulating” what we want has many advantages; they are the same as the advantages of theft over honest
toil.” Bertrand Russell (1919), Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, New York and London, p 71.
[50] Patrick Suppes, Axiomatic Set Theory, Dover, 1972, ISBN 0-486-61630-4. p. 1, “Among the many branches of modern
mathematics set theory occupies a unique place: with a few rare exceptions the entities which are studied and analyzed in
mathematics may be regarded as certain particular sets or classes of objects.”
[51] Luke Howard Hodgkin & Luke Hodgkin, A History of Mathematics, Oxford University Press, 2005.
[52] Clay Mathematics Institute, P=NP, claymath.org
[53] Rao, C.R. (1997) Statistics and Truth: Putting Chance to Work, World Scientific. ISBN 981-02-3111-3
[54] Like other mathematical sciences such as physics and computer science, statistics is an autonomous discipline rather than
a branch of applied mathematics. Like research physicists and computer scientists, research statisticians are mathematical
scientists. Many statisticians have a degree in mathematics, and some statisticians are also mathematicians.
[55] Rao, C.R. (1981). “Foreword”. In Arthanari, T.S.; Dodge, Yadolah. Mathematical programming in statistics. Wiley Series
in Probability and Mathematical Statistics. New York: Wiley. pp. vii–viii. ISBN 0-471-08073-X. MR 607328.
[56] Whittle (1994, pp. 10–11 and 14–18): Whittle, Peter (1994). “Almost home”. In Kelly, F.P. Probability, statistics and
optimisation: A Tribute to Peter Whittle (previously “A realised path: The Cambridge Statistical Laboratory upto 1993
(revised 2002)" ed.). Chichester: John Wiley. pp. 1–28. ISBN 0-471-94829-2.
[57] "The Fields Medal is now indisputably the best known and most influential award in mathematics." Monastyrsky
[58] Riehm

13.9 References
• Courant, Richard and H. Robbins, What Is Mathematics? : An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods,
Oxford University Press, USA; 2 edition (July 18, 1996). ISBN 0-19-510519-2.
• Einstein, Albert (1923). Sidelights on Relativity: I. Ether and relativity. II. Geometry and experience (translated
by G.B. Jeffery, D.Sc., and W. Perrett, Ph.D). E.P. Dutton & Co., New York.
• du Sautoy, Marcus, A Brief History of Mathematics, BBC Radio 4 (2010).
• Eves, Howard, An Introduction to the History of Mathematics, Sixth Edition, Saunders, 1990, ISBN 0-03029558-0.
• Kline, Morris, Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times, Oxford University Press, USA; Paperback
edition (March 1, 1990). ISBN 0-19-506135-7.
• Monastyrsky, Michael (2001). “Some Trends in Modern Mathematics and the Fields Medal” (PDF). Canadian
Mathematical Society. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
• Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, ed. John Simpson and Edmund Weiner, Clarendon Press, 1989,
ISBN 0-19-861186-2.
• The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, 1983 reprint. ISBN 0-19-861112-9.
• Pappas, Theoni, The Joy Of Mathematics, Wide World Publishing; Revised edition (June 1989). ISBN 0933174-65-9.
• Peirce, Benjamin (1881). Peirce, Charles Sanders, ed. “Linear associative algebra”. American Journal of
Mathematics (Corrected, expanded, and annotated revision with an 1875 paper by B. Peirce and annotations by his son, C.S. Peirce, of the 1872 lithograph ed.) (Johns Hopkins University) 4 (1–4): 97–229.
doi:10.2307/2369153. JSTOR 2369153. Corrected, expanded, and annotated revision with an 1875 paper
by B. Peirce and annotations by his son, C. S. Peirce, of the 1872 lithograph ed. Google Eprint and as an
extract, D. Van Nostrand, 1882, Google Eprint..
• Peterson, Ivars, Mathematical Tourist, New and Updated Snapshots of Modern Mathematics, Owl Books, 2001,
ISBN 0-8050-7159-8.

13.10. FURTHER READING

59

• Popper, Karl R. (1995). “On knowledge”. In Search of a Better World: Lectures and Essays from Thirty Years.
Routledge. ISBN 0-415-13548-6.
• Riehm, Carl (August 2002). “The Early History of the Fields Medal” (PDF). Notices of the AMS (AMS) 49
(7): 778–782.
• Sevryuk, Mikhail B. (January 2006). “Book Reviews” (PDF). Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society
43 (1): 101–109. doi:10.1090/S0273-0979-05-01069-4. Retrieved June 24, 2006.
• Waltershausen, Wolfgang Sartorius von (1965) [first published 1856]. Gauss zum Gedächtniss. Sändig Reprint
Verlag H. R. Wohlwend. ASIN B0000BN5SQ. ISBN 3-253-01702-8. ASIN 3253017028.

13.10 Further reading
• Benson, Donald C., The Moment of Proof: Mathematical Epiphanies, Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed
edition (December 14, 2000). ISBN 0-19-513919-4.
• Boyer, Carl B., A History of Mathematics, Wiley; 2nd edition, revised by Uta C. Merzbach, (March 6, 1991).
ISBN 0-471-54397-7.—A concise history of mathematics from the Concept of Number to contemporary
Mathematics.
• Davis, Philip J. and Hersh, Reuben, The Mathematical Experience. Mariner Books; Reprint edition (January
14, 1999). ISBN 0-395-92968-7.
• Gullberg, Jan, Mathematics – From the Birth of Numbers. W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (October
1997). ISBN 0-393-04002-X.
• Hazewinkel, Michiel (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Mathematics. Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000. – A translated
and expanded version of a Soviet mathematics encyclopedia, in ten (expensive) volumes, the most complete
and authoritative work available. Also in paperback and on CD-ROM, and online.
• Jourdain, Philip E. B., The Nature of Mathematics, in The World of Mathematics, James R. Newman, editor,
Dover Publications, 2003, ISBN 0-486-43268-8.
• Maier, Annaliese, At the Threshold of Exact Science: Selected Writings of Annaliese Maier on Late Medieval
Natural Philosophy, edited by Steven Sargent, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.

13.11 External links
• Mathematics at Encyclopædia Britannica
• Mathematics on In Our Time at the BBC. (listen now)
• Free Mathematics books Free Mathematics books collection.
• Encyclopaedia of Mathematics online encyclopaedia from Springer, Graduate-level reference work with over
8,000 entries, illuminating nearly 50,000 notions in mathematics.
• HyperMath site at Georgia State University
• FreeScience Library The mathematics section of FreeScience library
• Rusin, Dave: The Mathematical Atlas. A guided tour through the various branches of modern mathematics.
(Can also be found at NIU.edu.)
• Polyanin, Andrei: EqWorld: The World of Mathematical Equations. An online resource focusing on algebraic,
ordinary differential, partial differential (mathematical physics), integral, and other mathematical equations.
• Cain, George: Online Mathematics Textbooks available free online.
• Tricki, Wiki-style site that is intended to develop into a large store of useful mathematical problem-solving
techniques.

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• Mathematical Structures, list information about classes of mathematical structures.
• Mathematician Biographies. The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive Extensive history and quotes from
all famous mathematicians.
• Metamath. A site and a language, that formalize mathematics from its foundations.
• Nrich, a prize-winning site for students from age five from Cambridge University
• Open Problem Garden, a wiki of open problems in mathematics
• Planet Math. An online mathematics encyclopedia under construction, focusing on modern mathematics. Uses
the Attribution-ShareAlike license, allowing article exchange with Wikipedia. Uses TeX markup.
• Some mathematics applets, at MIT
• Weisstein, Eric et al.: MathWorld: World of Mathematics. An online encyclopedia of mathematics.
• Patrick Jones’ Video Tutorials on Mathematics
• Citizendium: Theory (mathematics).
• du Sautoy, Marcus, A Brief History of Mathematics, BBC Radio 4 (2010).
• MathOverflow A Q&A site for research-level mathematics
• Math – Khan Academy
• National Museum of Mathematics, located in New York City

Chapter 14

Operation (mathematics)
The general operation as explained on this page should not be confused with the more specific operators on vector
spaces. For a notion in elementary mathematics, see arithmetic operation.
In its simplest meaning in mathematics and logic, an operation is an action or procedure which produces a new value
from zero or more input values, called "operands".

14.1 Types of operation
There are two common types of operations: unary and binary. Unary operations involve only one value, such as
negation and trigonometric functions. Binary operations, on the other hand, take two values, and include addition,
subtraction, multiplication, division, and exponentiation.
Operations can involve mathematical objects other than numbers. The logical values true and false can be combined
using logic operations, such as and, or, and not. Vectors can be added and subtracted. Rotations can be combined
using the function composition operation, performing the first rotation and then the second. Operations on sets include
the binary operations union and intersection and the unary operation of complementation. Operations on functions
include composition and convolution.
Operations may not be defined for every possible value. For example, in the real numbers one cannot divide by
zero or take square roots of negative numbers. The values for which an operation is defined form a set called its
domain. The set which contains the values produced is called the codomain, but the set of actual values attained
by the operation is its range. For example, in the real numbers, the squaring operation only produces non-negative
numbers; the codomain is the set of real numbers but the range is the non-negative numbers.
Operations can involve dissimilar objects. A vector can be multiplied by a scalar to form another vector. And the
inner product operation on two vectors produces a scalar. An operation may or may not have certain properties, for
example it may be associative, commutative, anticommutative, idempotent, and so on.
The values combined are called operands, arguments, or inputs, and the value produced is called the value, result, or
output. Operations can have fewer or more than two inputs.
An operation is like an operator, but the point of view is different. For instance, one often speaks of “the operation of
addition” or “addition operation” when focusing on the operands and result, but one says “addition operator” (rarely
“operator of addition”) when focusing on the process, or from the more abstract viewpoint, the function +: S×S → S.

14.2 General description
An operation ω is a function of the form ω : V → Y, where V ⊂ X1 × … × Xk. The sets Xk are called the domains
of the operation, the set Y is called the codomain of the operation, and the fixed non-negative integer k (the number
of arguments) is called the type or arity of the operation. Thus a unary operation has arity one, and a binary operation
has arity two. An operation of arity zero, called a nullary operation, is simply an element of the codomain Y. An
operation of arity k is called a k-ary operation. Thus a k-ary operation is a (k+1)-ary relation that is functional on its
first k domains.
61

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CHAPTER 14. OPERATION (MATHEMATICS)

Elementary arithmetic operators:
+ – plus (addition)
− – minus (subtraction)
× – times (multiplication)
÷ – obelus (division)

The above describes what is usually called a finitary operation, referring to the finite number of arguments (the value
k). There are obvious extensions where the arity is taken to be an infinite ordinal or cardinal, or even an arbitrary set
indexing the arguments.
Often, use of the term operation implies that the domain of the function is a power of the codomain (i.e. the Cartesian
product of one or more copies of the codomain),[1] although this is by no means universal, as in the example of
multiplying a vector by a scalar.

14.3 See also
• Algebra
• Unicode mathematical operators

14.4. NOTES

14.3.1

63

Special cases

• Unary operation
• Binary operation

14.3.2

Related topics

14.4 Notes
[1] See e.g. Chapter II, Definition 1.1 in: S. N. Burris and H. P. Sankappanavar, A Course in Universal Algebra, Springer,
1981.

Chapter 15

Order theory
For a topical guide to this subject, see Outline of order theory.
Order theory is a branch of mathematics which investigates our intuitive notion of order using binary relations. It
provides a formal framework for describing statements such as “this is less than that” or “this precedes that”. This
article introduces the field and provides basic definitions. A list of order-theoretic terms can be found in the order
theory glossary.

15.1 Background and motivation
Orders are everywhere in mathematics and related fields like computer science. The first order often discussed in
primary school is the standard order on the natural numbers e.g. “2 is less than 3”, “10 is greater than 5”, or “Does
Tom have fewer cookies than Sally?". This intuitive concept can be extended to orders on other sets of numbers,
such as the integers and the reals. The idea of being greater than or less than another number is one of the basic
intuitions of number systems (compare with numeral systems) in general (although one usually is also interested in
the actual difference of two numbers, which is not given by the order). Another familiar example of an ordering is
the lexicographic order of words in a dictionary.
The above types of orders have a special property: each element can be compared to any other element, i.e. it is
greater, smaller, or equal. However, this is not always a desired requirement. For example, consider the subset
ordering of sets. If a set A contains all the elements of a set B, then B is said to be smaller than or equal to A. Yet
there are some sets that cannot be related in this fashion. Whenever both contain some elements that are not in the
other, the two sets are not related by subset-inclusion. Hence, subset-inclusion is only a partial order, as opposed to
the total orders given before.
Order theory captures the intuition of orders that arises from such examples in a general setting. This is achieved
by specifying properties that a relation ≤ must have to be a mathematical order. This more abstract approach makes
much sense, because one can derive numerous theorems in the general setting, without focusing on the details of any
particular order. These insights can then be readily transferred to many less abstract applications.
Driven by the wide practical usage of orders, numerous special kinds of ordered sets have been defined, some of
which have grown into mathematical fields of their own. In addition, order theory does not restrict itself to the
various classes of ordering relations, but also considers appropriate functions between them. A simple example of an
order theoretic property for functions comes from analysis where monotone functions are frequently found.

15.2 Basic definitions
This section introduces ordered sets by building upon the concepts of set theory, arithmetic, and binary relations.
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15.2. BASIC DEFINITIONS

15.2.1

65

Partially ordered sets

Orders are special binary relations. Suppose that P is a set and that ≤ is a relation on P. Then ≤ is a partial order if
it is reflexive, antisymmetric, and transitive, i.e., for all a, b and c in P, we have that:
a ≤ a (reflexivity)
if a ≤ b and b ≤ a then a = b (antisymmetry)
if a ≤ b and b ≤ c then a ≤ c (transitivity).
A set with a partial order on it is called a partially ordered set, poset, or just an ordered set if the intended meaning
is clear. By checking these properties, one immediately sees that the well-known orders on natural numbers, integers,
rational numbers and reals are all orders in the above sense. However, they have the additional property of being
total, i.e., for all a and b in P, we have that:
a ≤ b or b ≤ a (totality).
These orders can also be called linear orders or chains. While many classical orders are linear, the subset order on
sets provides an example where this is not the case. Another example is given by the divisibility relation "|". For two
natural numbers n and m, we write n|m if n divides m without remainder. One easily sees that this yields a partial
order. The identity relation = on any set is also a partial order in which every two distinct elements are incomparable.
It is also the only relation that is both a partial order and an equivalence relation. Many advanced properties of posets
are interesting mainly for non-linear orders.

15.2.2

Visualizing a poset

Hasse diagrams can visually represent the elements and relations of a partial ordering. These are graph drawings
where the vertices are the elements of the poset and the ordering relation is indicated by both the edges and the
relative positioning of the vertices. Orders are drawn bottom-up: if an element x is smaller than (precedes) y then
there exists a path from x to y that is directed upwards. It is often necessary for the edges connecting elements to
cross each other, but elements must never be located within an edge. An instructive exercise is to draw the Hasse
diagram for the set of natural numbers that are smaller than or equal to 13, ordered by | (the divides relation).
Even some infinite sets can be diagrammed by superimposing an ellipsis (...) on a finite sub-order. This works well
for the natural numbers, but it fails for the reals, where there is no immediate successor above 0; however, quite often
one can obtain an intuition related to diagrams of a similar kind.

15.2.3

Special elements within an order

In a partially ordered set there may be some elements that play a special role. The most basic example is given by the
least element of a poset. For example, 1 is the least element of the positive integers and the empty set is the least set
under the subset order. Formally, an element m is a least element if:
m ≤ a, for all elements a of the order.
The notation 0 is frequently found for the least element, even when no numbers are concerned. However, in orders
on sets of numbers, this notation might be inappropriate or ambiguous, since the number 0 is not always least. An
example is given by the above divisibility order |, where 1 is the least element since it divides all other numbers. In
contrast, 0 is the number that is divided by all other numbers. Hence it is the greatest element of the order. Other
frequent terms for the least and greatest elements is bottom and top or zero and unit.
Least and greatest elements may fail to exist, as the example of the real numbers shows. But if they exist, they are
always unique. In contrast, consider the divisibility relation | on the set {2,3,4,5,6}. Although this set has neither top
nor bottom, the elements 2, 3, and 5 have no elements below them, while 4, 5, and 6 have none above. Such elements
are called minimal and maximal, respectively. Formally, an element m is minimal if:
a ≤ m implies a = m, for all elements a of the order.

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60

15

30

20

10

6

3

2

5

12

4

1
Hasse diagram of the set of all divisors of 60, partially ordered by divisibility

Exchanging ≤ with ≥ yields the definition of maximality. As the example shows, there can be many maximal elements
and some elements may be both maximal and minimal (e.g. 5 above). However, if there is a least element, then it
is the only minimal element of the order. Again, in infinite posets maximal elements do not always exist - the set
of all finite subsets of a given infinite set, ordered by subset inclusion, provides one of many counterexamples. An
important tool to ensure the existence of maximal elements under certain conditions is Zorn’s Lemma.
Subsets of partially ordered sets inherit the order. We already applied this by considering the subset {2,3,4,5,6} of
the natural numbers with the induced divisibility ordering. Now there are also elements of a poset that are special
with respect to some subset of the order. This leads to the definition of upper bounds. Given a subset S of some
poset P, an upper bound of S is an element b of P that is above all elements of S. Formally, this means that

s ≤ b, for all s in S.

Lower bounds again are defined by inverting the order. For example, −5 is a lower bound of the natural numbers
as a subset of the integers. Given a set of sets, an upper bound for these sets under the subset ordering is given by
their union. In fact, this upper bound is quite special: it is the smallest set that contains all of the sets. Hence, we
have found the least upper bound of a set of sets. This concept is also called supremum or join, and for a set S
one writes sup(S) or vS for its least upper bound. Conversely, the greatest lower bound is known as infimum or
meet and denoted inf(S) or ^S. These concepts play an important role in many applications of order theory. For two
elements x and y, one also writes x v y and x ^ y for sup({x,y}) and inf({x,y}), respectively.
For another example, consider again the relation | on natural numbers. The least upper bound of two numbers is the
smallest number that is divided by both of them, i.e. the least common multiple of the numbers. Greatest lower
bounds in turn are given by the greatest common divisor.

