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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
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!)
You can reach this page through http://www.math-atlas.org/welcome.html
Last modified 2000/01/25 by Dave Rusin. Mail: