Earliest Uses of Various Mathematical Symbols
These pages show the names of the individuals who first used
various common mathematical symbols, and the dates the symbols first
appeared. The most important written source is the definitive
A History of Mathematical Notations by
Florian Cajori.
 Symbols of operation, including +, , X, division, exponents,
radical symbol, dot and vector product
 Grouping symbols, including (), [], {}, vinculum
 Symbols of relation, including =, >, <
 Fractions, including decimals
 Symbols for various constants, such as π, i, e, 0
 Symbols for variables
 Symbols to represent various functions, such as log, ln, γ, absolute value; also the f(x) notation
 Symbols used in geometry
 Symbols used in trigonometry; also symbols for hyperbolic functions
 Symbols used in calculus
 Symbols for matrices and vectors
 Set notation and logic
 Symbols used in number theory
 Symbols used in probability and statistics
 Written sources for these pages
Please see also
Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics,
Images of Mathematicians on Postage Stamps,
and
Ambiguously Defined Mathematical Terms at the High School Level.
Assistance for this page has been provided by Julio González
Cabillón, John Aldrich, Avinoam Mann, Eddie Mizzi, Fred E. Wadley, Giovanni
Ferraro, Judy Ann Brown, Len Berggren, Manoel Almeida, Michael Closs,
Milo Gardner, Paul Pollack, and Samuel S. Kutler. The page is
maintained by Jeff Miller, a
teacher at Gulf
High School in New Port Richey, Florida (now retired).