15.3. FUNCTIONS BETWEEN ORDERS

15.2.4

67

Duality

In the previous definitions, we often noted that a concept can be defined by just inverting the ordering in a former
definition. This is the case for “least” and “greatest”, for “minimal” and “maximal”, for “upper bound” and “lower
bound”, and so on. This is a general situation in order theory: A given order can be inverted by just exchanging
its direction, pictorially flipping the Hasse diagram top-down. This yields the so-called dual, inverse, or opposite
order.
Every order theoretic definition has its dual: it is the notion one obtains by applying the definition to the inverse order.
Since all concepts are symmetric, this operation preserves the theorems of partial orders. For a given mathematical
result, one can just invert the order and replace all definitions by their duals and one obtains another valid theorem.
This is important and useful, since one obtains two theorems for the price of one. Some more details and examples
can be found in the article on duality in order theory.

15.2.5

Constructing new orders

There are many ways to construct orders out of given orders. The dual order is one example. Another important
construction is the cartesian product of two partially ordered sets, taken together with the product order on pairs of
elements. The ordering is defined by (a, x) ≤ (b, y) if (and only if) a ≤ b and x ≤ y. (Notice carefully that there
are three distinct meanings for the relation symbol ≤ in this definition.) The disjoint union of two posets is another
typical example of order construction, where the order is just the (disjoint) union of the original orders.
Every partial order ≤ gives rise to a so-called strict order <, by defining a < b if a ≤ b and not b ≤ a. This transformation
can be inverted by setting a ≤ b if a < b or a = b. The two concepts are equivalent although in some circumstances
one can be more convenient to work with than the other.

15.3 Functions between orders
It is reasonable to consider functions between partially ordered sets having certain additional properties that are related
to the ordering relations of the two sets. The most fundamental condition that occurs in this context is monotonicity.
A function f from a poset P to a poset Q is monotone, or order-preserving, if a ≤ b in P implies f(a) ≤ f(b) in
Q (Noting that, strictly, the two relations here are different since they apply to different sets.). The converse of this
implication leads to functions that are order-reflecting, i.e. functions f as above for which f(a) ≤ f(b) implies a ≤
b. On the other hand, a function may also be order-reversing or antitone, if a ≤ b implies f(b) ≤ f(a).
An order-embedding is a function f between orders that is both order-preserving and order-reflecting. Examples
for these definitions are found easily. For instance, the function that maps a natural number to its successor is clearly
monotone with respect to the natural order. Any function from a discrete order, i.e. from a set ordered by the identity
order "=", is also monotone. Mapping each natural number to the corresponding real number gives an example for
an order embedding. The set complement on a powerset is an example of an antitone function.
An important question is when two orders are “essentially equal”, i.e. when they are the same up to renaming of
elements. Order isomorphisms are functions that define such a renaming. An order-isomorphism is a monotone
bijective function that has a monotone inverse. This is equivalent to being a surjective order-embedding. Hence, the
image f(P) of an order-embedding is always isomorphic to P, which justifies the term “embedding”.
A more elaborate type of functions is given by so-called Galois connections. Monotone Galois connections can
be viewed as a generalization of order-isomorphisms, since they constitute of a pair of two functions in converse
directions, which are “not quite” inverse to each other, but that still have close relationships.
Another special type of self-maps on a poset are closure operators, which are not only monotonic, but also idempotent,
i.e. f(x) = f(f(x)), and extensive (or inflationary), i.e. x ≤ f(x). These have many applications in all kinds of “closures” that appear in mathematics.
Besides being compatible with the mere order relations, functions between posets may also behave well with respect
to special elements and constructions. For example, when talking about posets with least element, it may seem
reasonable to consider only monotonic functions that preserve this element, i.e. which map least elements to least
elements. If binary infima ^ exist, then a reasonable property might be to require that f(x^y) = f(x)^f(y), for all x and
y. All of these properties, and indeed many more, may be compiled under the label of limit-preserving functions.
Finally, one can invert the view, switching from functions of orders to orders of functions. Indeed, the functions

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between two posets P and Q can be ordered via the pointwise order. For two functions f and g, we have f ≤ g if f(x)
≤ g(x) for all elements x of P. This occurs for example in domain theory, where function spaces play an important
role.

15.4 Special types of orders
Many of the structures that are studied in order theory employ order relations with further properties. In fact, even
some relations that are not partial orders are of special interest. Mainly the concept of a preorder has to be mentioned.
A preorder is a relation that is reflexive and transitive, but not necessarily antisymmetric. Each preorder induces an
equivalence relation between elements, where a is equivalent to b, if a ≤ b and b ≤ a. Preorders can be turned into
orders by identifying all elements that are equivalent with respect to this relation.
Several types of orders can be defined from numerical data on the items of the order: a total order results from
attaching distinct real numbers to each item and using the numerical comparisons to order the items; instead, if
distinct items are allowed to have equal numerical scores, one obtains a strict weak ordering. Requiring two scores to
be separated by a fixed threshold before they may be compared leads to the concept of a semiorder, while allowing
the threshold to vary on a per-item basis produces an interval order.
An additional simple but useful property leads to so-called well-orders, for which all non-empty subsets have a
minimal element. Generalizing well-orders from linear to partial orders, a set is well partially ordered if all its
non-empty subsets have a finite number of minimal elements.
Many other types of orders arise when the existence of infima and suprema of certain sets is guaranteed. Focusing
on this aspect, usually referred to as completeness of orders, one obtains:
• Bounded posets, i.e. posets with a least and greatest element (which are just the supremum and infimum of
the empty subset),
• Lattices, in which every non-empty finite set has a supremum and infimum,
• Complete lattices, where every set has a supremum and infimum, and
• Directed complete partial orders (dcpos), that guarantee the existence of suprema of all directed subsets and
that are studied in domain theory.
• Partial orders with complements, or poc sets,[1] are posets S having a unique bottom element 0∈S, along with
an order-reversing involution, such that a ≤ a∗ ⇒ a = 0 .
However, one can go even further: if all finite non-empty infima exist, then ∧ can be viewed as a total binary operation
in the sense of universal algebra. Hence, in a lattice, two operations ∧ and ∨ are available, and one can define new
properties by giving identities, such as
x ∧ (y ∨ z) = (x ∧ y) ∨ (x ∧ z), for all x, y, and z.
This condition is called distributivity and gives rise to distributive lattices. There are some other important distributivity laws which are discussed in the article on distributivity in order theory. Some additional order structures that
are often specified via algebraic operations and defining identities are
• Heyting algebras and
• Boolean algebras,
which both introduce a new operation ~ called negation. Both structures play a role in mathematical logic and
especially Boolean algebras have major applications in computer science. Finally, various structures in mathematics
combine orders with even more algebraic operations, as in the case of quantales, that allow for the definition of an
addition operation.
Many other important properties of posets exist. For example, a poset is locally finite if every closed interval [a,
b] in it is finite. Locally finite posets give rise to incidence algebras which in turn can be used to define the Euler
characteristic of finite bounded posets.

15.5. SUBSETS OF ORDERED SETS

69

15.5 Subsets of ordered sets
In an ordered set, one can define many types of special subsets based on the given order. A simple example are upper
sets; i.e. sets that contain all elements that are above them in the order. Formally, the upper closure of a set S in a
poset P is given by the set {x in P | there is some y in S with y ≤ x}. A set that is equal to its upper closure is called
an upper set. Lower sets are defined dually.
More complicated lower subsets are ideals, which have the additional property that each two of their elements have
an upper bound within the ideal. Their duals are given by filters. A related concept is that of a directed subset, which
like an ideal contains upper bounds of finite subsets, but does not have to be a lower set. Furthermore it is often
generalized to preordered sets.
A subset which is - as a sub-poset - linearly ordered, is called a chain. The opposite notion, the antichain, is a subset
that contains no two comparable elements; i.e. that is a discrete order.

15.6 Related mathematical areas
Although most mathematical areas use orders in one or the other way, there are also a few theories that have relationships which go far beyond mere application. Together with their major points of contact with order theory, some of
these are to be presented below.

15.6.1

Universal algebra

As already mentioned, the methods and formalisms of universal algebra are an important tool for many order theoretic
considerations. Beside formalizing orders in terms of algebraic structures that satisfy certain identities, one can also
establish other connections to algebra. An example is given by the correspondence between Boolean algebras and
Boolean rings. Other issues are concerned with the existence of free constructions, such as free lattices based on a
given set of generators. Furthermore, closure operators are important in the study of universal algebra.

15.6.2

Topology

In topology orders play a very prominent role. In fact, the set of open sets provides a classical example of a complete
lattice, more precisely a complete Heyting algebra (or "frame" or "locale"). Filters and nets are notions closely related
to order theory and the closure operator of sets can be used to define topology. Beyond these relations, topology can
be looked at solely in terms of the open set lattices, which leads to the study of pointless topology. Furthermore, a
natural preorder of elements of the underlying set of a topology is given by the so-called specialization order, that is
actually a partial order if the topology is T0 .
Conversely, in order theory, one often makes use of topological results. There are various ways to define subsets of
an order which can be considered as open sets of a topology. Especially, it is interesting to consider topologies on a
poset (X, ≤) that in turn induce ≤ as their specialization order. The finest such topology is the Alexandrov topology,
given by taking all upper sets as opens. Conversely, the coarsest topology that induces the specialization order is the
upper topology, having the complements of principal ideals (i.e. sets of the form {y in X | y ≤ x} for some x) as a
subbase. Additionally, a topology with specialization order ≤ may be order consistent, meaning that their open sets
are “inaccessible by directed suprema” (with respect to ≤). The finest order consistent topology is the Scott topology,
which is coarser than the Alexandrov topology. A third important topology in this spirit is the Lawson topology.
There are close connections between these topologies and the concepts of order theory. For example, a function
preserves directed suprema iff it is continuous with respect to the Scott topology (for this reason this order theoretic
property is also called Scott-continuity).

15.6.3

Category theory

The visualization of orders with Hasse diagrams has a straightforward generalization: instead of displaying lesser
elements below greater ones, the direction of the order can also be depicted by giving directions to the edges of a
graph. In this way, each order is seen to be equivalent to a directed acyclic graph, where the nodes are the elements

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CHAPTER 15. ORDER THEORY

of the poset and there is a directed path from a to b if and only if a ≤ b. Dropping the requirement of being acyclic,
one can also obtain all preorders.
When equipped with all transitive edges, these graphs in turn are just special categories, where elements are objects
and each set of morphisms between two elements is at most singleton. Functions between orders become functors
between categories. Interestingly, many ideas of order theory are just concepts of category theory in small. For
example, an infimum is just a categorical product. More generally, one can capture infima and suprema under the
abstract notion of a categorical limit (or colimit, respectively). Another place where categorical ideas occur is the
concept of a (monotone) Galois connection, which is just the same as a pair of adjoint functors.
But category theory also has its impact on order theory on a larger scale. Classes of posets with appropriate functions
as discussed above form interesting categories. Often one can also state constructions of orders, like the product
order, in terms of categories. Further insights result when categories of orders are found categorically equivalent to
other categories, for example of topological spaces. This line of research leads to various representation theorems,
often collected under the label of Stone duality.

15.7 History
As explained before, orders are ubiquitous in mathematics. However, earliest explicit mentionings of partial orders are
probably to be found not before the 19th century. In this context the works of George Boole are of great importance.
Moreover, works of Charles Sanders Peirce, Richard Dedekind, and Ernst Schröder also consider concepts of order
theory. Certainly, there are others to be named in this context and surely there exists more detailed material on the
history of order theory.
The term poset as an abbreviation for partially ordered set was coined by Garrett Birkhoff in the second edition of
his influential book Lattice Theory.[2][3]

15.8 See also
• Cyclic order
• Hierarchy
• Incidence algebra
• Important publications in order theory
• Causal Sets

15.9 Notes
[1] Roller, Martin A. (1998), Poc sets, median algebras and group actions. An extended study of Dunwoody’s construction and
Sageev’s theorem (PDF), Southampton Preprint Archive
[2] Birkhoff 1948, p.1
[3] Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics

15.10 References
• Birkhoff, Garrett (1940). Lattice Theory 25 (3rd Revised ed.). American Mathematical Society. ISBN 9780-8218-1025-5.
• Burris, S. N.; Sankappanavar, H. P. (1981). A Course in Universal Algebra. Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-905785.
• Davey, B. A.; Priestley, H. A. (2002). Introduction to Lattices and Order (2nd ed.). Cambridge University
Press. ISBN 0-521-78451-4.

15.11. EXTERNAL LINKS

71

• Gierz, G.; Hofmann, K. H.; Keimel, K.; Mislove, M.; Scott, D. S. (2003). Continuous Lattices and Domains.
Encyclopedia of Mathematics and its Applications 93. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-803380.

15.11 External links
• Orders at ProvenMath partial order, linear order, well order, initial segment; formal definitions and proofs
within the axioms of set theory.
• Nagel, Felix (2013). Set Theory and Topology. An Introduction to the Foundations of Analysis

Chapter 16

Outline of algebraic structures
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to algebraic structures:
In mathematics, there are many types of algebraic structures which are studied. Abstract algebra is primarily the study
of specific algebraic structures and their properties. Algebraic structures may be viewed in different ways, however
the common starting point of algebra texts is that an algebraic object incorporates one or more sets with one or more
binary operations or unary operations satisfying a collection of axioms.
Another branch of mathematics known as universal algebra studies algebraic structures in general. From the universal algebra viewpoint, most structures can be divided into varieties and quasivarieties depending on the axioms
used. Some axiomatic formal systems that are neither varieties nor quasivarieties, called nonvarieties, are sometimes
included among the algebraic structures by tradition.
Concrete examples of each structure will be found in the linked Wikipedia article.
Algebraic structures are so numerous today that this article will inevitably be incomplete. In addition to this, there
are sometimes multiple names for the same structure, and sometimes one name will be defined by disagreeing axioms
by different authors. Most structures appearing on this page will be common ones which most authors agree on.
Other web lists of algebraic structures, organized more or less alphabetically, include Jipsen and PlanetMath. These
lists mention many structures not included below, and may present more information about some structures than is
presented here.

16.1 Study of algebraic structures
Algebraic structures appear in most branches of mathematics, and students can encounter them in many different
ways.
• Beginning study: In American universities, groups, vector spaces and fields are generally the first structures
encountered in subjects such as linear algebra. They are usually introduced as sets with certain axioms.
• Advanced study:
• Abstract algebra studies properties of specific algebraic structures.
• Universal algebra studies algebraic structures abstractly, rather than specific types of structures.
• Varieties
• Category theory studies interrelationships between different structures, algebraic and non-algebraic. To
study a non-algebraic object, it is often useful to use category theory to relate the object to an algebraic
structure.
• Example: The fundamental group of a topological space gives information about the topological
space.
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16.2. TYPES OF ALGEBRAIC STRUCTURES

73

16.2 Types of algebraic structures
In full generality, an algebraic structure may use any number of sets and any number of axioms in its definition.
The most commonly studied structures, however, usually involve only one or two sets and one or two binary operations. The structures below are organized by how many sets are involved, and how many binary operations are used.
Increased indentation is meant to indicated a more exotic structure, and the least indented levels are the most basic.

16.2.1

One binary operation on one set

The following structures consist of a set with a binary operation. The most common structure is that of a group. Other
structures involve weakening or strengthening the axioms for groups, and may additionally use unary operations.
• Groups are key structures. Abelian groups are an important special type of group.
• semigroups and monoids: These are like groups, except the operation need not have inverse elements.
• quasigroups and loops: These are like groups, except the operation need not be associative.
• Magmas: These are like groups, except the operation need not be associative or have inverse elements.
• Semilattice: This is basically “half” of a lattice structure (see below).

16.2.2

Two binary operations on one set

The main types of structures with one set having two binary operations are rings and lattices. The axioms defining
many of the other structures are modifications of the axioms for rings and lattices. One major difference between
rings and lattices is that their two operations are related to each other in different ways. In ring-like structures, the
two operations are linked by the distributive law; in lattice-like structures, the operations are linked by the absorption
law.
• Rings: The two operations are usually called addition and multiplication. Commutative rings are an especially
important type of ring where the multiplication operation is commutative. Integral domains and fields are
especially important types of commutative rings.
• Nonassociative rings: These are like rings, but the multiplication operation need not be associative.
• Lie rings and Jordan rings are special examples of nonassociative rings.
• semirings: These are like rings, but the addition operation need not have inverses.
• nearrings: These are like rings, but the addition operation need not be commutative.
• *-rings: These are rings with an additional unary operation known as an involution.
• Lattices: The two operations are usually called meet and join.
• Latticoid: meet and join commute but need not associate.
• Skew lattice: meet and join associate but need not commute.

16.2.3

Two binary operations and two sets

The following structures have the common feature of having two sets, A and B, so that there is a binary operation
from A×A into A and another operation from A×B into A.
• Vector spaces: The set A is an Abelian group, and the set B is a field.
• Graded vector spaces: Vector spaces which are equipped with a direct sum decomposition into subspaces.
• Modules: The set A is an Abelian group, but the B is only a general ring and not necessarily a field.
• Special types of modules, including free modules, projective modules, injective modules and flat modules
are studied in abstract algebra.
• Group with operators: In this case, the set A is a group, and the set B is just a set.

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CHAPTER 16. OUTLINE OF ALGEBRAIC STRUCTURES

16.2.4

Three binary operations and two sets

Many structures here are actually hybrid structures of the previously mentioned ones.
• Algebra over a field: This is a ring which is also a vector space over a field. There are axioms governing the
interaction of the two structures. Multiplication is usually assumed to be associative.
• Algebra over a ring: These are defined the same way as algebras over fields, except that the field may now
be any commutative ring.
• Graded algebra: These algebras are equipped with a decomposition into grades.
• Non-associative algebras: These are algebras for which the associativity of ring multiplication is relaxed.
• Lie algebras and Jordan algebras are special examples of non-associative algebras.
• Coalgebra: This structure has axioms which make its multiplication dual to those of an associative algebra.
• Bialgebra: These structures are simultaneously algebras and coalgebras whose operations are compatible.
There are actually four operations for this structure.

16.3 Algebraic structures with additional non-algebraic structure
There are many examples of mathematical structures where algebraic structure exists alongside non-algebraic structure.
• Topological vector spaces are vector spaces with a compatible topology.
• Lie groups: These are topological manifolds that also carry a compatible group structure.
• Ordered groups, ordered rings and ordered fields have algebraic structure compatible with an order on the set.
• Von Neumann algebras: these are *-algebras on a Hilbert space which are equipped with the weak operator
topology.

