*Offbeat* Some Mathematicians Think the Equal Sign is On Its Way Out

### Surrey sign ban forces election candidates to shift campaign strategy

Surrey sign ban forces election candidates to shift campaign strategyPlanting signs on public property was banned in Surrey after the 2018 civic election campaign, when a long list of candidates led to numerous candidate boards piling up around the city, including at road intersections where drivers reported having trouble seeing past them.

A growing number of mathematicians are skeptical that the equal sign , traditionally used to show exact relationships between sets of objects, holds up to To understand their arguments, it’s important to understand set theory—a theory of mathematics that ’s been around since at least the 1870s [PDF].

Some Mathematicians Think the Equal Sign is On Its Way Out .

A growing number of mathematicians are skeptical that the equal sign, traditionally used to show exact relationships between sets of objects, holds up to new mathematical models, *WIRED* reports.

To understand their arguments, it’s important to understand set theory—a theory of mathematics that’s been around since at least the 1870s [PDF]. Take the classic formula 1+1=2. Say you have four pieces of fruit—an apple, an orange, and two bananas—and you put the apple and the orange on one side of a table and the two bananas on the other. In set theory, that’s an equation: One piece of fruit plus one piece of fruit on the left side of the table equals two pieces of fruit on the right side of the table. The two sets, or collections of objects, are the same size, so they’re equal.

### College Football Fan Gives $3 Million to Children’s Hospital After Asking for Beer Money on TV

Carson King Gives $3 Million to Children’s HospitalOn Friday, Carson King presented a check for $3,004,000 to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, according to The Iowa City Press-Citizen. During the presentation, King — an Iowa State University fan — transferred the money from his Venmo account to the hospital alongside patient Camdyn Reisner.

The equals sign causes a lot of grief. Should we replace it with more meaningful symbols? Did you realize that the equals sign is a relatively recent invention, and that mathematicians did just fine I think the reason that American students have some much more problem with "=" is the overuse of

Is the Equal Sign Overrated? Mathematicians Hash It Out . Second, in that same paper Schönhage and Strassen conjectured that there should be an even faster algorithm than the one they found—a method that needs only n × log n single-digit operations—and that such an algorithm would be the

But here’s where it gets complicated. What if you put an apple and a banana on the left side of the table and an orange and a banana on the other side? That’s clearly different from the first scenario, but set theory writes it as the same thing: 1+1=2. What if you switched the order of the first set of objects, so instead of having an apple and an orange, you had an orange and an apple? What if you had only bananas? There are potentially infinite scenarios, but set theory is limited to expressing them all in only one way.

“The problem is, there are many ways to pair up,” Joseph Campbell, a mathematics professor at Duke University, told Quanta Magazine. “We’ve forgotten them when we say ‘equals.’”

A better alternative is the idea of equivalence, some mathematicians say [PDF]. Equality is a strict relationship, but equivalence comes in different forms. The two-bananas-on-each-side-of-the-table scenario is considered strong equivalence—all of the elements in both sets are the same. The scenario where you have an apple and an orange on one side and two bananas on the other? That’s a slightly weaker form of equivalence.

### Canadian Forces searching for missing small plane in the Laurentians

Canadian Forces searching for missing small plane in the LaurentiansAccording to the Sûreté du Québec, who were assisting with ground searches, a possible distress signal was detected.

You could forgive mathematicians for being drawn to the monster group, an algebraic object so enormous and mysterious that it took them nearly a decade to prove it exists. Here we see the process of rotating a square counterclockwise about its center point (the intersection of its diagonals).

Many different mathematicians invented those symbols. And all of these, you might think that the equal sign just says, hey, give me the answer, figure out what two plus three is. What the equal sign is saying is that what's on the left side is the same amount, the same quantity, as what is on the

A new wave of mathematicians is turning to the idea of category theory [PDF], which is based in understanding the relationships between different objects. Category theory is better than set theory at dealing with equivalence, and it’s also more universally applicable to different branches of mathematics.

