[plt-scheme] Re: Why "lambda"?

From: hendrik at topoi.pooq.com (hendrik at topoi.pooq.com)
Date: Tue May 26 14:18:52 EDT 2009

On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 10:14:22AM -0700, wooks wrote:
> On May 26, 3:53 pm, "Todd O'Bryan" <toddobr... at gmail.com> wrote:
> > After getting the lambda chair emails, I had to show it to my
> > students. (After flipping it horizontally, of course.)
> >
> > One of the students asked, "Why is it lambda and not some other Greek letter?"
> >
> If I may ask the more mathematically inclined academics on the list.
> Why the continued affinity with Greek letters - period?

Well, historically, written mathematics more or less started in Greek.
Yes, there were some mensuration stuff in Egypt, first, but the 
characteristically mathematical activity of proving obvious statements 
from other even more obvious statements, started in Greece.

Secone, mathematicians have always used a large variety of kinds of 
symbols and type faces to systematically distinguish different kinds of 
things, a kind of informal static typing that makes their formulas more 
visually distinctive and easier to follow.

Greek letters are just part of that.

-- hendrik

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