16.4 Algebraic structures in different disciplines
Some algebraic structures find uses in disciplines outside of abstract algebra. The following is meant to demonstrate
some specific applications in other fields.
In Physics:
• Lie groups are used extensively in physics. A few well-known ones include the orthogonal groups and the
unitary groups.
• Lie algebras
• Inner product spaces
• Kac–Moody algebra
• The quaternions and more generally geometric algebras
In Mathematical logic:
• Boolean algebras are both rings and lattices, under their two operations.
• Heyting algebras are a special example of boolean algebras.
• Peano arithmetic

16.5. SEE ALSO

75

• Boundary algebra
• MV-algebra
In Computer science:
• Max-plus algebra
• Syntactic monoid
• Transition monoid

16.5 See also
• Abstract algebra
• Outline of abstract algebra
• Universal algebra
• Variety (universal algebra)
• Linear algebra
• Outline of linear algebra
• Arity
• Category theory
• Free object
• Operation (mathematics)
• Signature (logic)
• First-order theories
• Mathematical lists

16.6 Notes
16.7 References
• Garrett Birkhoff, 1967. Lattice Theory, 3rd ed, AMS Colloquium Publications Vol. 25. American Mathematical Society.
• --------, and Saunders MacLane, 1999 (1967). Algebra, 2nd ed. New York: Chelsea.
• George Boolos and Richard Jeffrey, 1980. Computability and Logic, 2nd ed. Cambridge Univ. Press.
• Dummit, David S., and Foote, Richard M., 2004. Abstract Algebra, 3rd ed. John Wiley and Sons.
• Grätzer, George, 1978. Universal Algebra, 2nd ed. Springer.
• David K. Lewis, 1991. Part of Classes. Blackwell.
• Michel, Anthony N., and Herget, Charles J., 1993 (1981). Applied Algebra and Functional Analysis. Dover.
• Potter, Michael, 2004. Set Theory and its Philosophy, 2nd ed. Oxford Univ. Press.
• Smorynski, Craig, 1991. Logical Number Theory I. Springer-Verlag.
A monograph available free online:
• Burris, Stanley N., and H.P. Sankappanavar, H. P., 1981. A Course in Universal Algebra. Springer-Verlag.
ISBN 3-540-90578-2.

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CHAPTER 16. OUTLINE OF ALGEBRAIC STRUCTURES

16.8 External links
• Jipsen:
• Alphabetical list of algebra structures; includes many not mentioned here.
• Online books and lecture notes.
• Map containing about 50 structures, some of which do not appear above. Likewise, most of the structures
above are absent from this map.
• PlanetMath topic index.
• Hazewinkel, Michiel (2001) Encyclopaedia of Mathematics. Springer-Verlag.
• Mathworld page on abstract algebra.
• Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Algebra by Vaughan Pratt.

Chapter 17

Structure (mathematical logic)
In universal algebra and in model theory, a structure consists of a set along with a collection of finitary operations,
and relations that are defined on it.
Universal algebra studies structures that generalize the algebraic structures such as groups, rings, fields and vector
spaces. The term universal algebra is used for structures with no relation symbols.[1]
Model theory has a different scope that encompasses more arbitrary theories, including foundational structures such as
models of set theory. From the model-theoretic point of view, structures are the objects used to define the semantics
of first-order logic. For a given theory in model theory, a structure is called a model, if it satisfies the defining axioms
of that theory, although it is sometimes disambiguated as a semantic model when one discusses the notion in the more
general setting of mathematical models. Logicians sometimes refer to structures as interpretations.[2]
In database theory, structures with no functions are studied as models for relational databases, in the form of relational
models.

17.1 Definition
See also: Model theory § Universal algebra and Universal algebra § Basic idea
Formally, a structure can be defined as a triple A = (A, σ, I) consisting of a domain A, a signature σ, and an
interpretation function I that indicates how the signature is to be interpreted on the domain. To indicate that a
structure has a particular signature σ one can refer to it as a σ-structure.

17.1.1

Domain

The domain of a structure is an arbitrary set; it is also called the underlying set of the structure, its carrier (especially
in universal algebra), or its universe (especially in model theory). In classical first-order logic, the definition of a
structure prohibits the empty domain.[3]
Sometimes the notation dom(A) or |A| is used for the domain of A , but often no notational distinction is made
between a structure and its domain. (I.e. the same symbol A refers both to the structure and its domain.)[4]

17.1.2

Signature

Main article: Signature (logic)
The signature of a structure consists of a set of function symbols and relation symbols along with a function that
ascribes to each symbol s a natural number n = ar(s) which is called the arity of s because it is the arity of the
interpretation of s.
Since the signatures that arise in algebra often contain only function symbols, a signature with no relation symbols is
77

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CHAPTER 17. STRUCTURE (MATHEMATICAL LOGIC)

called an algebraic signature. A structure with such a signature is also called an algebra; this should not be confused
with the notion of an algebra over a field.

17.1.3

Interpretation function

Main article: Interpretation (model theory)
The interpretation function I of A assigns functions and relations to the symbols of the signature. Each function
symbol f of arity n is assigned an n-ary function f A = I(f ) on the domain. Each relation symbol R of arity n is
assigned an n-ary relation RA = I(R) ⊆ Aar(R) on the domain. A nullary function symbol c is called a constant
symbol, because its interpretation I(c) can be identified with a constant element of the domain.
When a structure (and hence an interpretation function) is given by context, no notational distinction is made between a
symbol s and its interpretation I(s). For example if f is a binary function symbol of A , one simply writes f : A2 → A
rather than f A : |A|2 → |A| .

17.1.4

Examples

The standard signature σf for fields consists of two binary function symbols + and ×, a unary function symbol −, and
the two constant symbols 0 and 1. Thus a structure (algebra) for this signature consists of a set of elements A together
with two binary functions, a unary function, and two distinguished elements; but there is no requirement that it satisfy
any of the field axioms. The rational numbers Q, the real numbers R and the complex numbers C, like any other field,
can be regarded as σ-structures in an obvious way:

Q = (Q, σf , IQ )
R = (R, σf , IR )
C = (C, σf , IC )
where
IQ (+) : Q × Q → Q is addition of rational numbers,
IQ (×) : Q × Q → Q is multiplication of rational numbers,
IQ (−) : Q → Q is the function that takes each rational number x to -x, and
IQ (0) ∈ Q is the number 0 and
IQ (1) ∈ Q is the number 1;
and IR and IC are similarly defined.
But the ring Z of integers, which is not a field, is also a σf-structure in the same way. In fact, there is no requirement
that any of the field axioms hold in a σf-structure.
A signature for ordered fields needs an additional binary relation such as < or ≤, and therefore structures for such a
signature are not algebras, even though they are of course algebraic structures in the usual, loose sense of the word.
The ordinary signature for set theory includes a single binary relation ∈. A structure for this signature consists of a
set of elements and an interpretation of the ∈ relation as a binary relation on these elements.

17.2 Induced substructures and closed subsets
A is called an (induced) substructure of B if
• A and B have the same signature σ(A) = σ(B) ;

17.3. HOMOMORPHISMS AND EMBEDDINGS

79

• the domain of A is contained in the domain of B : |A| ⊆ |B| ; and
• the interpretations of all function and relation symbols agree on |B| .
The usual notation for this relation is A ⊆ B .
A subset B ⊆ |A| of the domain of a structure A is called closed if it is closed under the functions of A , i.e. if
the following condition is satisfied: for every natural number n, every n-ary function symbol f (in the signature of A
) and all elements b1 , b2 , . . . , bn ∈ B , the result of applying f to the n-tuple b1 b2 . . . bn is again an element of B:
f (b1 , b2 , . . . , bn ) ∈ B .
For every subset B ⊆ |A| there is a smallest closed subset of |A| that contains B. It is called the closed subset
generated by B, or the hull of B, and denoted by ⟨B⟩ or ⟨B⟩A . The operator ⟨⟩ is a finitary closure operator on the
set of subsets of |A| .
If A = (A, σ, I) and B ⊆ A is a closed subset, then (B, σ, I ′ ) is an induced substructure of A , where I ′ assigns to
every symbol of σ the restriction to B of its interpretation in A . Conversely, the domain of an induced substructure
is a closed subset.
The closed subsets (or induced substructures) of a structure form a lattice. The meet of two subsets is their intersection. The join of two subsets is the closed subset generated by their union. Universal algebra studies the lattice of
substructures of a structure in detail.

17.2.1

Examples

Let σ = {+, ×, −, 0, 1} be again the standard signature for fields. When regarded as σ-structures in the natural way, the
rational numbers form a substructure of the real numbers, and the real numbers form a substructure of the complex
numbers. The rational numbers are the smallest substructure of the real (or complex) numbers that also satisfies the
field axioms.
The set of integers gives an even smaller substructure of the real numbers which is not a field. Indeed, the integers are
the substructure of the real numbers generated by the empty set, using this signature. The notion in abstract algebra
that corresponds to a substructure of a field, in this signature, is that of a subring, rather than that of a subfield.
The most obvious way to define a graph is a structure with a signature σ consisting of a single binary relation symbol
E. The vertices of the graph form the domain of the structure, and for two vertices a and b, (a, b) ∈ E means that
a and b are connected by an edge. In this encoding, the notion of induced substructure is more restrictive than the
notion of subgraph. For example, let G be a graph consisting of two vertices connected by an edge, and let H be the
graph consisting of the same vertices but no edges. H is a subgraph of G, but not an induced substructure. The notion
in graph theory that corresponds to induced substructures is that of induced subgraphs.

17.3 Homomorphisms and embeddings
See also: Universal algebra § Basic constructions

17.3.1

Homomorphisms

Given two structures A and B of the same signature σ, a (σ-)homomorphism from A to B is a map h : |A| → |B|
that preserves the functions and relations. More precisely:
• For every n-ary function symbol f of σ and any elements a1 , a2 , . . . , an ∈ |A| , the following equation holds:

h(f (a1 , a2 , . . . , an )) = f (h(a1 ), h(a2 ), . . . , h(an ))
• For every n-ary relation symbol R of σ and any elements a1 , a2 , . . . , an ∈ |A| , the following implication
holds:

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CHAPTER 17. STRUCTURE (MATHEMATICAL LOGIC)

(a1 , a2 , . . . , an ) ∈ R =⇒ (h(a1 ), h(a2 ), . . . , h(an )) ∈ R
The notation for a homomorphism h from A to B is h : A → B .
For every signature σ there is a concrete category σ-Hom which has σ-structures as objects and σ-homomorphisms
as morphisms.
A homomorphism h : A → B is sometimes called strong if for every n-ary relation symbol R and any elements
b1 , b2 , . . . , bn ∈ |B| such that (b1 , b2 , . . . , bn ) ∈ R , there are a1 , a2 , . . . , an ∈ |A| such that (a1 , a2 , . . . , an ) ∈ R
and b1 = h(a1 ), b2 = h(a2 ), . . . , bn = h(an ). The strong homomorphisms give rise to a subcategory of σ-Hom.

17.3.2

Embeddings

A (σ-)homomorphism h : A → B is called a (σ-)embedding if it is one-to-one and
• for every n-ary relation symbol R of σ and any elements a1 , a2 , . . . , an , the following equivalence holds:

(a1 , a2 , . . . , an ) ∈ R ⇐⇒ (h(a1 ), h(a2 ), . . . , h(an )) ∈ R
Thus an embedding is the same thing as a strong homomorphism which is one-to-one. The category σ-Emb of
σ-structures and σ-embeddings is a concrete subcategory of σ-Hom.
Induced substructures correspond to subobjects in σ-Emb. If σ has only function symbols, σ-Emb is the subcategory
of monomorphisms of σ-Hom. In this case induced substructures also correspond to subobjects in σ-Hom.

17.3.3

Example

As seen above, in the standard encoding of graphs as structures the induced substructures are precisely the induced
subgraphs. However, a homomorphism between graphs is the same thing as a homomorphism between the two
structures coding the graph. In the example of the previous section, even though the subgraph H of G is not induced,
the identity map id: H → G is a homomorphism. This map is in fact a monomorphism in the category σ-Hom, and
therefore H is a subobject of G which is not an induced substructure.

17.3.4

Homomorphism problem

The following problem is known as the homomorphism problem:
Given two finite structures A and B of a finite relational signature, find a homomorphism h : A → B or
show that no such homomorphism exists.
Every constraint satisfaction problem (CSP) has a translation into the homomorphism problem.[5] Therefore the
complexity of CSP can be studied using the methods of finite model theory.
Another application is in database theory, where a relational model of a database is essentially the same thing as a
relational structure. It turns out that a conjunctive query on a database can be described by another structure in the
same signature as the database model. A homomorphism from the relational model to the structure representing the
query is the same thing as a solution to the query. This shows that the conjunctive query problem is also equivalent
to the homomorphism problem.

17.4 Structures and first-order logic
See also: Model theory § First-order logic and Model theory § Axiomatizability, elimination of quantifiers, and
model-completeness

17.4. STRUCTURES AND FIRST-ORDER LOGIC

81

Structures are sometimes referred to as “first-order structures”. This is misleading, as nothing in their definition ties
them to any specific logic, and in fact they are suitable as semantic objects both for very restricted fragments of firstorder logic such as that used in universal algebra, and for second-order logic. In connection with first-order logic and
model theory, structures are often called models, even when the question “models of what?" has no obvious answer.

17.4.1

Satisfaction relation

Each first-order structure M has a satisfaction relation M ⊨ ϕ defined for all formulas ϕ in the language consisting
of the language of M together with a constant symbol for each element of M, which is interpreted as that element.
This relation is defined inductively using Tarski’s T-schema.
A structure M is said to be a model of a theory T if the language of M is the same as the language of T and every
sentence in T is satisfied by M . Thus, for example, a “ring” is a structure for the language of rings that satisfies each
of the ring axioms, and a model of ZFC set theory is a structure in the language of set theory that satisfies each of
the ZFC axioms.

17.4.2

Definable relations

An n-ary relation R on the universe M of a structure M is said to be definable (or explicitly definable, or ∅ definable) if there is a formula φ(x1 ,...,xn) such that

R = {(a1 , . . . , an ) ∈ M n : M ⊨ ϕ(a1 , . . . , an )}.
In other words, R is definable if and only if there is a formula φ such that

(a1 , . . . , an ) ∈ R ⇔ M ⊨ ϕ(a1 , . . . , an )
is correct.
An important special case is the definability of specific elements. An element m of M is definable in M if and only
if there is a formula φ(x) such that

M ⊨ ∀x(x = m ↔ ϕ(x)).
Definability with parameters
A relation R is said to be definable with parameters (or |M| -definable) if there is a formula φ with parameters
from M such that R is definable using φ. Every element of a structure is definable using the element itself as a
parameter.
It should be noted that some authors use definable to mean definable without parameters, while other authors mean
definable with parameters. Broadly speaking, the convention that definable means definable without parameters is
more common amongst set theorists, while the opposite convention is more common amongst model theorists.
Implicit definability
Recall from above that an n-ary relation R on the universe M of a structure M is explicitly definable if there is a
formula φ(x1 ,...,xn) such that

R = {(a1 , . . . , an ) ∈ M n : M ⊨ ϕ(a1 , . . . , an )}
Here the formula φ used to define a relation R must be over the signature of M and so φ may not mention R itself,
since R is not in the signature of M . If there is a formula φ in the extended language containing the language of M

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CHAPTER 17. STRUCTURE (MATHEMATICAL LOGIC)

and a new symbol R, and the relation R is the only relation on M such that M ⊨ ϕ , then R is said to be implicitly
definable over M .
By Beth’s theorem, every implicitly definable relation is explicitly definable.

17.5 Many-sorted structures
Structures as defined above are sometimes called one-sorted structures to distinguish them from the more general
many-sorted structures. A many-sorted structure can have an arbitrary number of domains. The sorts are part
of the signature, and they play the role of names for the different domains. Many-sorted signatures also prescribe
on which sorts the functions and relations of a many-sorted structure are defined. Therefore the arities of function
symbols or relation symbols must be more complicated objects such as tuples of sorts rather than natural numbers.
Vector spaces, for example, can be regarded as two-sorted structures in the following way. The two-sorted signature
of vector spaces consists of two sorts V (for vectors) and S (for scalars) and the following function symbols:
If V is a vector space over a field F, the corresponding two-sorted structure V consists of the vector domain |V|V = V
, the scalar domain |V|S = F , and the obvious functions, such as the vector zero 0V
V = 0 ∈ |V|V , the scalar zero
V
=
0

|V|
,
or
scalar
multiplication
×
:
|V|
×
|V|

|V|
.
0V
S
S
V
V
S
Many-sorted structures are often used as a convenient tool even when they could be avoided with a little effort. But
they are rarely defined in a rigorous way, because it is straightforward and tedious (hence unrewarding) to carry out
the generalization explicitly.
In most mathematical endeavours, not much attention is paid to the sorts. A many-sorted logic however naturally leads
to a type theory. As Bart Jacobs puts it: “A logic is always a logic over a type theory.” This emphasis in turn leads to
categorical logic because a logic over a type theory categorically corresponds to one (“total”) category, capturing the
logic, being fibred over another (“base”) category, capturing the type theory.[6]

17.6 Other generalizations
17.6.1

Partial algebras

Both universal algebra and model theory study classes of (structures or) algebras that are defined by a signature and
a set of axioms. In the case of model theory these axioms have the form of first-order sentences. The formalism
of universal algebra is much more restrictive; essentially it only allows first-order sentences that have the form of
universally quantified equations between terms, e.g. x y (x + y = y + x). One consequence is that the choice of a
signature is more significant in universal algebra than it is in model theory. For example the class of groups, in the
signature consisting of the binary function symbol × and the constant symbol 1, is an elementary class, but it is not a
variety. Universal algebra solves this problem by adding a unary function symbol −1 .
In the case of fields this strategy works only for addition. For multiplication it fails because 0 does not have a
multiplicative inverse. An ad hoc attempt to deal with this would be to define 0−1 = 0. (This attempt fails, essentially
because with this definition 0 × 0−1 = 1 is not true.) Therefore one is naturally led to allow partial functions, i.e.,
functions that are defined only on a subset of their domain. However, there are several obvious ways to generalize
notions such as substructure, homomorphism and identity.

