# Is Big O notation a thing in maths?

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#1
I just wanted to see if Big O notation is a thing that comes up in maths, since I've only learned about it in computer science but it seems like a handy tool for describing the overall shape of graphs and whatnot. I've just started my A levels btw.
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2 years ago
#2
O means origin of a graph (0,0)
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2 years ago
#3
it can stand for Order
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2 years ago
#4
It is a thing in maths. There's also a little o notation and ~ notation in common use.
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2 years ago
#5
(Original post by Fblaze1)
I just wanted to see if Big O notation is a thing that comes up in maths, since I've only learned about it in computer science but it seems like a handy tool for describing the overall shape of graphs and whatnot. I've just started my A levels btw.
I've not seen time complexities being used in my maths education so far, but I don't see why not considering it's just a measure of the time complexity an algorithm.
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#6
Well I specifically meant the features of Big O notation that allow you to reduce a complex polynomial to its most important feature, for example 3n^3+5n^2+7n+1 becomes O(n^3). Helps with just kinda concisely describing what kind of function you're dealing with.
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2 years ago
#7
(Original post by Fblaze1)
Well I specifically meant the features of Big O notation that allow you to reduce a complex polynomial to its most important feature, for example 3n^3+5n^2+7n+1 becomes O(n^3). Helps with just kinda concisely describing what kind of function you're dealing with.
Yes, this is all used in maths. Just be aware that in the mathematical usage, y saying something is O(n^3) has no implication that it grows as fast as n^3, only that it doesn't grow faster than that. So it would be correct (if strange) to say that the expression is O(n^27), for example.

This sometimes confuses computer scientists, although I think most good courses use the same definition.
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