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Ring (mathematics)

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In mathematics, rings are algebraic structures that generalize fields: multiplication need not be commutative and multiplicative inverses need not exist. Informally, a ring is a set equipped with two binary operations satisfying properties analogous to those of addition and multiplication of integers. Ring elements may be numbers such as integers or complex numbers, but they may also be non-numerical objects such as polynomials, square matrices, functions, and power series.

Richard Dedekind, one of the founders of ring theory

Mathematics

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Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics with the major subdisciplines of number theory, algebra, geometry, and analysis, respectively. There is no general consensus among mathematicians about a common definition for their academic discipline.

This is the Ulam spiral, which illustrates the distribution of prime numbers. The dark diagonal lines in the spiral hint at the hypothesized approximate independence between being prime and being a value of a quadratic polynomial, a conjecture now known as Hardy and Littlewood's Conjecture F.

On the surface of a sphere, Euclidean geometry only applies as a local approximation. For larger scales the sum of the angles of a triangle is not equal to 180°.

The Babylonian mathematical tablet Plimpton 322, dated to 1800 BC

A page from al-Khwārizmī's Algebra