17.6.2

Structures for typed languages

In type theory, there are many sorts of variables, each of which has a type. Types are inductively defined; given two
types δ and σ there is also a type σ → δ that represents functions from objects of type σ to objects of type δ. A
structure for a typed language (in the ordinary first-order semantics) must include a separate set of objects of each
type, and for a function type the structure must have complete information about the function represented by each
object of that type.

17.7. SEE ALSO

17.6.3

83

Higher-order languages

Main article: Second-order logic
There is more than one possible semantics for higher-order logic, as discussed in the article on second-order logic.
When using full higher-order semantics, a structure need only have a universe for objects of type 0, and the T-schema
is extended so that a quantifier over a higher-order type is satisfied by the model if and only if it is disquotationally
true. When using first-order semantics, an additional sort is added for each higher-order type, as in the case of a
many sorted first order language.

17.6.4

Structures that are proper classes

In the study of set theory and category theory, it is sometimes useful to consider structures in which the domain of
discourse is a proper class instead of a set. These structures are sometimes called class models to distinguish them
from the “set models” discussed above. When the domain is a proper class, each function and relation symbol may
also be represented by a proper class.
In Bertrand Russell's Principia Mathematica, structures were also allowed to have a proper class as their domain.

17.7 See also
• Mathematical structure
• Algebraic structure

17.8 Notes
[1] Some authors refer to structures as “algebras” when generalizing universal algebra to allow relations as well as functions.
[2] Wilfrid Hodges (2009). “Functional Modelling and Mathematical Models”. In Anthonie Meijers. Philosophy of technology
and engineering sciences. Handbook of the Philosophy of Science 9. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-444-51667-1.
[3] This is similar to the definition of a prime number in elementary number theory, which has been carefully chosen so that
the irreducible number 1 is not considered prime. The convention that the domain of a structure may not be empty is
particularly important in logic, because several common inference rules, notably, universal instantiation, are not sound
when empty structures are permitted. A logical system that allows the empty domain is known as an inclusive logic.
[4] As a consequence of these conventions, the notation |A| may also be used to refer to the cardinality of the domain of A .
In practice this never leads to confusion.
[5] Jeavons, Peter; David Cohen; Justin Pearson (1998), “Constraints and universal algebra”, Annals of Mathematics and
Artificial Intelligence 24: 51–67, doi:10.1023/A:1018941030227.
[6] Jacobs, Bart (1999), Categorical Logic and Type Theory, Elsevier, pp. 1–4

17.9 References
• Burris, Stanley N.; Sankappanavar, H. P. (1981), A Course in Universal Algebra, Berlin, New York: SpringerVerlag
• Chang, Chen Chung; Keisler, H. Jerome (1989) [1973], Model Theory, Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-7204-0692-4
• Diestel, Reinhard (2005) [1997], Graph Theory, Graduate Texts in Mathematics 173 (3rd ed.), Berlin, New
York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-540-26183-4
• Ebbinghaus, Heinz-Dieter; Flum, Jörg; Thomas, Wolfgang (1994), Mathematical Logic (2nd ed.), New York:
Springer, ISBN 978-0-387-94258-2

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CHAPTER 17. STRUCTURE (MATHEMATICAL LOGIC)
• Hinman, P. (2005), Fundamentals of Mathematical Logic, A K Peters, ISBN 978-1-56881-262-5
• Hodges, Wilfrid (1993), Model theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-30442-9
• Hodges, Wilfrid (1997), A shorter model theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-52158713-6
• Marker, David (2002), Model Theory: An Introduction, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-0-38798760-6
• Poizat, Bruno (2000), A Course in Model Theory: An Introduction to Contemporary Mathematical Logic, Berlin,
New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-0-387-98655-5
• Rautenberg, Wolfgang (2010), A Concise Introduction to Mathematical Logic (3rd ed.), New York: Springer
Science+Business Media, doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-1221-3, ISBN 978-1-4419-1220-6
• Rothmaler, Philipp (2000), Introduction to Model Theory, London: CRC Press, ISBN 978-90-5699-313-9

17.10 External links
• Semantics section in Classical Logic (an entry of Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Chapter 18

Surjective function
“Onto” redirects here. For other uses, see wikt:onto.
In mathematics, a function f from a set X to a set Y is surjective (or onto), or a surjection, if every element y in Y

X

Y

1

D

2

B

3

C

4
A surjective function from domain X to codomain Y. The function is surjective because every point in the codomain is the value of
f(x) for at least one point x in the domain.

85

86

CHAPTER 18. SURJECTIVE FUNCTION

has a corresponding element x in X such that f(x) = y. The function f may map more than one element of X to the
same element of Y.
The term surjective and the related terms injective and bijective were introduced by Nicolas Bourbaki,[1] the pseudonym
for a group of mainly French 20th-century mathematicians who wrote a series of books presenting an exposition of
modern advanced mathematics, beginning in 1935. The French prefix sur means over or above and relates to the fact
that the image of the domain of a surjective function completely covers the function’s codomain.

18.1 Definition
For more details on notation, see Function (mathematics) § Notation.
A surjective function is a function whose image is equal to its codomain. Equivalently, a function f with domain
X and codomain Y is surjective if for every y in Y there exists at least one x in X with f (x) = y . Surjections are
sometimes denoted by a two-headed rightwards arrow (U+21A0 ↠ rightwards two headed arrow),[2] as in f : X ↠
Y.
Symbolically,
If f : X → Y , then f is said to be surjective if
∀y ∈ Y, ∃x ∈ X, f (x) = y

18.2 Examples
For any set X, the identity function idX on X is surjective.
The function f : Z → {0,1} defined by f(n) = n mod 2 (that is, even integers are mapped to 0 and odd integers to 1)
is surjective.
The function f : R → R defined by f(x) = 2x + 1 is surjective (and even bijective), because for every real number y
we have an x such that f(x) = y: an appropriate x is (y − 1)/2.
The function f : R → R defined by f(x) = x3 − 3x is surjective, because the pre-image of any real number y is the
solution set of the cubic polynomial equation x3 − 3x − y = 0 and every cubic polynomial with real coefficients has at
least one real root. However, this function is not injective (and hence not bijective) since e.g. the pre-image of y = 2
is {x = −1, x = 2}. (In fact, the pre-image of this function for every y, −2 ≤ y ≤ 2 has more than one element.)
The function g : R → R defined by g(x) = x2 is not surjective, because there is no real number x such that x2 = −1.
However, the function g : R → R0 + defined by g(x) = x2 (with restricted codomain) is surjective because for every y
in the nonnegative real codomain Y there is at least one x in the real domain X such that x2 = y.
The natural logarithm function ln : (0,+∞) → R is a surjective and even bijective mapping from the set of positive
real numbers to the set of all real numbers. Its inverse, the exponential function, is not surjective as its range is the set
of positive real numbers and its domain is usually defined to be the set of all real numbers. The matrix exponential
is not surjective when seen as a map from the space of all n×n matrices to itself. It is, however, usually defined as a
map from the space of all n×n matrices to the general linear group of degree n, i.e. the group of all n×n invertible
matrices. Under this definition the matrix exponential is surjective for complex matrices, although still not surjective
for real matrices.
The projection from a cartesian product A × B to one of its factors is surjective unless the other factor is empty.
In a 3D video game vectors are projected onto a 2D flat screen by means of a surjective function.

18.3 Properties
A function is bijective if and only if it is both surjective and injective.

18.3. PROPERTIES

87

f(x)

x

Y

X
f:X→Y

A non-surjective function from domain X to codomain Y. The smaller oval inside Y is the image (also called range) of f. This
function is not surjective, because the image does not fill the whole codomain. In other words, Y is colored in a two-step process:
First, for every x in X, the point f(x) is colored yellow; Second, all the rest of the points in Y, that are not yellow, are colored blue.
The function f is surjective only if there are no blue points.

If (as is often done) a function is identified with its graph, then surjectivity is not a property of the function itself, but
rather a relationship between the function and its codomain. Unlike injectivity, surjectivity cannot be read off of the
graph of the function alone.

18.3.1

Surjections as right invertible functions

The function g : Y → X is said to be a right inverse of the function f : X → Y if f(g(y)) = y for every y in Y (g can be
undone by f). In other words, g is a right inverse of f if the composition f o g of g and f in that order is the identity
function on the domain Y of g. The function g need not be a complete inverse of f because the composition in the
other order, g o f, may not be the identity function on the domain X of f. In other words, f can undo or "reverse" g,
but cannot necessarily be reversed by it.
Every function with a right inverse is necessarily a surjection. The proposition that every surjective function has a
right inverse is equivalent to the axiom of choice.
If f : X → Y is surjective and B is a subset of Y, then f(f −1 (B)) = B. Thus, B can be recovered from its preimage
f −1 (B).
For example, in the first illustration, there is some function g such that g(C) = 4. There is also some function f such
that f(4) = C. It doesn't matter that g(C) can also equal 3; it only matters that f “reverses” g.
• Another surjective function. (This one happens to be a bijection)
• A non-surjective function. (This one happens to be an injection)
• Surjective composition: the first function need not be surjective.

88

CHAPTER 18. SURJECTIVE FUNCTION

y

y
y

Y
im f

y

Y

im f

x
x

x

X
x

f :X
Y
y f x

x

X1

f : X1
y

X2

f : X2

Y1

Y2

f x

Interpretation for surjective functions in the Cartesian plane, defined by the mapping f : X → Y, where y = f(x), X = domain of
function, Y = range of function. Every element in the range is mapped onto from an element in the domain, by the rule f. There
may be a number of domain elements which map to the same range element. That is, every y in Y is mapped from an element x in
X, more than one x can map to the same y. Left: Only one domain is shown which makes f surjective. Right: two possible domains
X1 and X2 are shown.

y

y3
y

y

Y
im f

y2

y

Y
Y
Y

im f
y0

Y

y1

Y

x
x0

X

x

x

X

f :X
Y
y f x

x1

x3

X
x2
x

X1

f : X1
y

X

X
x

Y1

x

X

X2

f : X2

Y2

f x

Non-surjective functions in the Cartesian plane. Although some parts of the function are surjective, where elements y in Y do have
a value x in X such that y = f(x), some parts are not. Left: There is y0 in Y, but there is no x0 in X such that y0 = f(x0 ). Right:
There are y1 , y2 and y3 in Y, but there are no x1 , x2 , and x3 in X such that y1 = f(x1 ), y2 = f(x2 ), and y3 = f(x3 ).

18.3.2

Surjections as epimorphisms

A function f : X → Y is surjective if and only if it is right-cancellative:[3] given any functions g,h : Y → Z, whenever g
o f = h o f, then g = h. This property is formulated in terms of functions and their composition and can be generalized
to the more general notion of the morphisms of a category and their composition. Right-cancellative morphisms are
called epimorphisms. Specifically, surjective functions are precisely the epimorphisms in the category of sets. The

18.4. SEE ALSO

89

prefix epi is derived from the Greek preposition ἐπί meaning over, above, on.
Any morphism with a right inverse is an epimorphism, but the converse is not true in general. A right inverse g of a
morphism f is called a section of f. A morphism with a right inverse is called a split epimorphism.

18.3.3

Surjections as binary relations

Any function with domain X and codomain Y can be seen as a left-total and right-unique binary relation between X
and Y by identifying it with its function graph. A surjective function with domain X and codomain Y is then a binary
relation between X and Y that is right-unique and both left-total and right-total.

18.3.4

Cardinality of the domain of a surjection

The cardinality of the domain of a surjective function is greater than or equal to the cardinality of its codomain: If f
: X → Y is a surjective function, then X has at least as many elements as Y, in the sense of cardinal numbers. (The
proof appeals to the axiom of choice to show that a function g : Y → X satisfying f(g(y)) = y for all y in Y exists. g
is easily seen to be injective, thus the formal definition of |Y| ≤ |X| is satisfied.)
Specifically, if both X and Y are finite with the same number of elements, then f : X → Y is surjective if and only if
f is injective.

18.3.5

Composition and decomposition

The composite of surjective functions is always surjective: If f and g are both surjective, and the codomain of g
is equal to the domain of f, then f o g is surjective. Conversely, if f o g is surjective, then f is surjective (but g,
the function applied first, need not be). These properties generalize from surjections in the category of sets to any
epimorphisms in any category.
Any function can be decomposed into a surjection and an injection: For any function h : X → Z there exist a surjection
f : X → Y and an injection g : Y → Z such that h = g o f. To see this, define Y to be the sets h −1 (z) where z is in
Z. These sets are disjoint and partition X. Then f carries each x to the element of Y which contains it, and g carries
each element of Y to the point in Z to which h sends its points. Then f is surjective since it is a projection map, and
g is injective by definition.

18.3.6

Induced surjection and induced bijection

Any function induces a surjection by restricting its codomain to its range. Any surjective function induces a bijection
defined on a quotient of its domain by collapsing all arguments mapping to a given fixed image. More precisely, every
surjection f : A → B can be factored as a projection followed by a bijection as follows. Let A/~ be the equivalence
classes of A under the following equivalence relation: x ~ y if and only if f(x) = f(y). Equivalently, A/~ is the set of
all preimages under f. Let P(~) : A → A/~ be the projection map which sends each x in A to its equivalence class
[x]~, and let fP : A/~ → B be the well-defined function given by fP([x]~) = f(x). Then f = fP o P(~).

18.4 See also
• Bijection, injection and surjection
• Cover (algebra)
• Covering map
• Enumeration
• Fiber bundle
• Index set
• Section (category theory)

90

CHAPTER 18. SURJECTIVE FUNCTION

18.5 Notes
[1] “Injection, Surjection and Bijection”, Earliest Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics, Tripod |first1= missing |last1= in
Authors list (help).
[2] “Arrows – Unicode” (PDF). Retrieved 2013-05-11.
[3] Goldblatt, Robert (2006) [1984]. Topoi, the Categorial Analysis of Logic (Revised ed.). Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0486-45026-1. Retrieved 2009-11-25.

18.6 References
• Bourbaki, Nicolas (2004) [1968]. Theory of Sets. Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-22525-6.

Chapter 19

Unary operation
In mathematics, a unary operation is an operation with only one operand, i.e. a single input. An example is the
function f : A → A , where A is a set. The function f is a unary operation on A.
Common notations are prefix notation (e.g. +, −, not), postfix notation (e.g. factorial n!), functional notation (e.g.
sin x or sin (x)), and superscripts (e.g. transpose AT ). Other notations exist as well. For example, in the case of the
square root, a horizontal bar extending the square root sign over the argument can indicate the extent of the argument.

19.1 Unary negative and positive
As unary operations have only one operand they are evaluated before other operations containing them in common
mathematics (because certain programming languages do not abide by such rules). Here is an example using negation:
3 − −2
Here the first '−' represents the binary subtraction operation, while the second '−' represents the unary negation of the
2 (or '−2' could be taken to mean the integer −2). Therefore, the expression is equal to:
3 − (−2) = 5
Technically there is also a unary positive but it is not needed since we assume a value to be positive:
(+2) = 2
Unary positive does not change the sign of a negative operation:
(+(−2)) = (−2)
In this case a unary negative is needed to change the sign:
(−(−2)) = (+2)

19.2 Examples from programming languages
19.2.1

C family of languages

In the C family of languages, the following operators are unary:
• Increment: ++x, x++
91

92

CHAPTER 19. UNARY OPERATION
• Decrement: −−x, x−−
• Address: &x
• Indirection: *x
• Positive: +x
• Negative: −x
• One’s complement: ~x
• Logical negation: !x
• Sizeof: sizeof x, sizeof(type-name)
• Cast: (type-name) cast-expression

19.2.2

Unix Shell (Bash)

In the Unix/Linux shell (bash/sh), '$' is a unary operator when used for parameter expansion, replacing the name of
a variable by its (sometimes modified) value. For example:
• Simple expansion: $x
• Complex expansion: ${#x}

19.2.3

Other languages

Windows PowerShell
• Increment: ++$x, $x++
• Decrement: −−$x, $x−−
• Positive: +$x
• Negative: −$x
• Logical negation: -not $x
• Invoke in current scope: .$x
• Invoke in new scope: &$x
• Cast: [type-name] cast-expression

19.3 See also
• Binary operation
• Ternary operation
• Arity
• Operation (mathematics)
• Operator (programming)

19.4 References
• Matt Insall, “Unary Operation”, MathWorld.

Chapter 20

Universal algebra
Universal algebra (sometimes called general algebra) is the field of mathematics that studies algebraic structures
themselves, not examples (“models”) of algebraic structures. For instance, rather than take particular groups as the
object of study, in universal algebra one takes “the theory of groups” as an object of study.

20.1 Basic idea
In universal algebra, an algebra (or algebraic structure) is a set A together with a collection of operations on A.
An n-ary operation on A is a function that takes n elements of A and returns a single element of A. Thus, a 0-ary
operation (or nullary operation) can be represented simply as an element of A, or a constant, often denoted by a
letter like a. A 1-ary operation (or unary operation) is simply a function from A to A, often denoted by a symbol
placed in front of its argument, like ~x. A 2-ary operation (or binary operation) is often denoted by a symbol placed
between its arguments, like x ∗ y. Operations of higher or unspecified arity are usually denoted by function symbols,
with the arguments placed in parentheses
and separated by commas, like f(x,y,z) or f(x1 ,...,xn). Some researchers

allow infinitary operations, such as α∈J xα where J is an infinite index set, thus leading into the algebraic theory
of complete lattices. One way of talking about an algebra, then, is by referring to it as an algebra of a certain type Ω
, where Ω is an ordered sequence of natural numbers representing the arity of the operations of the algebra.

20.1.1

Equations

After the operations have been specified, the nature of the algebra can be further limited by axioms, which in universal
algebra often take the form of identities, or equational laws. An example is the associative axiom for a binary
operation, which is given by the equation x ∗ (y ∗ z) = (x ∗ y) ∗ z. The axiom is intended to hold for all elements x, y,
and z of the set A.

