Mathematician talk:Mathematicians

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Looks good, I added the links to Wikipedia and put in the é characters (no, evidently \e' doesn't get converted, just cut and paste from wikipedia in the future).

Two questions/suggestions: 1. Can you make the theorems heading centered vertically (maybe it needs an extra column, with zero width, so it's not the last column)?

2. (Possibly a side effect of 1) should we make the headings take up less vertical space? --cynic 03:58, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

How do we make sure they go in either alphabetical or (my preferred) chronological order? The ones listed are neither.

Not sure I like the format of a table, I'll see how I get on with it ... --prime mover (talk) 05:26, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I've extracted all the data that was in the original page and put them all in their own separate pages. Need to take a step back and decide how we want to present the main page.

I have attempted to put them into chronological order. It makes most sense to me that this is the "best" way to organise this sort of thing. --prime mover (talk) 22:54, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree that we need to take a step back and figure out how to sort this. Possibly modify the mathematician template a little as well. What if we did something to break up the names, such has having more general sections for either years, or names.




== < 800 ==
== 800 - 900 ==

Maybe add something to the template to make it nicer to use. I guess first would be to decided if we want it to be arranged chronologically or lexicographically. If I had to pick I would agree with Matt and go with chronologically. Any thoughts? --Joe (talk) 03:22, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Okay, the full page can be as full as we want it. Depending on what we consider interesting, that's what we can add (as long as we don't blanket-paste from Wikipedia). As for the master page, just include the name, lifespan, theorems, definitions and other interesting achievements (admittedly this will make Euler's and Gauss's entries larger than others), and also nationality as that's interesting (shows the back-and-forth flow of mathematical inspiration across the millennia). Publications will probably belong on the full page unless particularly significant (e.g. Euclid).

Sorting into chronological periods as your 2nd example hits the sweet spot.

The current entry on Lagrange needs restructuring BTW as this has stuff that belongs more on the full page than the master. I'll get to working on this when I run out of steam on my current line of thought. --prime mover (talk) 22:15, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia Link

Do we really need the wikipedia links anymore? --Joe (talk) 22:44, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Good quez. Probly not. I think they were only in there because the format we had was not appropriate for providing a complete page. So we could indeed get rid of them, I suppose. Not exactly difficult to get to them, they're the first thing that appears when you google. --prime mover (talk) 22:56, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Page titles

Neat though it looks to put the complete name of the mathematician in the page title, I'm not sure this is the way we really want to go. Is Émile Borel better known and tagged as Félix Édouard Justin Émile Borel? Is Georg Cantor better tagged as Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor? Or Bertus Brouwer as Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer?

Yeah I know, it's a style I started and now I think I regret. Perhaps we use the "known as" name (e.g. "Georg Cantor") as the main page, and put "Full name: Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor" like I did with al-Khwarizmi.

And I'd just retitled the Cantor page, then I found the Borel page on Wikipedia and decided enough was enough ...

Thoughts? --prime mover (talk) 22:41, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm fine with using a shortened(more well known) name. And on the main page itself say the full name. --Joe (talk) 20:25, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Include dates

Do you think it would be a good practice if we included the mathematicians birth year when we call the template? e.g. {{Mathematician|Joe|1842}} --Joe (talk) 22:33, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, could do ... that would make it easier to add a new entry in the right place.--prime mover (talk) 05:23, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Okay then, that's all done now. Including the start and end dates in the template means we can ensure a consistent presentation. Which is all done and dusted.

I experimented with putting the dates in the title itself but that didn't look good. --prime mover (talk) 08:12, 9 May 2009 (UTC)


Do you think we should split up the 18th and 19th centuries into smaller sections? --Joe (talk)

Good call. 18th probably not yet, we can wait till it gets bigger. 19th certainly. I also separated the 16th and 17th into separate sections. --prime mover (talk) 11:55, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Looks good! Just a thought: would it help to use subsections? For instance in the section from 1800-1900 have two sections, say 1800-1850 and 1851-1900. I'm not sure if it would look better or not. --Joe (talk) 12:32, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Not sure what you have in mind. Care to have a go? Try it out and see ... --prime mover (talk) 13:31, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Never mind, it doesn't work. --Joe (talk) 17:39, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Getting long

Anyone think we should split this page into smaller ones? --Joe (talk) 23:03, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I've been sort of worrying about this a bit. Is there a transclusion technique? Worth putting mathematicians into a separate category? I've been trying to think of a smart way of configuring it, haven't come up with anything. --prime mover (talk) 20:37, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I've been thinking something along the lines of remove the ToC on the page now and just having links for each year range. Although the more I think it, the more I'm unsure about it. --Joe (talk) 00:41, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Try it! See what happens ... we can always put it back again. After all, the toc is auto-generated and therefore by definition not specifically designed for this particular purpose.--prime mover (talk) 05:36, 16 April 2010 (UTC)


This tables are a lot of work. Thus I hate to add more. I'd like to see the tables of algebraists, of geometers, etc. See however my note "data base" below. BTW, special tables would help to make the total more complete. Wlod (talk)

This page is not done using tables any more. What we could do is to add a template which can be added to an individual mathematician's page which would add that mathematician to a category, e.g. "Geometers", "Algebraists", "All-rounders", etc. but this was never anticipated as a possibility originally because I never dreamed that anyone would ask for it. In conjunction with another of your posts which to a certain extent contradicts this one ("should we even bother with having a mathematicians page in the first place?") if this is the sort of information that you find yourself in need of, then you might want to approach one of those specific history sites that you correctly point out that are far better than this site in the first place, and see whether they may be able to satisfy your need. --prime mover (talk) 07:02, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Data base

Can ProofWiki (or any wiki) use data base software? Wikipedia tables with the ability to sort the entries according to any selected column (or even two or more) is a nice step toward this goal. It'd be great to have (internally) huge tables with a large number of columns, and such that the users can select the columns which they want to view, as well as to select sets of entries according to some constraining rules. E.g. one may like entries which with respect to sorted column 5 are between 800 and 1000. Wlod (talk)

This page is not based on a table any more. Thus the question refers to a case that no longer applies. Oh, and please date your talk page postings. --prime mover (talk) 06:55, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
I will (date my postings). The data base is extremely important to wikis, and to the whole web, and to the entire communicating (e.g. to modern journalism) in general, not just in the context of mathematicians. Wlod (talk) 00:27, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

First question

The name of this wiki is ProofWiki. Thus I wonder if it is really necessary for this wiki to take on a huge historical task? Does it have a realistic chance to do good job? At this moment the lists are far from complete, but it is hard expect good results. Others are doing it already. Perhaps any historian can support other, more history oriented projects (?). It'll be hard to outdo them anyway. Wlod (talk)

See the new FAQ page because this question comes up over and over again and I think it sucks. --prime mover (talk) 06:53, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
I think it is good that we try and provide some background on mathematicians and writers whose theorems, definitions and books we cover. For example, the author is a convenient handle to find out if a certain book is already covered on ProofWiki. When the pages exist anyway (to document oeuvres) we might as well try and put up some historical information as well. No harm. One is not forced to contribute to this part of the site after all. --Lord_Farin (talk) 09:08, 20 December 2012 (UTC)