Skip to content

Beginning of the subject wikis blog

This is a welcome post to the subject wikis blog.

The broad idea behind subject wikis is as follows: separate wikis on individual subjects/topics, with a reference guide that points to entries in each of them. The rationale behind having different wikis for each subject is that the individual wikis can be organized based on paradigms that are best suited for that subject.

So far, I’ve set up around fourteen subject wikis, but about eight of them are operational (in the sense of having a nonzero amount of content). The biggest one is Groupprops, the group properties wiki, which has over 2200 pages of content mainly related to group theory. Others include Topospaces, the topology wiki, Commalg, the commutative algebra wiki, Diffgeom, the differential geometry wiki, Cattheory, the category theory wiki, Companal, the complex analysis wiki, and Noncommutative, the noncommutative wiki.

All the above are wikis related to mathematical topics, which isn’t surprising, since I’m a doctoral student in math (at the University of Chicago). That the group theory wiki is the largest reflects the fact that group theory is my area of doctoral study — my guide is Professor George Glauberman (homepage).

However, I am also working on experimental subject wikis in areas outside mathematics. I’ve recently got started on a new subject wiki called Market, which is about the basic economic theory of markets. This reflects my recent interest in economics. Other areas outside mathematics where I plan to experiment with wikis include parts of physics and chemistry.

So far, the subject wikis have been largely my work, but others have contributed useful content as well as insights to some of the wikis, particularly the one on group theory. For the subject wikis project to grow more will require participation, involvement, and feedback from more people. I hope that this blog will attract comments and feedback from readers, including those who may not want to get actively involved.

In addition to the individual subject wikis, I am working on a reference guide (weblink). The ultimate goal is that typing a term in the search bar on the reference guide takes the reader to a page with a brief definition, as well as a link to the subject wiki, or subject wikis, covering that term in more detail. Some words are used with different meanings in different subjects, so the reference guide serves as a useful entry and disambiguation point.

For instance, typing the word “normal” in the search bar of Ref takes the reader to the the Ref entry on normal, which includes the many different disciplines where the word “normal” is used.

In the coming blog posts, I will post specific ideas on subject wikis, how to make them more useful to readers and viewers. Comments on these specific ideas, as well as others, are most welcome.