20.2 Varieties
Main article: Variety (universal algebra)
An algebraic structure that can be defined by identities is called a variety, and these are sufficiently important that
some authors consider varieties the only object of study in universal algebra, while others consider them an object.
Restricting one’s study to varieties rules out:
• Predicate logic, notably quantification, including universal quantification ( ∀ ), except before an equation, and
existential quantification ( ∃ )
• All relations except equality, in particular inequalities, both a ≠ b and order relations
93

94

CHAPTER 20. UNIVERSAL ALGEBRA

In this narrower definition, universal algebra can be seen as a special branch of model theory, typically dealing with
structures having operations only (i.e. the type can have symbols for functions but not for relations other than equality),
and in which the language used to talk about these structures uses equations only.
Not all algebraic structures in a wider sense fall into this scope. For example ordered groups are not studied in
mainstream universal algebra because they involve an ordering relation.
A more fundamental restriction is that universal algebra cannot study the class of fields, because there is no type
(a.k.a. signature) in which all field laws can be written as equations (inverses of elements are defined for all non-zero
elements in a field, so inversion cannot simply be added to the type).
One advantage of this restriction is that the structures studied in universal algebra can be defined in any category that
has finite products. For example, a topological group is just a group in the category of topological spaces.

20.2.1

Examples

Most of the usual algebraic systems of mathematics are examples of varieties, but not always in an obvious way – the
usual definitions often involve quantification or inequalities.
Groups
To see how this works, let’s consider the definition of a group. Normally a group is defined in terms of a single binary
operation ∗, subject to these axioms:
• Associativity (as in the previous section): x ∗ (y ∗ z) = (x ∗ y) ∗ z; formally: ∀x,y,z. x∗(y∗z)=(x∗y)∗z.
• Identity element: There exists an element e such that for each element x, e ∗ x = x = x ∗ e; formally: ∃e ∀x.
e∗x=x=x∗e.
• Inverse element: It can easily be seen that the identity element is unique. If this unique identity element is
denoted by e then for each x, there exists an element i such that x ∗ i = e = i ∗ x; formally: ∀x ∃i. x∗i=e=i∗x.
(Some authors also use an axiom called "closure", stating that x ∗ y belongs to the set A whenever x and y do. But
from a universal algebraist’s point of view, that is already implied by calling ∗ a binary operation.)
This definition of a group is problematic from the point of view of universal algebra. The reason is that the axioms of
the identity element and inversion are not stated purely in terms of equational laws but also have clauses involving the
phrase “there exists ... such that ...”. This is inconvenient; the list of group properties can be simplified to universally
quantified equations by adding a nullary operation e and a unary operation ~ in addition to the binary operation ∗.
Then list the axioms for these three operations as follows:
• Associativity: x ∗ (y ∗ z) = (x ∗ y) ∗ z.
• Identity element: e ∗ x = x = x ∗ e; formally: ∀x. e∗x=x=x∗e.
• Inverse element: x ∗ (~x) = e = (~x) ∗ x formally: ∀x. x∗~x=e=~x∗x.
(Of course, we usually write "x−1 " instead of "~x", which shows that the notation for operations of low arity is not
always as given in the second paragraph.)
What has changed is that in the usual definition there are:
• a single binary operation (signature (2))
• 1 equational law (associativity)
• 2 quantified laws (identity and inverse)
...while in the universal algebra definition there are
• 3 operations: one binary, one unary, and one nullary (signature (2,1,0))

20.3. BASIC CONSTRUCTIONS

95

• 3 equational laws (associativity, identity, and inverse)
• no quantified laws (except for outermost universal quantifiers which are allowed in varieties)
It is important to check that this really does capture the definition of a group. The reason that it might not is that
specifying one of these universal groups might give more information than specifying one of the usual kind of group.
After all, nothing in the usual definition said that the identity element e was unique; if there is another identity element
e', then it is ambiguous which one should be the value of the nullary operator e. Proving that it is unique is a common
beginning exercise in classical group theory textbooks. The same thing is true of inverse elements. So, the universal
algebraist’s definition of a group is equivalent to the usual definition.
At first glance this is simply a technical difference, replacing quantified laws with equational laws. However, it has
immediate practical consequences – when defining a group object in category theory, where the object in question
may not be a set, one must use equational laws (which make sense in general categories), and cannot use quantified
laws (which do not make sense, as objects in general categories do not have elements). Further, the perspective
of universal algebra insists not only that the inverse and identity exist, but that they be maps in the category. The
basic example is of a topological group – not only must the inverse exist element-wise, but the inverse map must be
continuous (some authors also require the identity map to be a closed inclusion, hence cofibration, again referring to
properties of the map).

20.3 Basic constructions
We assume that the type, Ω , has been fixed. Then there are three basic constructions in universal algebra: homomorphic image, subalgebra, and product.
A homomorphism between two algebras A and B is a function h: A → B from the set A to the set B such that, for every
operation fA of A and corresponding fB of B (of arity, say, n), h(fA(x1 ,...,xn)) = fB(h(x1 ),...,h(xn)). (Sometimes
the subscripts on f are taken off when it is clear from context which algebra your function is from) For example, if
e is a constant (nullary operation), then h(eA) = eB. If ~ is a unary operation, then h(~x) = ~h(x). If ∗ is a binary
operation, then h(x ∗ y) = h(x) ∗ h(y). And so on. A few of the things that can be done with homomorphisms, as well
as definitions of certain special kinds of homomorphisms, are listed under the entry Homomorphism. In particular,
we can take the homomorphic image of an algebra, h(A).
A subalgebra of A is a subset of A that is closed under all the operations of A. A product of some set of algebraic
structures is the cartesian product of the sets with the operations defined coordinatewise.

20.4 Some basic theorems
• The isomorphism theorems, which encompass the isomorphism theorems of groups, rings, modules, etc.
• Birkhoff’s HSP Theorem, which states that a class of algebras is a variety if and only if it is closed under
homomorphic images, subalgebras, and arbitrary direct products.

20.5 Motivations and applications
In addition to its unifying approach, universal algebra also gives deep theorems and important examples and counterexamples. It provides a useful framework for those who intend to start the study of new classes of algebras. It can
enable the use of methods invented for some particular classes of algebras to other classes of algebras, by recasting
the methods in terms of universal algebra (if possible), and then interpreting these as applied to other classes. It has
also provided conceptual clarification; as J.D.H. Smith puts it, “What looks messy and complicated in a particular
framework may turn out to be simple and obvious in the proper general one.”
In particular, universal algebra can be applied to the study of monoids, rings, and lattices. Before universal algebra
came along, many theorems (most notably the isomorphism theorems) were proved separately in all of these fields,
but with universal algebra, they can be proven once and for all for every kind of algebraic system.
The 1956 paper by Higgins referenced below has been well followed up for its framework for a range of particular
algebraic systems, while his 1963 paper is notable for its discussion of algebras with operations which are only partially

96

CHAPTER 20. UNIVERSAL ALGEBRA

defined, typical examples for this being categories and groupoids. This leads on to the subject of higher-dimensional
algebra which can be defined as the study of algebraic theories with partial operations whose domains are defined under
geometric conditions. Notable examples of these are various forms of higher-dimensional categories and groupoids.

20.6 Generalizations
Further information: Category theory, Operad theory and Partial algebra
A more generalised programme along these lines is carried out by category theory. Given a list of operations and
axioms in universal algebra, the corresponding algebras and homomorphisms are the objects and morphisms of a
category. Category theory applies to many situations where universal algebra does not, extending the reach of the
theorems. Conversely, many theorems that hold in universal algebra do not generalise all the way to category theory.
Thus both fields of study are useful.
A more recent development in category theory that generalizes operations is operad theory – an operad is a set of
operations, similar to a universal algebra.
Another development is partial algebra where the operators can be partial functions.

20.7 History
In Alfred North Whitehead's book A Treatise on Universal Algebra, published in 1898, the term universal algebra
had essentially the same meaning that it has today. Whitehead credits William Rowan Hamilton and Augustus De
Morgan as originators of the subject matter, and James Joseph Sylvester with coining the term itself.[1]
At the time structures such as Lie algebras and hyperbolic quaternions drew attention to the need to expand algebraic
structures beyond the associatively multiplicative class. In a review Alexander Macfarlane wrote: “The main idea of
the work is not unification of the several methods, nor generalization of ordinary algebra so as to include them, but
rather the comparative study of their several structures.” At the time George Boole's algebra of logic made a strong
counterpoint to ordinary number algebra, so the term “universal” served to calm strained sensibilities.
Whitehead’s early work sought to unify quaternions (due to Hamilton), Grassmann's Ausdehnungslehre, and Boole’s
algebra of logic. Whitehead wrote in his book:

“Such algebras have an intrinsic value for separate detailed study; also they are worthy of comparative
study, for the sake of the light thereby thrown on the general theory of symbolic reasoning, and on algebraic
symbolism in particular. The comparative study necessarily presupposes some previous separate study,
comparison being impossible without knowledge.” [2]

Whitehead, however, had no results of a general nature. Work on the subject was minimal until the early 1930s,
when Garrett Birkhoff and Øystein Ore began publishing on universal algebras. Developments in metamathematics
and category theory in the 1940s and 1950s furthered the field, particularly the work of Abraham Robinson, Alfred
Tarski, Andrzej Mostowski, and their students (Brainerd 1967).
In the period between 1935 and 1950, most papers were written along the lines suggested by Birkhoff’s papers, dealing
with free algebras, congruence and subalgebra lattices, and homomorphism theorems. Although the development of
mathematical logic had made applications to algebra possible, they came about slowly; results published by Anatoly
Maltsev in the 1940s went unnoticed because of the war. Tarski’s lecture at the 1950 International Congress of
Mathematicians in Cambridge ushered in a new period in which model-theoretic aspects were developed, mainly by
Tarski himself, as well as C.C. Chang, Leon Henkin, Bjarni Jónsson, Roger Lyndon, and others.
In the late 1950s, Edward Marczewski[3] emphasized the importance of free algebras, leading to the publication of
more than 50 papers on the algebraic theory of free algebras by Marczewski himself, together with Jan Mycielski,
Władysław Narkiewicz, Witold Nitka, J. Płonka, S. Świerczkowski, K. Urbanik, and others.

20.8. SEE ALSO

97

20.8 See also
• Graph algebra
• Homomorphism
• Lattice theory
• Signature
• Term algebra
• Variety
• Clone
• Universal algebraic geometry
• Model theory

20.9 Footnotes
[1] Grätzer, George. Universal Algebra, Van Nostrand Co., Inc., 1968, p. v.
[2] Quoted in Grätzer, George. Universal Algebra, Van Nostrand Co., Inc., 1968.
[3] Marczewski, E. “A general scheme of the notions of independence in mathematics.” Bull. Acad. Polon. Sci. Ser. Sci.
Math. Astronom. Phys. 6 (1958), 731–736.

20.10 References
• Bergman, George M., 1998. An Invitation to General Algebra and Universal Constructions (pub. Henry Helson,
15 the Crescent, Berkeley CA, 94708) 398 pp. ISBN 0-9655211-4-1.
• Birkhoff, Garrett, 1946. Universal algebra. Comptes Rendus du Premier Congrès Canadien de Mathématiques,
University of Toronto Press, Toronto, pp. 310–326.
• Brainerd, Barron, Aug–Sep 1967. Review of Universal Algebra by P. M. Cohn. American Mathematical
Monthly, 74(7): 878–880.
• Burris, Stanley N., and H.P. Sankappanavar, 1981. A Course in Universal Algebra Springer-Verlag. ISBN
3-540-90578-2 Free online edition.
• Cohn, Paul Moritz, 1981. Universal Algebra. Dordrecht, Netherlands: D.Reidel Publishing. ISBN 90-2771213-1 (First published in 1965 by Harper & Row)
• Freese, Ralph, and Ralph McKenzie, 1987. Commutator Theory for Congruence Modular Varieties, 1st ed.
London Mathematical Society Lecture Note Series, 125. Cambridge Univ. Press. ISBN 0-521-34832-3. Free
online second edition.
• Grätzer, George, 1968. Universal Algebra D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc.
• Higgins, P. J. Groups with multiple operators. Proc. London Math. Soc. (3) 6 (1956), 366–416.
• Higgins, P.J., Algebras with a scheme of operators. Mathematische Nachrichten (27) (1963) 115–132.
• Hobby, David, and Ralph McKenzie, 1988. The Structure of Finite Algebras American Mathematical Society.
ISBN 0-8218-3400-2. Free online edition.
• Jipsen, Peter, and Henry Rose, 1992. Varieties of Lattices, Lecture Notes in Mathematics 1533. Springer
Verlag. ISBN 0-387-56314-8. Free online edition.
• Pigozzi, Don. General Theory of Algebras.
• Smith, J.D.H., 1976. Mal'cev Varieties, Springer-Verlag.
• Whitehead, Alfred North, 1898. A Treatise on Universal Algebra, Cambridge. (Mainly of historical interest.)

98

CHAPTER 20. UNIVERSAL ALGEBRA

20.11 External links
• Algebra Universalis—a journal dedicated to Universal Algebra.

20.12. TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES, CONTRIBUTORS, AND LICENSES

99

20.12 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses
20.12.1

Text

• Algebraic structure Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algebraic_structure?oldid=666895712 Contributors: AxelBoldt, Zundark,
Danny, Toby Bartels, Edward, Marvinfreeman, Michael Hardy, Wshun, Ideyal, Revolver, Charles Matthews, Dysprosia, Aleph4, Robbot,
RedWolf, Naddy, Wikibot, Tobias Bergemann, Giftlite, Lethe, Fropuff, Waltpohl, Tristanreid, Guanabot, ArnoldReinhold, HeikoEvermann, Paul August, Tompw, Rgdboer, Szquirrel, Obradovic Goran, Varuna, Kuratowski’s Ghost, Msh210, Eric Kvaalen, Mysdaao,
Kusma, Galaxiaad, Linas, BD2412, Icey, Jshadias, Josh Parris, Bgohla, Zinoviev, Staecker, Salix alba, Michal.burda, RexNL, Don
Gosiewski, Chobot, Algebraist, YurikBot, Spiderboy, Dmharvey, SoroSuub1, Grubber, Grafen, Trovatore, Moe Epsilon, Crasshopper, Bota47, Reyk, Modify, Netrapt, SoberEmu, SmackBot, Incnis Mrsi, Melchoir, PJTraill, MaxSem, G716, FlyHigh, Byelf2007,
Cronholm144, IronGargoyle, Mets501, Rschwieb, Simon12, Adriatikus, Johnfuhrmann, CRGreathouse, Alexey Feldgendler, Myasuda,
DustinBernard, Goldencako, Thijs!bot, Berria, Icep, Escarbot, Olaf, Magioladitis, Jakob.scholbach, David Eppstein, I paton, Gwern,
Jeepday, Jayden54, The enemies of god, VolkovBot, Camrn86, AlnoktaBOT, Philip Trueman, Tomaxer, AlleborgoBot, SieBot, Chromaticity, Jorgen W, Denisarona, Franamax, Razimantv, JP.Martin-Flatin, Estevoaei, Puchiko, Hans Adler, Beroal, Jaan Vajakas, Sixtyninefourtyninefourtyfoureleven, Addbot, AndersBot, Abcdefghijk99, ‫ماني‬, Luckas-bot, Yobot, Ht686rg90, AnakngAraw, Nishantjr,
PeterJones1380, Adam Dent, Charvest, FrescoBot, Louperibot, DrilBot, Sh Najd, Nascar1996, Wassermann7, Quondum, D.Lazard, Joel
B. Lewis, Gautehuus, Brad7777, CsDix, K9re11, Crystallizedcarbon and Anonymous: 52
• Binary operation Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_operation?oldid=651651472 Contributors: AxelBoldt, Tarquin, Andre
Engels, Danny, Toby~enwiki, Toby Bartels, Patrick, Michael Hardy, Wshun, TakuyaMurata, Delirium, Yaronf, Poor Yorick, Rotem
Dan, Andres, Emperorbma, Charles Matthews, Dysprosia, Greenrd, Robbot, Mattblack82, Romanm, Giftlite, Jason Quinn, Avaragado,
C4~enwiki, Ornil, Mormegil, Guanabot, Paul August, Smalljim, Adrian.benko, Alexrudd, Linas, Isnow, Waldir, SixWingedSeraph,
Josh Parris, Salix alba, Noya Watan, PlatypeanArchcow, Chobot, Hairy Dude, Hede2000, Piet Delport, NawlinWiki, Maerk, Klutzy,
BraneJ, Bo Jacoby, SmackBot, RDBury, Mmernex, Melchoir, NoJoy, Octahedron80, Nbarth, DHN-bot~enwiki, Chendy, Richard L.
Peterson, Mets501, CmdrObot, Georg Peter, Xtv, Xantharius, Mhaitham.shammaa, Salgueiro~enwiki, JAnDbot, Magioladitis, Arno
Matthias, David Eppstein, Tommy Herbert, R'n'B, Ps ttf, Trumpet marietta 45750, AntiSpamBot, Jrugordon, VolkovBot, LokiClock,
Am Fiosaigear~enwiki, Skylarkmichelle, PaulTanenbaum, AJRobbins, Bernstein2291, SieBot, Ivan Štambuk, Bentogoa, Aravindk editing, Jdaloner, ClueBot, Razimantv, JP.Martin-Flatin, Chininazu12, DumZiBoT, Kintaro, Addbot, EjsBot, CarsracBot, BepBot, PV=nRT,
Zorrobot, Legobot, Luckas-bot, Yobot, TaBOT-zerem, Götz, Spiros Bousbouras, Xqbot, Sixequalszero, Howard McCay, Erik9bot,
Sae1962, 00Ragora00, Orenburg1, Ripchip Bot, Bodhisvaha, ZéroBot, Chharvey, Quondum, Maschen, Superion maximus, ClueBot
NG, Mohanapriya94, Wcherowi, MerlIwBot, Brad7777, Vijeenroshpw, Proxyma, Wik2kassa, Ro0800, Deadlyblight and Anonymous:
50
• Complete Boolean algebra Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_Boolean_algebra?oldid=615712164 Contributors: Michael
Hardy, Silverfish, Charles Matthews, Giftlite, AshtonBenson, Jemiller226, R.e.b., Mathbot, Scythe33, Shanel, Trovatore, Closedmouth,
SmackBot, Melchoir, Mhss, Mets501, Zero sharp, Vaughan Pratt, CBM, Cydebot, Headbomb, Noobeditor, Tim Ayeles, Hans Adler,
Addbot, Angelobear, Citation bot, VictorPorton, Qm2008q, Citation bot 1, Helpful Pixie Bot and Anonymous: 6
• Complete Heyting algebra Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_Heyting_algebra?oldid=613082415 Contributors: Michael
Hardy, Jitse Niesen, Tobias Bergemann, Giftlite, Markus Krötzsch, Lethe, EmilJ, Oleg Alexandrov, Linas, SmackBot, Mhss, Waggers,
HStel, Vanish2, Daniel5Ko, Reddyuday, BOTarate, Addbot, 9258fahsflkh917fas, Charvest, ChrisGualtieri, Deltahedron, DaltonCastle
and Anonymous: 6
• Constant (mathematics) Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constant_(mathematics)?oldid=668858211 Contributors: Michael Hardy,
Gandalf61, Tobias Bergemann, Giftlite, Salix alba, Chobot, BOT-Superzerocool, SmackBot, RDBury, Javalenok, Maksim-bot, Cybercobra, Bjankuloski06en~enwiki, Seaphoto, JAnDbot, Email4mobile, David Eppstein, Vssun, JaGa, Quantling, VolkovBot, LokiClock,
Yintan, Martarius, Niceguyedc, Marc van Leeuwen, Addbot, LuK3, Luckas-bot, WikiDan61, Reindra, Magog the Ogre, AnomieBOT,
IRP, Isheden, ‫حامد میرزاحسینی‬, A. di M., Sławomir Biały, Tkuvho, Pinethicket, I dream of horses, Avgmeep, EmausBot, D.Lazard,
ClueBot NG, Manubot, CocuBot, Braincricket,
, Northamerica1000, Jojo1616, Katrinamoris2014, Sparklerainbow87, MileLongRiver, Abe.olsson, Hollylilholly, Bryanrutherford0, Bubba0420, Crystallizedcarbon and Anonymous: 24
• Countable set Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countable_set?oldid=665835456 Contributors: Damian Yerrick, AxelBoldt, Bryan
Derksen, Zundark, Xaonon, Danny, Oliverkroll, Kurt Jansson, Stevertigo, Patrick, Michael Hardy, Kku, Александър, Revolver, Charles
Matthews, Dysprosia, Hyacinth, Fibonacci, Head, Aleph4, Robbot, Romanm, MathMartin, Paul Murray, Ruakh, Tobias Bergemann,
Giftlite, Everyking, Georgesawyer, Wyss, Simon Lacoste-Julien, Jorend, Hkpawn~enwiki, TheObtuseAngleOfDoom, Possession, Noisy,
Rich Farmbrough, Pak21, Paul August, Gauge, Aranel, El C, PhilHibbs, Robotje, Jumbuck, Keenan Pepper, ABCD, Hu, Julioc, LOL,
MattGiuca, Esben~enwiki, Graham87, Jetekus, Josh Parris, Salix alba, VKokielov, Kri, Chobot, Roboto de Ajvol, YurikBot, Taejo,
Trovatore, Muu-karhu, Scs, Hirak 99, Lt-wiki-bot, Arthur Rubin, Reyk, Benandorsqueaks, Teply, Brentt, SmackBot, David Shear,
Brick Thrower, Canthusus, Edonovan, Edgar181, Grokmoo, Xie Xiaolei, Silly rabbit, SEIBasaurus, Octahedron80, Javalenok, NYKevin,
Matchups, SundarBot, Grover cleveland, Richard001, Bidabadi~enwiki, SashatoBot, Cronholm144, The Infidel, 16@r, Mets501, Newone,
S0me l0ser, Martin Kozák, JRSpriggs, CRGreathouse, CBM, Mct mht, Gregbard, FilipeS, Thijs!bot, Colin Rowat, Magioladitis, Usien6,
David Eppstein, MartinBot, Wdevauld, R'n'B, Ttwo, Qatter, Owlgorithm, Stokkink, Alyssa kat13, LokiClock, Rei-bot, Anonymous Dissident, Pieman93, Ilyaroz, Mike4ty4, SieBot, Caltas, Krishna.91, JackSchmidt, Unitvoice, Sunrise, Ken123BOT, Gigacephalus, DragonBot, Alexbot, Hans Adler, HumphreyW, Addbot, Topology Expert, Tomthecool, LaaknorBot, Super duper jimbo, LinkFA-Bot, Jarble,
JakobVoss, Legobot, Luckas-bot, Yobot, AnomieBOT, Mihnea Maftei, Materialscientist, ArthurBot, Bdmy, Omnipaedista, Johnfranks,
Worldrimroamer, Tkuvho, Phanxan, RedBot, Raiden09, EmausBot, QuantumOfHistory, Vishwaraj.anand00, Imcrazyaboutyou, Access
Denied, ClueBot NG, Wcherowi, Misshamid, Widr, Helpful Pixie Bot, Sinestar, Jim Sukwutput, Adityapanwarr, Dexbot, Sriharsh1234,
Jochen Burghardt, Namespan, OliverBel, Matthew Kastor, Niceguy6, HKennethB and Anonymous: 127
• Enumeration Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enumeration?oldid=662664870 Contributors: AxelBoldt, Patrick, Michael Hardy,
Norm, Karada, Goatasaur, Ellywa, Silverfish, Charles Matthews, Hyacinth, Robbot, Altenmann, Ojigiri~enwiki, Tobias Bergemann,
Giftlite, Herbee, Galaxy07, Eequor, Abdull, Patrickwilken, Jkl, Svdb, KneeLess, Cacycle, Zaslav, Woohookitty, BD2412, Salix alba,
Mathbot, BMF81, YurikBot, Michael Slone, T-rex, Reyk, Ttzz, Gilliam, Mhss, MalafayaBot, Mhym, Henning Makholm, Doug Bell,
16@r, TooMuchMath, Mets501, Courcelles, Jason22~enwiki, CBM, Stebulus, Gregbard, FilipeS, Missvain, Mdotley, Jimothytrotter,
Mister B., R'n'B, J.delanoy, Cometstyles, Rponamgi, LeaveSleaves, Synthebot, Futonchild, AlleborgoBot, The Thing That Should Not

100

CHAPTER 20. UNIVERSAL ALGEBRA

Be, Plastikspork, Marc van Leeuwen, Addbot, Ben Ben, Tedtoal, Yobot, 4th-otaku, Ossias, Citation bot, Capricorn42, RJGray, Omnipaedista, Mark Renier, Merlinsorca, Bethnim, ClueBot NG, Widr, Helpful Pixie Bot, Cbgrf1, Gorthian, Victor Yus, PinkAmpersand,
Er.tania09, Hollylilholly, KasparBot and Anonymous: 51
• Finitary Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finitary?oldid=664244539 Contributors: Tarquin, Snoyes, Schneelocke, Charles Matthews,
Dcoetzee, Populus, Robbot, Pfortuny, Dratman, DragonflySixtyseven, Gauge, Spayrard, Diego Moya, Kzollman, BD2412, RussBot, IanManka, Schlafly, Incnis Mrsi, Dreadstar, Mets501, Maurice Carbonaro, Palaeovia, SchreiberBike, Algebran, Addbot, Lightbot, AnomieBOT,
ZéroBot, Brirush and Anonymous: 12
• Friendly-index set Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly-index_set?oldid=461156829 Contributors: Michael Hardy, Rich Farmbrough, Josh Parris, SmackBot, Headbomb, Roleplayer, David Eppstein, R'n'B, Falcon8765, Denny888, Sandgem Addict, R. J. Mathar
and Anonymous: 8
• Index set Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_set?oldid=635372835 Contributors: Michael Hardy, Phoe6, Charles Matthews,
Dcoetzee, Robbot, Diberri, Tobias Bergemann, Fropuff, Gubbubu, Bender235, Oleg Alexandrov, Burgher, MFH, Salix alba, YurikBot,
Wavelength, Markus Schmaus, KSmrq, Bo Jacoby, SmackBot, Mhss, Alink, Jon Awbrey, Sadeq, TooMuchMath, Masfz, Classicalecon,
SchreiberBike, Marc van Leeuwen, Addbot, Jarble, RobinK, Quondum, Lifeonahilltop, APerson, Brirush and Anonymous: 4
• Indexed family Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indexed_family?oldid=667463755 Contributors: Patrick, Michael Hardy, Charles
Matthews, Jitse Niesen, Josh Cherry, Peak, Lethe, Fropuff, Ragib, Elwikipedista~enwiki, Oleg Alexandrov, Marudubshinki, Salix alba,
Mike Segal, Mathbot, Chobot, Markus Schmaus, KSmrq, Bo Jacoby, SmackBot, BiT, Nbarth, Jon Awbrey, 16@r, Beetstra, DabMachine,
CBM, ShelfSkewed, Thijs!bot, JoergenB, R'n'B, DorganBot, TXiKiBoT, InformationSpace, Billinghurst, JackSchmidt, Classicalecon,
Mikaey, Addbot, Jarble, Luckas-bot, Twri, Flavio Guitian, BenzolBot, RandomDSdevel, Tanner Swett, Quondum, Tijfo098, Millermk,
Jiri 1984, Jacob Gotts, Fabiangabel and Anonymous: 15
• Indicator function Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indicator_function?oldid=665839206 Contributors: AxelBoldt, The Anome,
Michael Hardy, Pcb21, Jordi Burguet Castell, Charles Matthews, Dcoetzee, Phil Boswell, Robbot, MathMartin, Centrx, Giftlite, Piotrus, CSTAR, Gauss, Icairns, Mormegil, ArnoldReinhold, Martpol, Paul August, Obradovic Goran, Oleg Alexandrov, Linas, Qwertyus,
Rjwilmsi, Salix alba, Small potato, NickBush24, Trovatore, DavidHouse~enwiki, Banus, Bo Jacoby, SmackBot, BiT, Chris the speller,
Octahedron80, Jon Awbrey, Vina-iwbot~enwiki, Wvbailey, Mets501, Eassin, Raystorm, CmdrObot, Thijs!bot, Helgus, Sherbrooke,
Rosh3000, JAnDbot, Albmont, Sullivan.t.j, David Eppstein, Falcor84, MartinBot, Xetrov, VolkovBot, TXiKiBoT, Digby Tantrum, LBehounek, AlleborgoBot, Quietbritishjim, BotMultichill, Paintman, Melcombe, Mpd1989, UKoch, Colinvella, DragonBot, Addbot, Fgnievinski, PV=nRT, Luckas-bot, Ht686rg90, AnomieBOT, Xqbot, TechBot, RibotBOT, Night Jaguar, Straightontillmorning, Maschen,
Zfeinst, Bibcode Bot, BG19bot, Dlituiev, Dexbot, Rutgerjanlange, Salspaugh, DarenCline and Anonymous: 30
• Mathematics Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics?oldid=667759115 Contributors: AxelBoldt, Magnus Manske, LC~enwiki,
Brion VIBBER, Eloquence, Mav, Bryan Derksen, Zundark, The Anome, Tarquin, Koyaanis Qatsi, Ap, Gareth Owen, -- April, RK,
Iwnbap, LA2, Youssefsan, XJaM, Arvindn, Christian List, Matusz, Toby Bartels, PierreAbbat, Little guru, Miguel~enwiki, Rade Kutil,
DavidLevinson, FvdP, Daniel C. Boyer, David spector, Camembert, Netesq, Zippy, Olivier, Ram-Man, Stevertigo, Spiff~enwiki, Edward,
Quintessent, Ghyll~enwiki, D, Chas zzz brown, JohnOwens, Michael Hardy, Booyabazooka, JakeVortex, Lexor, Isomorphic, Dominus,
Nixdorf, Grizzly, Kku, Mic, Ixfd64, Firebirth, Alireza Hashemi, Dcljr, Sannse, TakuyaMurata, Karada, Minesweeper, Alfio, Tregoweth,
Dgrant, CesarB, Ahoerstemeier, Cyp, Ronz, Muriel Gottrop~enwiki, Snoyes, Notheruser, Angela, Den fjättrade ankan~enwiki, Kingturtle, LittleDan, Kevin Baas, Salsa Shark, Glenn, Jschwa1, Bogdangiusca, BenKovitz, Poor Yorick, Rossami, Tim Retout, Rotem Dan,
Evercat, Rl, Jonik, Madir, Mxn, Smack, Silverfish, Vargenau, Pizza Puzzle, Nikola Smolenski, Charles Matthews, Guaka, Timwi, Spacemonkey~enwiki, Nohat, Ralesk, MarcusVox, Dysprosia, Jitse Niesen, Fuzheado, Gutza, Piolinfax, Selket, DJ Clayworth, Markhurd, Vancouverguy, Tpbradbury, Maximus Rex, Hyacinth, Saltine, AndrewKepert, Fibonacci, Zero0000, Phys, Ed g2s, Wakka, Samsara, Bevo,
McKay, Traroth, Fvw, Babaloulou, Secretlondon, Jusjih, Cvaneg, Flockmeal, Guppy, Francs2000, Dmytro, Lumos3, Jni, PuzzletChung,
Donarreiskoffer, Robbot, Fredrik, RedWolf, Peak, Romanm, Lowellian, Gandalf61, Georg Muntingh, Merovingian, HeadCase, Sverdrup,
Henrygb, Academic Challenger, IIR, Thesilverbail, Hadal, Mark Krueger, Wereon, Robinh, Borislav, GarnetRChaney, Ilya (usurped),
Michael Snow, Fuelbottle, ElBenevolente, Lupo, PrimeFan, Zhymkus~enwiki, Dmn, Cutler, Dina, Mlk, Alan Liefting, Rock69~enwiki,
Cedars, Ancheta Wis, Fabiform, Centrx, Giftlite, Dbenbenn, Christopher Parham, Fennec, Markus Krötzsch, Mikez, Inter, Wolfkeeper,
Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason, Netoholic, Lethe, Tom harrison, Lupin, MathKnight, Bfinn, Ayman, Everyking, No Guru, Curps, Jorend, Ssd,
Niteowlneils, Gareth Wyn, Andris, Guanaco, Sundar, Daniel Brockman, Siroxo, Node ue, Eequor, Arne List, Matt Crypto, Python eggs,
Avala, Jackol, Marlonbraga, Bobblewik, Deus Ex, Golbez, Gubbubu, Kennethduncan, Cap601, Geoffspear, Utcursch, Andycjp, CryptoDerk, LucasVB, Quadell, Frogjim~enwiki, Antandrus, BozMo, Rajasekaran Deepak, Beland, WhiteDragon, Bcameron54, Kaldari,
PDH, Profvk, Jossi, Alexturse, Adamsan, CSTAR, Rdsmith4, APH, John Foley, Elektron, Pethan, Mysidia, Pmanderson, Elroch, Sam
Hocevar, Arcturus, Gscshoyru, Stephen j omalley, Jcw69, Ukexpat, Eduardoporcher, Qef, Random account 47, Zondor, Adashiel, Trevor
MacInnis, Grunt, Kate, Bluemask, PhotoBox, Mike Rosoft, Vesta~enwiki, Shahab, Oskar Sigvardsson, Brianjd, D6, CALR, DanielCD,
Olga Raskolnikova, EugeneZelenko, Discospinster, Rich Farmbrough, Guanabot, FiP, Clawed, Inkypaws, Spundun, Andrewferrier, ArnoldReinhold, HeikoEvermann, Smyth, Notinasnaid, AlanBarrett, Paul August, MarkS, DcoetzeeBot~enwiki, Bender235, ESkog, Geoking66, Ben Standeven, Tompw, GabrielAPetrie, RJHall, MisterSheik, Mr. Billion, El C, Chalst, Shanes, Haxwell, Briséis~enwiki, Art
LaPella, RoyBoy, Lyght, Jpgordon, JRM, Porton, Bobo192, Ntmatter, Fir0002, Mike Schwartz, Wood Thrush, Func, Teorth, Flxmghvgvk,
Archfalhwyl, Jung dalglish, Maurreen, Man vyi, Alphax, Rje, Sam Korn, Krellis, Sean Kelly, Jonathunder, Mdd, Tsirel, Passw0rd,
Lawpjc, Vesal, Storm Rider, Stephen G. Brown, Danski14, Msh210, Poweroid, Alansohn, Gary, JYolkowski, Anthony Appleyard,
Blackmail~enwiki, Mo0, Polarscribe, ChristopherWillis, Lordthees, Rgclegg, Jet57, Muffin~enwiki, Mmmready, Riana, AzaToth, Lectonar, Lightdarkness, Giant toaster, Cjnm, Mysdaao, Hu, Malo, Avenue, Blobglob, LavosBacons, Schapel, Orionix, BanyanTree, Saga
City, Knowledge Seeker, ReyBrujo, Danhash, Garzo, Huerlisi, Jon Cates, RainbowOfLight, CloudNine, TenOfAllTrades, Mcmillin24,
Bsadowski1, Itsmine, Blaxthos, HenryLi, Bookandcoffee, Kz8, Oleg Alexandrov, Ashujo, Stemonitis, Novacatz, Angr, DealPete, Kelly
Martin, Wikiworkerindividual***, TSP, OwenX, Woohookitty, Linas, Masterjamie, Yansa, Brunnock, Carcharoth, BillC, Ruud Koot,
WadeSimMiser, Orz, Hdante, MONGO, Mpatel, Abhilaa, Al E., Wikiklrsc, Bbatsell, Damicatz, Terence, MFH, Sengkang, Zzyzx11,
Noetica,
, Xiong Chiamiov, Gimboid13, Liface, Asdfdsa, PeregrineAY, Thirty-seven, Graham87, Magister Mathematicae,
BD2412, Chun-hian, FreplySpang, JIP, Island, Zoz, Icey, BorgHunter, Josh Parris, Paul13~enwiki, Rjwilmsi, Mayumashu, MJSkia1, Prateekrr, Vary, MarSch, Amire80, Tangotango, Staecker, Omnieiunium, Salix alba, Tawker, Zhurovai, Crazynas, Ligulem, Juan Marquez,
Slac, R.e.b., The wub, Sango123, Yamamoto Ichiro, Kasparov, Staples, Titoxd, Pruneau, RobertG, Latka, Mathbot, Harmil, Narxysus,
Andy85719, RexNL, Gurch, Short Verses, Quuxplusone, Celendin, Ichudov, Jagginess, Alphachimp, Malhonen, David H Braun (1964),
Snailwalker, Mongreilf, Chobot, Jersey Devil, DONZOR, DVdm, Cactus.man, John-Haggerty, Gwernol, Elfguy, Buggi22, Roboto de
Ajvol, Raelx, JPD, YurikBot, Wavelength, Karlscherer3, Jeremybub, Doug Alford, Grifter84, RobotE, Elapsed, Dmharvey, Gmackematix, 4C~enwiki, RussBot, Michael Slone, Geologician, Red Slash, Jtkiefer, Muchness, Anonymous editor, Albert Einsteins pipe,

20.12. TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES, CONTRIBUTORS, AND LICENSES

101

Nobs01, Soltras, Bhny, Piet Delport, CanadianCaesar, Polyvios, Akamad, Stephenb, Yakuzai, Sacre, Bovineone, Tungsten, Ugur Basak,
David R. Ingham, NawlinWiki, Vanished user kjdioejh329io3rksdkj, Rick Norwood, Misos, SEWilcoBot, Wiki alf, Mipadi, Armindo,
Deskana, Johann Wolfgang, Trovatore, Joel7687, GrumpyTroll, LMSchmitt, Schlafly, Eighty~enwiki, Herve661, JocK, Mccready, Tearlach, Apokryltaros, JDoorjam, Abb3w, Misza13, My Cat inn, Vikvik, Mvsmith, Brucevdk, DryaUnda, SFC9394, Font, Tachyon01,
Mgnbar, Jemebius, Nlu, Mike92591, Dna-webmaster, Tonywalton, Joshurtree, Wknight94, Pooryorick~enwiki, Avraham, Mkns, Googl,
Noosfractal, SimonMorgan, Tigershrike, FF2010, Cursive, Scheinwerfermann, Enormousdude, TheKoG, Donald Albury, Zsynopsis,
Skullfission, Claygate, MaNeMeBasat, GraemeL, JoanneB, Bentong Isles, Donhalcon, JLaTondre, Jaranda, Spliffy, Flowersofnight, 158152-12-77, RunOrDie, Kungfuadam, Canadianism, Ben D., Greatal386, JDspeeder1, Saboteur~enwiki, Asterion, Shmm70, Pentasyllabic, Lunch, DVD R W, Finell, Capitalist, Sardanaphalus, Crystallina, JJL, SmackBot, RDBury, YellowMonkey, Selfworm, Smitz, Bobet,
Diggyba, Warhawkhalo101, Estoy Aquí, Reedy, Tarret, KnowledgeOfSelf, Royalguard11, Melchoir, McGeddon, Pavlovič, Masparasol,
Pgk, C.Fred, AndyZ, Kilo-Lima, Jagged 85, PizzaMargherita, CapitalSasha, Antibubbles, AnOddName, Canthusus, BiT, Nscheffey,
Amystreet, Ekilfeather, Papep, Jaichander, Ohnoitsjamie, Hmains, Skizzik, Richfife, ERcheck, Hopper5, Squiddy, Armeria, Durova,
Qtoktok, Wigren, Keegan, Woofboy, Rmt2m, Fplay, Christopher denman, Miquonranger03, MalafayaBot, Silly rabbit, Alink, Dlohcierekim’s sock, Richard Woods, Kungming2, Go for it!, Baa, Rdt~enwiki, Spellchecker, Baronnet, Colonies Chris, Ulises Sarry~enwiki,
Nevada, Zachorious, Chendy, J•A•K, Can't sleep, clown will eat me, RyanEberhart, Timothy Clemans, Милан Јелисавчић, TheGerm,
HoodedMan, Chlewbot, Vanished User 0001, Joshua Boniface, TheKMan, Rrburke, Addshore, Mr.Z-man, SundarBot, AndySimpson,
Emre D., Iapetus, Jwy, CraigDesjardins, Daqu, Nakon, VegaDark, Jiddisch~enwiki, Maxwahrhaftig, Salt Yeung, Danielkwalsh, Diocles,
Pg2114, Jon Awbrey, Ruwanraj, Jklin, Xen 1986, Just plain Bill, Knuckles sonic8, Where, Bart v M, ScWizard, Pilotguy, Nov ialiste,
JoeTrumpet, Math hater, Lambiam, Nishkid64, TachyonP, ArglebargleIV, Doug Bell, Harryboyles, Srikeit, Dbtfz, Kuru, JackLumber, Simonkoldyk, Vgy7ujm, Nat2, Cronholm144, Heimstern, Gobonobo, Mfishergt, Coastergeekperson04, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington,
Dumelow, Jazriel, Gnevin, Unterdenlinden, Ckatz, Loadmaster, Special-T, Dozing, Mr Stephen, Mudcower, AxG, Optakeover, SandyGeorgia, Mets501, Funnybunny, Markjdb, Ryulong, Gff~enwiki, RichardF, Limaner, Jose77, Asyndeton, Stephen B Streater, Politepunk,
DabMachine, Levineps, Hetar, BranStark, Roland Deschain, Kevlar992, Iridescent, K, Kencf0618, Zootsuits, Onestone, Nilamdoc, C.
Lee, CzarB, Polymerbringer, Joseph Solis in Australia, Newone, White wolf753, Muéro, David Little, Igoldste, Amakuru, Marysunshine,
Maelor, Masshaj, Jatrius, Experiment123, Tawkerbot2, Daniel5127, Joshuagross, Emote, Pikminiman, Heyheyhey99, JForget, Smkumar0, Sakowski, Wolfdog, Sleeping123, CRGreathouse, Wafulz, Sir Vicious, Triage, Iced Kola, CBM, Page Up, Jester-Tester, Taylorhewitt, Nczempin, GHe, Green caterpillar, Phanu9000, Yarnalgo, Thomasmeeks, McVities, Requestion, FlyingToaster, MarsRover,
Tac-Tics, Some P. Erson, Tim1988, Tuluat, Alaymehta, MrFish, Oo7565, Gregbard, Captmog, El3m3nt09, Antiwiki~enwiki, Cydebot,
Meznaric, Cantras, Funwithbig, MC10, Meno25, Gogo Dodo, DVokes, ST47, Srinath555, Pascal.Tesson, Goldencako, Benjiboi, Andrewm1986, Michael C Price, Tawkerbot4, Dragomiloff, Juansempere, M a s, Chrislk02, Brotown3, Mamounjo, 5300abc, Roccorossi,
Abtract, Daven200520, Omicronpersei8, Vanished User jdksfajlasd, Daniel Olsen, Ventifact, TAU710, Aditya Kabir, BetacommandBot,
Thijs!bot, Epbr123, Bezking, Jpark3591, Daemen, TheEmaciatedStilson, MCrawford, Opabinia regalis, Mattyboy500, Kilva, Daniel,
Loudsox, Ucanlookitup, Hazmat2, Wootwootwoot, Brian G. Wilson, Timo3, Mojo Hand, Djfeldman, Pjvpjv, West Brom 4ever, John254,
Alientraveller, Mnemeson, Ollyrobotham, BadKarma14, Sethdoe92, Dfrg.msc, RobHar, CharlotteWebb, Dawnseeker2000, RoboServien,
Escarbot, Itsfrankie1221, Thomaswgc, Thadius856, Sidasta, AntiVandalBot, Ais523, RobotG, Gioto, Luna Santin, Dark Load, DarkAudit, Ringleader1489, Dylan Lake, Doktor Who, Chill doubt, AxiomShell, Abc30, Matheor, Archmagusrm, Falconleaf, Labongo, Spacefarer, Chocolatepizza, JAnDbot, Kaobear, MyNamesLogan, MER-C, The Transhumanist, Db099221, AussieOzborn au, Thenub314,
Mosesroses, Hut 8.5, Kipholbeck, Xact, Twospoonfuls, .anacondabot, Yahel Guhan, Bencherlite, Yurei-eggtart, Bongwarrior, VoABot
II, JamesBWatson, Swpb, EdwardLockhart, SineWave, Charlielee111, Cic, Ryeterrell, Caesarjbsquitti, Wikiwhat?, Bubba hotep, KConWiki, Meb43, Faustnh, Hiplibrarianship, Johnbibby, Seberle, MetsBot, Pawl Kennedy, 28421u2232nfenfcenc, Systemlover, Bmeguru,
Hotmedal, Just James, EstebanF, Glen, Rajpaj, Memorymentor, TheRanger, Calltech, Gun Powder Ma, Welshleprechaun, Robin S,
Seba5618, SquidSK, 0612, J0equ1nn, Riccardobot, Jtir, Hdt83, MartinBot, Vladimir m, Arjun01, Quanticle, Nocklas, Rettetast, Fuzzyhair2, R'n'B, Pbroks13, Cmurphy au, Snozzer, Ben2then, PrestonH, Crazybobson, Thefutureschannel, RockMFR, Hrishikesh.24889,
J.delanoy, Nev1, Unlockitall, Phoenix1177, Numbo3, Sp3000, Maurice Carbonaro, Nigholith, Hellonicole, -jmac-, Boris Allen, 2boobies, Jerry, TheSeven, NerdyNSK, Syphertext, Yadar677, Taop, G. Campbell, Wayp123, Keesiewonder, Matt1314, Ksucemfof, Gzkn,
Ivelnaps, Smeira, DarkFalls, Thomas Larsen, Vishi-vie, Washington8785, Xyzaxis, Arkuski, JDQuimby, Batmanfan77, Alphapeta, Trd89,
HiLo48, The Transhumanist (AWB), NewEnglandYankee, RANDP, MKoltnow, MhordeXsnipa, Milogardner, Nacrha, Balaam42, Mviergujerghs89fhsdifds, Cfrehr, Elvisfan2095, Tiyoringo, Juliancolton, Cometstyles, DavidCBryant, SlightlyMad, Jamesontai, Remember
the dot, Ilya Voyager, Huzefahamid, Dandy mandy, Andreas2001, Ishap, Sarregouset, CANUTELOOL2, CANUTELOOL3, Devonboy69, Jeyarathan, Death blaze, Emo kid you?, Thedudester, Samlyn.josfyn, Mother69, Vinsfan368, Cartiod, Helldude99, Sternkampf,
Steel1943, CardinalDan, RJASE1, Idioma-bot, Remi0o, Lights, Tamillimat, Bandaidboy, C.lettingaAV, VolkovBot, Somebodyreallycool, Pleasantville, Jeff G., JohnBlackburne, Hhjk, The Catcher in The Rye D:, Alexandria, AlnoktaBOT, Dboerstl, NikolaiLobachevsky,
Bangvang, 62 (number), Tseay11, Soliloquial, Headforaheadeyeforaneye, Barneca, Sześćsetsześćdziesiątsześć, Zeuron, Yoyoyo9, Trehansiddharth, TXiKiBoT, Katoa, Jacob Lundberg, Candy-Panda, Chickenclucker, Antoni Barau, Walor, Anonymous Dissident, Qxz, Nukemason4, Retiono Virginian, Ocolon, Savagepine, DennyColt, Digby Tantrum, JhsBot, Leafyplant, Beanai, 20em89.01, Cremepuff222,
Geometry guy, Canyonsupreme, Natural Philosopher, Teller33, Mathsmad, Unknown 987, Tarten5, Nickmuller, Robomonster, Wolfrock,
Jacob501, Kreemy, Synthebot, Tomaxer, Careercornerstone, Enviroboy, Rurik3, Sardonicone, Evanbrown326, Alliashax, Sylent, Rubentimothy, SMIE SMIE, Gamahucher, Braindamage3, Animalalley12895, Moohahaha, Thanatos666, Dillydumdum, AlleborgoBot, Voicework, Symane, Katzmik, Monkeynuts27, Demmy, Cam275, GoonerDP, SieBot, Mikemoral, James Banogon, BotMultichill, Timgregg96,
Triwbe, 5150pacer, Soler97, Andersmusician, Anubhav29, Keilana, Tiptoety, Arbor to SJ, Undead Herle King, Richardcraig, Paolo.dL,
Boogster, Oxymoron83, Henry Delforn (old), Avnjay, MiNombreDeGuerra, RW Marloe, SH84, Deejaye6, Musse-kloge, Jorgen W,
Kumioko, Correogsk, MadmanBot, Nomoneynotime, Nickm4c, Darkmyst932, Anchor Link Bot, Jacob.jose, Randomblue, Melcombe,
CaptainIron555, Yhkhoo, Dabomb87, Jat99, Pinkadelica, Francvs, Athenean, Ooswesthoesbes, ClueBot, Volcom5347, Gladysamuel,
GPdB, Bwfrank, DFRussia, PipepBot, Foxj, Dobermanji, C1932, Remus John Lupin, Chocoforfriends, Smithpith, ArdClose, IceUnshattered, Plastikspork, Lawrence Cohen, Gawaxay, Nnemo, Ukabia, Michael.Urban, Niceguyedc, Xenon54, Mspraveen, DragonBot,
Isaac25, 4pario, Donkeyboya, Excirial, CBOrgatrope, Bedsandbellies, Soccermaster3112, Alexbot, TonyBallioni, Pjb14, 0na01der, Andy
pyro, Wikibobspider, BrentLeah, Eeekster, Anonymous1324354657687980897867564534231, Mycatiscool, Greenjuice, Chance Jeong,
Arunta007, Greenjuice3.0, Greenjuice4, AnimeFan7, MacedonianBoy, ZuluPapa5, NuclearWarfare, JoelDick, Honeyspots3121, Blondeychck7, Faty148, Jotterbot, RC-0722, Wulfric1, Thingg, Franklin.vp, Aitias, DerBorg, Versus22, Hwalee76, SoxBot III, Apparition11,
Mofeed.sawan, Slayerteez, XLinkBot, Marc van Leeuwen, Moocow444, Joejill67~enwiki, Little Mountain 5, Drumbeatsofeden, SilvonenBot, Planb 89, Alexius08, Vianello, MystBot, Zodon, RyanCross, Aetherealize, Zoltan808, T.M.M. Dowd, Aceleo, Jetsboy101, Willking1979, Mattguzy, 3Nigma, DOI bot, Cdt laurence, Fgnievinski, Yobmod, Aaronthegr8, CanadianLinuxUser, Potatoscrub, Download,
Protonk, Chamal N, CarsracBot, Favonian, LinkFA-Bot, ViskonBot, Barak Sh, Aldermalhir, Jubeidono, PRL42, Lightbot, Ann Logsdon,

