22 March 2008

Names of mathematicians in the MSC

Dave Rusin has a list of names of mathematicians which appear in the MSC scheme. (That's the "Mathematics Subject Classification." I almost called it the "MSC classification" but managed to stop myself.) For reference, here's the 2000 MSC. (Rusin's file treats the 1991 version.) The idea is that these must be Important Mathematicians because some subfield of mathematics has been named after them, for the most part.

Rusin claims that Abel is the only person usually given the honor of having his name lowercased ("abelian", not "Abelian"). I have a sense that "euclidean" also occurs, though I may be thinking of the French usage.

The most amusing one, to me, is that "Monte Carlo" is named after a person -- Charles III of Monaco -- who was as far as I know not a mathematician at all. Amerigo Vespucci is also on the list; 01A12 is the history of mathematics and mathematicians of indigenous cultures of the Americas. If I had been compiling the list I'd probably have missed that.

Rusin also calls Fibonacci a "rabbit-farmer". I'd laugh, except I'm pretty sure at least one of my students also thinks this.


Anonymous said...

I usually say that absolute values are archimedean and that rings are noetherian or artinian. Do other people capitalize these?

Harald Hanche-Olsen said...

I almost called it the "MSC classification" but managed to stop myself.

Thereby narrowly averting a case of RAS syndrome (RAS means “redundant acronym syndrome”).

marry said...

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