Abuse of Math Notation

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

y'know? sometimes we send a piece of math in spaceship in hopes that aliens might appreciate our intelligence. The aliens would probably go “WTF ambigram?”.

laplace transform formula
a typical snippet of math. This one is from from Wikipedia Laplace transform

first of all, note the ambiguous use of the brackets. The curly bracket is used as the delimiter for formal parameter of a function and also as delimiter for formal parameter of a expression. The round bracket is also used as delimiter for formal parameter of a function.

then, notice that this definition tries to do several things:

in general, mathematicians use math notations like a diagram of pictographs, the same way children draw pictures to express meaning. The output thereof, is not grammatically coherent. We understand them by years of convention and context and guess-work.


ℒ[f[x]][s] := ∫[ ⅇ^(-s*t) * f[x],{x,0,∞}]