Symbols Challenge from the AMS

Last updated: 24 November 1998

Over the past few weeks, this spot has been occupied by a changing selection of questions about various math symbols, as part of our effort to document their use. The results will be included in our presentation to the Unicode Technical Committee (UTC) at their meeting during the first week of December 1998.

Although the deadline for information to be included in our presentation was November 20, you can still view the archive of questions as presented.
You may also want to look at the complete symbols collection.
Please note that the ``reference IDs'' are purely arbitrary, so that we can find things; they should not be used for any other purpose.

We would like to thank the following participants for the information they have provided.


The AMS, as part of a larger group of scientific and technical publishers, is leading an effort to identify a comprehensive collection of symbols required in mathematical notation for publication of research papers and books in pure and applied mathematics, theoretical computer science, physics, and other disciplines which use such notation.

A major goal of this project is to make it possible to publish technical material on the Web in a form that typical browsers will render accurately and intelligibly to a reader familiar with the subject matter. One perceived requirement is to have all necessary symbols identified by Unicodes, that is, codes in the international standard coding system underlying the World Wide Web.

Unicode already recognizes a large number of symbols, but by no means all that are required to achieve our goal. Thus, part of our effort is devoted to presenting the missing symbols, along with documentation that will convince the UTC that new codes are required and deserved.


The greatest reward will, of course, be the elegant appearance of correct, intelligible technical prose in the window of a Web browser, when new codes and Unicode-compliant browsers are available. Nonetheless, it seems unfair to ask for help and give nothing in return.

We have therefore offered a small reward to the person who submits evidence in support of the greatest number of symbols for which the UTC assigns new codes. The reward will consist of $50 worth of AMS books. The winner (or winners, in case of a tie) will be notified after the UTC meeting has taken place.

Once again, thank you all for your help.


© Copyright 2000, American Mathematical Society.