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Other Symbols

Leonard Euler (1707-1783) gave us a number of symbols. They are listed below.

f(x)for functional notation
efor the base of natural logarithms
a, b, cfor the sides of triangle ABC
capital sigmafor the summation sign
ifor the imaginary unit, the square root of -1

Thomas Harriot (1560-1621), usually considered the founder of the English school of algebraists, was the first to use the signs > and < for "is greater than" and "is less than," respectively.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) gave us our intersection symbol, intersection symbol, and union symbol, union symbol, from set theory.

In 1808 Christian Kramp (1760-1826) of Strassbourg introduced n! for factorial n (or n factorial). The previous symbol was causing printing difficulties.

John Wallis (1616-1703), a mathematician and one of the first to create a system for teaching deaf mutes, introduced our present symbol for infinity infinity symbol.