8
$\begingroup$

When was the use of \mathbb popularized as an alternative to \mathbf?

Of course there are the subjective preferences of certain authors, but when I read older articles, there appears to be an almost unanimous usage of what we would think of as \mathbf (possibly because of the use of typewriters before LaTeX), and now more recently it seems as if the use of \mathbb is becoming increasingly common.

Is there a reason for this switch in notation?

$\endgroup$
10
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This question has nothing to do with history of science and it is better to ask it on tex.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ Nov 20, 2017 at 0:47
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ It's a question about the history of notation in mathematics, and thus just as suitable for hsm as (say) a question about the history of the division symbol or the decimal point. $\endgroup$ Nov 20, 2017 at 0:51
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ For those who are unfamiliar with the LaTeX terminology, \mathbf (boldface) looks like this: $\mathbf R$, while \mathbb (blackboard) looks like this: $\mathbb R$. $\endgroup$
    – JRN
    Nov 20, 2017 at 1:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ FYI, I haven't looked around much (yet?), but this 1991 paper is one of the earliest papers using blackboard bold that I know of right now. $\endgroup$ Nov 20, 2017 at 15:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here's a 1965 use, pre-TeX, of course. Wikipedia has some history and citations, too. $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    Nov 20, 2017 at 21:12

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.