102

CHAPTER 20. UNIVERSAL ALGEBRA

Floccinocin123, Matěj Grabovský, Fivexthethird, TeH nOmInAtOr, Jarble, Herve1729, Sitehut, Ptbotgourou, Senator Palpatine, TaBOTzerem, Legobot II, Kan8eDie, Nirvana888, Gugtup, Washburnmav, Mikeedla, THEN WHO WAS PHONE?, Skyeliam, MeatJustice,
Wierdox, AnomieBOT, Nastor, ThaddeusB, Connectonline, Taskualads, Themantheman, Galoubet, Neko85, Noahschultz, JackieBot,
Commander Shepard, Chingchangriceball, Piano non troppo, Supersmashballs123, Agroose, Pm11189, Riekuh, Hamletö, Deverenn,
Frank2710, Chief Heath, Easton12, Codycash33, Archaeopteryx, Citation bot, Merlissimo, ArthurBot, Tatarian, MauritsBot, Xqbot,
TinucherianBot II, Sketchmoose, Timir2, Capricorn42, Johnferrer, Jmundo, Locos epraix, Br77rino, Isheden, Inferno, Lord of Penguins,
Uarrin, LevenBoy, Quixotex, GrouchoBot, Resident Mario, ProtectionTaggingBot, Omnipaedista, Point-set topologist, Gott wisst, RibotBOT, Charvest, KrazyKosbyKidz, MarilynCP, Gingerninja12, Caleb7693, Deathiscomin90919, VictorPorton, Grg222, Daryl7569,
Petes2176, GhalyBot, ThibautLienart, Prozo3190, Family400005, Bupsiij, Aaron Kauppi, Har56, Dr. Klim, Velblod, CES1596, GliderMaven, Thomascjackson, FrescoBot, RTFVerterra, Triwikanto, Tobby72, Mark Renier, Onefive15, VS6507, Alpboyraz, ParaDoxus,
Sławomir Biały, Xefer, Zhentmdfan, Tzurvah MeRabannan, Citation bot 1, Amplitude101, Tkuvho, Rotje66, Kiefer.Wolfowitz, AwesomeHersh, ElNuevoEinstein, Gamewizard71, FoxBot, TobeBot, DixonDBot, Burritoburritoburrito, Lotje, Dinamik-bot, Raiden09, Mrjames99, DJTrickyM, Stephen MUFC, Tbhotch, RjwilmsiBot, TjBot, Ripchip Bot, Galois fu, Alphanumeric Sheep Pig, BertSeghers,
Mr magnolias, DarkLightA, LibertyDodzo, EmausBot, PrisonerOfIce, Nima1024, WikitanvirBot, Surlyduff50, AThornyKoanz, Mehdiirfani, Legajoe, Wham Bam Rock II, Bethnim, ZéroBot, John Cline, Josve05a, Leafiest of Futures, Battoe19, Anmol9999, Scythia,
Brandmeister, Vanished user fijtji34toksdcknqrjn54yoimascj, Ain92, Agatecat2700, Herk1955, Teapeat, Mjbmrbot, Liuthar, ClueBot
NG, Incompetence, Wcherowi, Movses-bot, Kindyin, LJosil, SilentResident, Braincricket, Rbellini, Zackaback, MillingMachine, Helpful
Pixie Bot, Thisthat2011, Curb Chain, AnandVivekSatpathi, Nashhinton, EmilyREditor, Ariel C.M.K., Fraqtive42, AvocatoBot, Davidiad,
Ropestring, Edward Gordon Gey, EliteforceMMA, Karthickraj007, VirusKA, MYustin, Brad7777, Idresjafary, Nbrothers, IkamusumeFan, Kavy32, Sklange, Blevintron, BlevintronBot, Sulphuric Glue, Dexbot, Rezonansowy, Mudcap, Augustus Leonhardus Cartesius,
Pankaj Jyoti Mahanta, Ybidzian, TycoonSaad, Jarash, Chern038, FireflySixtySeven, Kind Tennis Fan, Justin86789, 12visakhva, Dodi
8238, Rcehy, Vanisheduser00348374562342, 115ash, AdditionSubtraction, Mario Castelán Castro, Arvind asia, Rctillinghast, KasparBot, Kafishabbir and Anonymous: 1222
• Operation (mathematics) Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_(mathematics)?oldid=658610413 Contributors: XJaM, Patrick,
Michael Hardy, Voidvector, Hectorthebat, TowerDragon, Filemon, Yekrats, Gubbubu, Beland, Pmanderson, Iantresman, Rich Farmbrough, ArnoldReinhold, Dbachmann, Paul August, Zaslav, EmilJ, Jumbuck, Oleg Alexandrov, Igny, Salix alba, Mike Segal, Magidin,
YurikBot, SmackBot, Silly rabbit, Octahedron80, Darth Panda, Jon Awbrey, BryanG, SashatoBot, Lambiam, Bjankuloski06en~enwiki,
Alpha Omicron, Mets501, JRSpriggs, CmdrObot, CBM, Pointlessness, Gregbard, Julian Mendez, Thijs!bot, Pjvpjv, Icep, Mhaitham.shammaa,
Kerdek, JAnDbot, JamesBWatson, David Eppstein, R'n'B, VolkovBot, LokiClock, Dependent Variable, SieBot, Iamthedeus, Gerakibot,
Paolo.dL, Se16teddy, Denisarona, Justin W Smith, Alexbot, Hans Adler, DumZiBoT, SilvonenBot, Addbot, Pelex, CarsracBot, Zorrobot, Daniele Pugliesi, ArthurBot, Xqbot, Shades97, Kallikanzarid, TobeBot, Reach Out to the Truth, Alph Bot, EmausBot, Lipsio,
QuentinUK, Quondum, FinalRapture, Paulmiko, ChuispastonBot, ClueBot NG, Master Uegly, Quantamflux, MerlIwBot, Arcane21,
Yardimsever, Barymar, IvanZhilin and Anonymous: 29
• Order theory Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_theory?oldid=666554129 Contributors: Bryan Derksen, Toby Bartels, Michael
Hardy, Dineshjk, Ehn, Charles Matthews, Dcoetzee, Jitse Niesen, Wik, Natevw, VeryVerily, Populus, Topbanana, Robbot, Henrygb, ElBenevolente, Tobias Bergemann, Giftlite, Markus Krötzsch, Elias, DefLog~enwiki, Yarnover, APH, SimonLyall, Xrchz, Abar, Pjacobi,
Paul August, Tompw, Nickj, Themusicgod1, Lysdexia, Arthena, Joriki, Linas, Jeff3000, Josh Parris, Salix alba, Mathbot, Hairy Dude,
Dmharvey, Trovatore, Ott2, Arthur Rubin, Modify, Netrapt, That Guy, From That Show!, SmackBot, KnowledgeOfSelf, Mhss, Bluebot, RDBrown, Cybercobra, Kntrabssi, Dreadstar, JohnI, 16@r, Loadmaster, Dicklyon, Landonproctor, Levineps, Dreftymac, Majora4,
CRGreathouse, CBM, Sam Staton, Skittleys, Ankit mcgill, MER-C, VoABot II, David Eppstein, Gwern, Maurice Carbonaro, Inquam,
Daniel5Ko, Jorfer, JohnBlackburne, Trondarild, Philip Trueman, GcSwRhIc, The Tetrast, Magmi, Geometry guy, Tomaxer, StevenJohnston, AS, Anchor Link Bot, Randomblue, ClueBot, Justin W Smith, Hans Adler, Wikidsp, Addbot, Barak Sh, Badou517, Legobot,
Buenasdiaz, Smallman12q, Tuetschek, FrescoBot, Mark Renier, Orhanghazi, Chenopodiaceous, Gamewizard71, Genezistan, John of
Reading, Dadaist6174, ClueBot NG, Syamino, MerlIwBot, Helpful Pixie Bot, Knwlgc, VolunBute, Brad7777, Nicuchalan1, K401sTL3,
JaconaFrere, Srlgator, Pheello87, KasparBot and Anonymous: 59
• Outline of algebraic structures Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_algebraic_structures?oldid=635868033 Contributors:
Zundark, Michael Hardy, GTBacchus, Charles Matthews, Aleph4, Enochlau, Giftlite, Waltpohl, D6, EmilJ, Mdd, Mysdaao, Woohookitty,
Tizio, Salix alba, Dar-Ape, RussBot, Michael Slone, Grubber, Grafen, Trovatore, Reyk, Netrapt, SmackBot, Melchoir, Concerned cynic,
FlyHigh, Gennaro Prota, JorisvS, Dr Greg, Rschwieb, Simon12, Zero sharp, Myasuda, Chris83, DustinBernard, Pjvpjv, RobHar, Nick
Number, Icep, Lovibond, The Transhumanist, MetsBot, David Eppstein, Jacobko, JaGa, Gwern, R'n'B, Jeepday, Station1, Dirkbb,
Paolo.dL, Fratrep, StaticGull, Pakaraki, JP.Martin-Flatin, Sun Creator, Hans Adler, Lambtron, Palnot, Magnesium, DrilBot, Jujutacular,
Gamewizard71, Quondum, ClueBot NG, Wcherowi, Frietjes, DPL bot, Brad7777, Herrmannda, CsDix, MofoJones and Anonymous: 24
• Structure (mathematical logic) Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structure_(mathematical_logic)?oldid=663385071 Contributors:
Michael Hardy, Hyacinth, Rorro, Tobias Bergemann, Giftlite, Jason Quinn, Jabowery, D6, Spayrard, Oleg Alexandrov, Linas, Salix
alba, John Baez, Jrtayloriv, Algebraist, Grubber, Archelon, Trovatore, Zwobot, Mhss, Byelf2007, Physis, Simon12, CBM, Gregbard,
Salgueiro~enwiki, DWIII, Swpb, Thehalfone, R'n'B, Ps ttf, VolkovBot, Crisperdue, Jorgen W, Niceguyedc, Hans Adler, Addbot, DOI
bot, Drpickem, Ht686rg90, Pcap, KamikazeBot, Citation bot, Xqbot, FrescoBot, Kwiki, Citation bot 1, Adlerbot, RedBot, Nascar1996,
Wojowu, RjwilmsiBot, EmausBot, Tijfo098, Jiri 1984, Helpful Pixie Bot and Anonymous: 26
• Surjective function Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surjective_function?oldid=670090862 Contributors: AxelBoldt, Tarquin, Amillar, XJaM, Toby Bartels, Michael Hardy, Wshun, Pit~enwiki, Karada, Александър, Glenn, Jeandré du Toit, Hashar, Hawthorn, Charles
Matthews, Dysprosia, David Shay, Ed g2s, Phil Boswell, Aleph4, Robbot, Fredrik, Tobias Bergemann, Giftlite, Lethe, Jason Quinn,
Jorge Stolfi, Matt Crypto, Keeyu, Rheun, MarkSweep, AmarChandra, Tsemii, TheObtuseAngleOfDoom, Vivacissamamente, Rich Farmbrough, Quistnix, Paul August, Bender235, Nandhp, Kevin Lamoreau, Larry V, Obradovic Goran, Dallashan~enwiki, ABCD, Schapel,
Oleg Alexandrov, Tbsmith, Mindmatrix, LOL, Rjwilmsi, MarSch, FlaBot, Chobot, Manscher, Algebraist, Angus Lepper, Ksnortum,
Rick Norwood, Sbyrnes321, SmackBot, Rotemliss, Bluebot, TedE, Soapergem, Dreadstar, Saippuakauppias, MickPurcell, 16@r, Inquisitus, CBM, MatthewMain, Gregbard, Marqueed, Sam Staton, Pjvpjv, Prolog, Salgueiro~enwiki, JAnDbot, JamesBWatson, JJ Harrison,
Martynas Patasius, MartinBot, TechnoFaye, Malerin, Dubhe.sk, Theabsurd, UnicornTapestry, Eliuha gmail.com, Anonymous Dissident,
SieBot, SLMarcus, Paolo.dL, Peiresc~enwiki, Classicalecon, UKoch, Watchduck, Bender2k14, SchreiberBike, Neuralwarp, Petru Dimitriu, Matthieumarechal, Kal-El-Bot, Addbot, Download, PV=nRT, ‫ماني‬, Zorrobot, Jarble, Legobot, Luckas-bot, Yobot, Fraggle81, II
MusLiM HyBRiD II, Xqbot, TechBot, Shvahabi, Raffamaiden, Omnipaedista, Applebringer, Erik9bot, LucienBOT, Tbhotch, Xnn, Jowa
fan, EmausBot, PrisonerOfIce, WikitanvirBot, GoingBatty, Sasuketiimer, Maschen, Mjbmrbot, Anita5192, ClueBot NG, Helpful Pixie
Bot, BG19bot, Cispyre, Lfahlberg, JPaestpreornJeolhlna, TranquilHope and Anonymous: 87

20.12. TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES, CONTRIBUTORS, AND LICENSES

103

• Unary operation Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unary_operation?oldid=658611073 Contributors: AxelBoldt, Danny, Arvindn,
Patrick, Wshun, Voidvector, Andres, Seth Arlington, Charles Matthews, Robbot, Fredrik, Giftlite, Paul Pogonyshev, Macrakis, Jacob
grace, Pmanderson, Tzarius, Andreas Kaufmann, Mormegil, Noisy, Rich Farmbrough, Forderud, Oleg Alexandrov, Japanese Searobin,
Gsnxn, Ruud Koot, MFH, Isnow, Salix alba, Tardis, JPD, YurikBot, Bota47, Kjak, SmackBot, RDBury, Gelingvistoj, Bluebot, Octahedron80, Dfletter, Richard L. Peterson, Eassin, Pointlessness, Lark ascending, PamD, Thijs!bot, Headbomb, Mhaitham.shammaa,
Ianare, Salgueiro~enwiki, JAnDbot, Burga, JoergenB, Gwern, R'n'B, BlGene, TXiKiBoT, Anonymous Dissident, Gerakibot, Alksentrs,
JP.Martin-Flatin, Jedihawk, Addbot, Ghettoblaster, Btx40, Download, Zorrobot, Legobot, Bunnyhop11, Ztianjin, Erik9bot, Alph Bot,
EmausBot, Quondum, Kodefuguru, BG19bot, Creation FrOH, Pratyya Ghosh, Quenhitran and Anonymous: 41
• Universal algebra Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_algebra?oldid=653169020 Contributors: AxelBoldt, Bryan Derksen,
Zundark, Andre Engels, Toby~enwiki, Toby Bartels, Youandme, Michael Hardy, GTBacchus, Andres, Revolver, Charles Matthews,
Dysprosia, Aleph4, Robbot, Fredrik, Sanders muc, Kowey, Fuelbottle, Giftlite, APH, Sam Hocevar, AlexChurchill, Zaslav, Tompw,
Rgdboer, EmilJ, AshtonBenson, Msh210, ABCD, Linas, Mindmatrix, Smmurphy, Isnow, Magidin, Jrtayloriv, Wavelength, Hairy Dude,
Chaos, Wiki alf, Arthur Rubin, RonnieBrown, SmackBot, El Fahno, Alink, Nbarth, Zvar, Spakoj~enwiki, Henning Makholm, WillowW,
HStel, Sam Staton, Sadeghd, Rlupsa, Knotwork, JAnDbot, Sean Tilson, Twisted86, David Eppstein, JaGa, Pavel Jelínek, Trusilver,
TheSeven, JohnBlackburne, AllS33ingI, Popopp, Synthebot, Nicks221, SieBot, Sneakfast, Tkeu, Excirial, He7d3r, Hans Adler, Kaba3,
Algebran, Addbot, Delaszk, Loupeter, Legobot, Yobot, Ptbotgourou, AnomieBOT, RibotBOT, Oursipan, Thehelpfulbot, Ilovegrouptheory, D stankov, Yaddie, Rausch, Eivuokko, Nascar1996, GoingBatty, Quondum, ClueBot NG, Bezik, Frietjes, MerlIwBot, Beaumont877,
Brad7777, Duxwing, Jochen Burghardt, NQ, JMP EAX and Anonymous: 60

20.12.2

Images

• File:Abacus_6.png Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Abacus_6.png License: Public domain Contributors:
• Article for “abacus”, 9th edition Encyclopedia Britannica, volume 1 (1875); scanned and uploaded by Malcolm Farmer Original artist:
Encyclopædia Britannica
• File:Aplicación_2_inyectiva_sobreyectiva02.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/69/Aplicaci%C3%B3n_
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• File:Arbitrary-gametree-solved.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/Arbitrary-gametree-solved.svg License: Public domain Contributors:
• Arbitrary-gametree-solved.png Original artist:
• derivative work: Qef (talk)
• File:Basic_arithmetic_operators.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Basic_arithmetic_operators.svg
License: Public domain Contributors: Own work Original artist: Master Uegly
• File:BernoullisLawDerivationDiagram.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/BernoullisLawDerivationDiagram.
svg License: CC-BY-SA-3.0 Contributors: Image:BernoullisLawDerivationDiagram.png Original artist: MannyMax (original)
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License: Public domain Contributors: Own work, created as per: en:meta:Help:Displaying a formula#Commutative diagrams; source code
below. Original artist: Nils R. Barth
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• File:Caesar3.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Caesar3.svg License: Public domain Contributors: Own
work Original artist: Cepheus
• File:Carl_Friedrich_Gauss.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Carl_Friedrich_Gauss.jpg License: Public domain Contributors: Gauß-Gesellschaft Göttingen e.V. (Foto: A. Wittmann). Original artist: Gottlieb Biermann
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• File:Conformal_grid_after_Möbius_transformation.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Conformal_
grid_after_M%C3%B6bius_transformation.svg License: CC BY-SA 2.5 Contributors: By Lokal_Profil Original artist: Lokal_Profil
• File:DFAexample.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/DFAexample.svg License: Public domain Contributors: Own work Original artist: Cepheus
• File:Elliptic_curve_simple.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Elliptic_curve_simple.svg License: CCBY-SA-3.0 Contributors:
• Elliptic_curve_simple.png Original artist:

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• derivative work: Pbroks13 (talk)
• File:Euclid.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/Euclid.jpg License: ? Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
• File:Fibonacci.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Fibonacci.jpg License: Public domain Contributors:
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• File:GDP_PPP_Per_Capita_IMF_2008.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/GDP_PPP_Per_Capita_
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• File:Illustration_to_Euclid’{}s_proof_of_the_Pythagorean_theorem.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/
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• File:Indicator_function_illustration.png Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Indicator_function_illustration.
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• File:Kapitolinischer_Pythagoras_adjusted.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1a/Kapitolinischer_Pythagoras_
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• File:Market_Data_Index_NYA_on_20050726_202628_UTC.png Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/46/Market_
Data_Index_NYA_on_20050726_202628_UTC.png License: Public domain Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
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• File:Maya.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/Maya.svg License: CC-BY-SA-3.0 Contributors: Image:
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• File:Navier_Stokes_Laminar.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Navier_Stokes_Laminar.svg License:
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• File:Non-surjective_function2.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Non-surjective_function2.svg License: CC BY-SA 3.0 Contributors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Non-surjective_function.svg Original artist: original version: Maschen,
the correction: raffamaiden
• File:Nuvola_apps_edu_mathematics_blue-p.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Nuvola_apps_edu_
mathematics_blue-p.svg License: GPL Contributors: Derivative work from Image:Nuvola apps edu mathematics.png and Image:Nuvola
apps edu mathematics-p.svg Original artist: David Vignoni (original icon); Flamurai (SVG convertion); bayo (color)
• File:Oldfaithful3.png Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/Oldfaithful3.png License: Public domain Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
• File:Pairing_natural.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/Pairing_natural.svg License: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Contributors: Own work Original artist: Cronholm144

20.12. TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES, CONTRIBUTORS, AND LICENSES

105

• File:People_icon.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/People_icon.svg License: CC0 Contributors: OpenClipart Original artist: OpenClipart
• File:Portal-puzzle.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fd/Portal-puzzle.svg License: Public domain Contributors:
? Original artist: ?
• File:Question_book-new.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/99/Question_book-new.svg License: Cc-by-sa-3.0
Contributors:
Created from scratch in Adobe Illustrator. Based on Image:Question book.png created by User:Equazcion Original artist:
Tkgd2007
• File:Rubik’{}s_cube.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Rubik%27s_cube.svg License: CC-BY-SA3.0 Contributors: Based on Image:Rubiks cube.jpg Original artist: This image was created by me, Booyabazooka
• File:Signal_transduction_pathways.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/Signal_transduction_pathways.
svg License: CC BY-SA 3.0 Contributors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Signal_transduction_v1.png Original artist: cybertory
• File:Simple_feedback_control_loop2.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/Simple_feedback_control_
loop2.svg License: CC BY-SA 3.0 Contributors: This file was derived from: Simple feedback control loop2.png: <a href='//commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Simple_feedback_control_loop2.png' class='image'><img alt='Simple feedback control loop2.png' src='https://
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/45/Simple_feedback_control_loop2.png/50px-Simple_feedback_control_loop2.png'
width='50' height='17' srcset='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/45/Simple_feedback_control_loop2.png/75px-Simple_
feedback_control_loop2.png 1.5x, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/45/Simple_feedback_control_loop2.png/
100px-Simple_feedback_control_loop2.png 2x' data-file-width='439' data-file-height='150' /></a>
Original artist: Simple_feedback_control_loop2.png: Corona
• File:Sinusvåg_400px.png Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8c/Sinusv%C3%A5g_400px.png License: Public domain Contributors: ? Original artist: User Solkoll on sv.wikipedia
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domain Contributors: Own work Original artist: Maschen
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with_red_question_mark.svg License: Public domain Contributors: Created by bdesham with Inkscape; based upon Text-x-generic.svg
from the Tango project. Original artist: Benjamin D. Esham (bdesham)
• File:Torus.png Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Torus.png License: Public domain Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
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• File:Wikibooks-logo.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Wikibooks-logo.svg License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Contributors: Own work Original artist: User:Bastique, User:Ramac et al.
• File:Wikinews-logo.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Wikinews-logo.svg License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Contributors: This is a cropped version of Image:Wikinews-logo-en.png. Original artist: Vectorized by Simon 01:05, 2 August 2006
(UTC) Updated by Time3000 17 April 2007 to use official Wikinews colours and appear correctly on dark backgrounds. Originally
uploaded by Simon.
• File:Wikiquote-logo.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Wikiquote-logo.svg License: Public domain
Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
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3.0 Contributors: Rei-artur Original artist: Nicholas Moreau
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domain Contributors: Vector version of Image:Wiktionary-logo-en.png. Original artist: Vectorized by Fvasconcellos (talk · contribs),
based on original logo tossed together by Brion Vibber

20.12.3

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