# Columbia Encyclopedia

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## mathematics

(Encyclopedia)mathematics, deductive study of numbers, geometry, and various abstract constructs, or structures; the latter often “abstract” the features common to several models derived from the empirical, or ...

## abacus, in mathematics

(Encyclopedia)CE5 Chinese abacus: Numbers are represented by moving beads to the central crossbar. abacus ăbˈəkəs, əbăkˈ– [key], in mathematics, simple device for performing arithmetic calculations. Th...

## e, in mathematics

(Encyclopedia)e, in mathematics, irrational number occurring widely in mathematics and science, approximately equal to the value 2.71828; it is the base of natural, or Naperian, logarithms. The number e is defined ...

## dimension, in mathematics

(Encyclopedia)dimension, in mathematics, number of parameters or coordinates required locally to describe points in a mathematical object (usually geometric in character). For example, the space we inhabit is three...

## division, in mathematics

(Encyclopedia)division, fundamental operation in arithmetic; the inverse of multiplication. Division may be indicated by the symbol ÷, as in 15 ÷ 3, or simply by a fraction, 15/3. The number that is being divided...

## combinations, in mathematics

(Encyclopedia)combinations, in mathematics: see probability. ...

## cone, in mathematics

(Encyclopedia)CE5 Cone cone or conical surface, in mathematics, surface generated by a moving line (the generator) that passes through a given fixed point (the vertex) and continually intersects a given fixed c...

## power, in mathematics

(Encyclopedia)power, in mathematics: see exponent. ...

## set, in mathematics

(Encyclopedia)CE5 Union and intersection of sets A and B: The union of A and B, A∪B, contains all members belonging to either A or B. The intersection of A and B, A∩B, contains all members common to both A a...

## root, in mathematics

(Encyclopedia)root, in mathematics, number or quantity r for which an equation f(r)=0 holds true, where f is some function. If f is a polynomial, r is called a root of f; for example, r=3 and r=−4 are roots of th...