But a switch to category theory won’t come overnight, according to Quanta. Interpreting equations using equivalence rather than equality is much more complicated, and it requires relearning and rewriting everything about mathematics—even down to algebra and arithmetic.

“This complicates matters enormously, in a way that makes it seem impossible to work with this new version of mathematics we’re imagining,” mathematician David Ayala told Quanta.

Several mathematicians are at the forefront of category theory research, but the field is still relatively young. So while the equal sign isn’t passé just yet, it’s likely that an oncoming mathematical revolution will change its meaning.

FIFA to invest $1B in women's soccer over next 4 years .

Amid a widespread campaign for equal pay, FIFA plans to invest an additional $500 million into women's soccer over the next four years, the governing body announced Thursday. Its total contribution during the four-year period will be $1 billion. The decision comes on the heels of a hugely successful Women's World Cup, which drew 1.12 billion viewers across the globe. FIFA upped its commitment as the United States women's national team wages aIts total contribution during the four-year period will be $1 billion.

## Topical videos:

### That's How You Can Confuse Your Math Teacher

Bright Side is going to teach you a mathematical trick which requires no special preparation. This trick will confuse your math teacher and impress your friends.

### How To Solve Amazon's Hanging Cable Interview Question

A cable of 80 meters (m) is hanging from the top of two poles that are both 50 m from the ground. What is the distance between the two poles, to one decimal ...

## See also:

### Topical videos

### TOP News

### TOP News

### Latest News

### Similar from the Web

A growing number of mathematicians are skeptical that the equal sign , traditionally used to show exact relationships between sets of objects, holds up to To understand their arguments, it’s important to understand set theory—a theory of mathematics that ’s been around since at least the 1870s [PDF].

Mental FlossSome Mathematicians Think the Equal Sign is On Its Way Out .

The equal sign - more trouble than it’s worth?The equals sign causes a lot of grief. Should we replace it with more meaningful symbols? Did you realize that the equals sign is a relatively recent invention, and that mathematicians did just fine I think the reason that American students have some much more problem with "=" is the overuse of

Mathematicians Discover the Perfect Way to Multiply | WIREDIs the Equal Sign Overrated? Mathematicians Hash It Out . Second, in that same paper Schönhage and Strassen conjectured that there should be an even faster algorithm than the one they found—a method that needs only n × log n single-digit operations—and that such an algorithm would be the

Why Symmetry Continues to Beguile Mathematicians | WIREDYou could forgive mathematicians for being drawn to the monster group, an algebraic object so enormous and mysterious that it took them nearly a decade to prove it exists. Here we see the process of rotating a square counterclockwise about its center point (the intersection of its diagonals).

Equal sign | Addition and subtraction (video) | Khan AcademyMany different mathematicians invented those symbols. And all of these, you might think that the equal sign just says, hey, give me the answer, figure out what two plus three is. What the equal sign is saying is that what's on the left side is the same amount, the same quantity, as what is on the

Never Skip the Closing of the Lesson – Thinking MathematicallyThe equal sign represents balance. We can substitute things in equations we don’t know with Relate the problem to some practice questions that will help continue your students’ thinking . I think of the close as being where they do an exit ticket or answer a reflective prompt in their journal.

The Mathematician Who Will Make You Fall in Love With | WIREDBeing a mathematician in some ways allows us to see things more for what they are. When people learn not to overgeneralize their arguments, they’re going So when I was on the job market I started looking at those colleges. I was interested in the research track and willing to do that , but I was also

Thinking Like a Mathematician | Penn State UniversityI guess that 's a sign that they system is healthy. "Sometime you should go talk to Steve Simpson He pulls out a piece of scratch paper and writes 3x(3) - 5x + 7. "Okay? You set it equal to zero and There's a famous mathematics book, written by a real mathematician , that actually becomes popular.

Stormfront Nazis Think the Alt-Right Is Full of Idiots | WIREDIs the Equal Sign Overrated? Mathematicians Hash It Out . "We are on the edge of very volatile tipping point," says Greason, "where the nation could reject white supremacy at its roots, or where we could go backwards into an