[Search] |

These are the fields of the Mathematics Subject Classification which do not study mathematics so much as the pursuit of mathematics. They discuss the nature of mathematics or mathematicians, or the propagation of the discipline, or recount some very basic mathematical concepts. As a rule, this material is poorly tracked in indices and databases of mathematics, but some of it has a genuine place in the MSC scheme.

Only sections 00 and 01 show in the MathMap since section 97 is newly added starting in the year 2000, so there are no statistical data giving it a well-defined location on the MathMap. Given the nature of these fields, it is to be expected that all of them will be more or less central in the picture, related to a similar degree to all other areas.

- 01: History and biography is a legitimate field of study when applied to mathematics, even if it is not usually practiced carefully by mathematicians. (Many favorite tidbits of mathematical folklore are unfortunately untrue!) This section also includes the sociology of mathematics -- how it comes to be the discipline it is. Portions of this material are attached to the relevant subfield of mathematics in the MSC.
- 97: Mathematics Education is an area newly added to the MSC effective with the 2000 revision, but of a long heritage. Topics of discourse cover all levels of mathematics education from pre-school to university level, and can focus on the student (through educational psychology, for example), the teacher (continuing development or assessment), the classroom (and the books and technology used in the classroom), or the larger system (policy analysis, cross-cultural comparisons, and so on). Analysis can range from small case studies to large statistical surveys; perspectives range from the fairly philosophical to the clinical.
- 00: General mathematics has to include the inevitable "none of the above" entries. Besides general textbooks or expository topics, and thematically unrelated collections of papers, this category contains the sub-category "General and miscellaneous specific topics". Some of them (e.g. dimensional analysis, philosophy of mathematics, dictionaries, or recreational mathematics) could legitimately be included in some of the other portions of the MSC table. We use classification 00 for some fairly elementary mathematics at this site, too.

The MSC has previously used a few other very general classifications appropriate here: 99: "Miscellaneous", and 69: "General applied mathematics".

If you've been clicking along "in order", you've reached the end of the tour of the major areas of mathematics. If you've missed anything, you might want to return to the start of the tour. You might like to learn more about one or more specific areas in mathematics; in that case, try browsing the subject index (now that you know what all those subjects are!)

Last modified 2000/01/25 by Dave Rusin. Mail: