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Mathematics Research Guide

Definitions and Summaries

Sources such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are good starting points for obtaining basic information about issues, events, and concepts in the field of mathematics.

Comprehensive Dictionary of Mathematics
A three-volume series that focuses on mathematical terms and definitions of critical importance to practicing mathematicians and scientists. Provides working definitions, meanings of terms, related references, and a list of alternative terms and definitions. The volumes in the series include:
  • Dictionary of Algebra, Arithmetic, and Trigonometry -- Reference QA 5 .D4983 2001
  • Dictionary of Analysis, Calculus, and Differential Equations -- Reference QA 5 .D53 2000
  • Dictionary of Classical and Theoretical Mathematics -- Reference QA 5. D4984 2001
CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics
Reference QA 5 .W45 1999
A compendium of mathematical definitions, formulas, figures, tabulations, and references written in an informal style intended to make it accessible to a broad spectrum of readers with a wide range of mathematical backgrounds and interests. It draws connections between many areas of mathematics and science and offers concise, definitions, a multidisciplinary approach regarding the use of mathematics, 110,000 cross-references to other topics and sources (including many internet sites), and thousands of illustrations, formulas and derivations.


The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Mathematics
General Collection QA 5 .C53 2005
The dictionary covers both pure and applied mathematics as well as statistics, and there are entries on major mathematicians andmathematics of more general interest, such as fractals, game theory, and chaos.


Elsevier's Dictionary of Mathematics
Reference QA 5 .E48 2000
Selection of the terms for the dictionary was based either on their significance or on their frequency of use according to authoritative encyclopedias, dictionaries and textbooks. Included are both modern developments and contemporary changes in terminology as well as recently established terms. The terminology covers all the major branches of mathematics from elementary to advanced subjects.
Encyclopaedia of Mathematics
Reference QA 5 .M3713 1988 + Supplement
The articles in this 10-volume set vary from short definitions to long survey pieces dealing with the major directions in mathematics. Most articles have references for further study. Extensive cross-references. Volume 10 is the subject and author index. A Supplement was published in 1997.

Encyclopedia of Mathematics

Reference QA 5 .T34 2005
A one-volume encyclopedia with more than 1,000 entries and more than 125 photographs and illustrations. This book unites disparate ideas and provides the meaning, history, context, and relevance behind each one.

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mathematics

Reference QA 5 .I8313 1987
This four-volume set concisely describes all significant mathematical results, pure and applied, elementary to advanced.

Encyclopedia of Optimization

Covers many new fields of optimization in addition to complete discussions about standard topics by active researchers in each field.
The Hutchinson Pocket Dictionary of Maths
Defines mathematical terms in clear and understandable language.


The International Dictionary of Applied Mathematics

Reference QA 5 .I5

Defines terms and describes the methods in the applications of mathematics to thirty-one fields of physical science and engineering. These definitions and descriptions have been chosen to comprise those terms in general use and those methods that have proved most fruitful in practical calculations and analysis.



The Princeton Companion to Mathematics

Reference QA11.2 P745 2008

Surveys the most active and exciting branches of pure mathematics, providing the context and broad perspective that are vital at a time of increasing specialization in the field.


Wolfram MathWorld

Online Version

Defines terms frequently used in mathematics, along with many illustrative examples. May be browsed by letter or searched by term.


World of Mathematics

General Collection QA5 .W67 2001

Two volume guide to topics in mathematics. It includes theories, definitions, discoveries, concepts in the history of mathematical science. The volumes also include biographical entries on the most influential mathematicians from antiquity to the present. Its broad scope -- more than 1,000 narrative entries -- is organized alphabetically in a convenient encyclopedic format