Science of structure, order, and relation that has evolved from counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of objects. It deals with logical reasoning and quantitative calculation. Since the 17th century it has been an indispensable adjunct to the physical sciences and technology, to the extent that it is considered the underlying language of science. Among the principal branches of mathematics are algebra, analysis, arithmetic, combinatorics, Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, game theory, number theory, numerical analysis, optimization, probability, set theory, statistics, topology, and trigonometry.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.For the full entry on mathematics, visit Britannica.com.
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