In

mathematics
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 ...

, a map or mapping is a function in its general sense. These terms may have originated as from the process of making a geographical map: ''mapping'' the Earth surface to a sheet of paper.
The term ''map'' may be used to distinguish some special types of functions, such as homomorphism
In algebra, a homomorphism is a morphism, structure-preserving map (mathematics), map between two algebraic structures of the same type (such as two group (mathematics), groups, two ring (mathematics), rings, or two vector spaces). The word ''homo ...

s. For example, a linear map is a homomorphism of vector space
In mathematics
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 ...

s, while the term linear function
In mathematics, the term linear function refers to two distinct but related notions:
* In calculus and related areas, a linear function is a function (mathematics), function whose graph of a function, graph is a straight line, that is, a polynomia ...

may have this meaning or it may mean a linear polynomial. In category theory
Category theory is a general theory of mathematical structures and their relations that was introduced by Samuel Eilenberg and Saunders Mac Lane in the middle of the 20th century in their foundational work on algebraic topology. Nowadays, categ ...

, a map may refer to a morphism. The term ''transformation'' can be used interchangeably, but '' transformation'' often refers to a function from a set to itself. There are also a few less common uses in logic
Logic is the study of correct reasoning. It includes both Mathematical logic, formal and informal logic. Formal logic is the science of Validity (logic), deductively valid inferences or of logical truths. It is a formal science investigating h ...

and graph theory
In mathematics, graph theory is the study of ''graph (discrete mathematics), graphs'', which are mathematical structures used to model pairwise relations between objects. A graph in this context is made up of ''Vertex (graph theory), vertices'' ( ...

.
Maps as functions

In many branches of mathematics, the term ''map'' is used to mean a function, sometimes with a specific property of particular importance to that branch. For instance, a "map" is a " continuous function" intopology
In mathematics, topology (from the Greek language, Greek words , and ) is concerned with the properties of a mathematical object, geometric object that are preserved under Continuous function, continuous Deformation theory, deformations, such ...

, a " linear transformation" in linear algebra
Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning linear equations such as:
:a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n=b,
linear maps such as:
:(x_1, \ldots, x_n) \mapsto a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n,
and their representations in vector spaces and through matrix (mat ...

, etc.
Some authors, such as Serge Lang, use "function" only to refer to maps in which the codomain is a set of numbers (i.e. a subset of R or C), and reserve the term ''mapping'' for more general functions.
Maps of certain kinds are the subjects of many important theories. These include homomorphisms in abstract algebra
In mathematics, more specifically algebra, abstract algebra or modern algebra is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathematics), rings, field (mathematics), fields, module (mathe ...

, isometries in geometry
Geometry (; ) is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space such as the distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures. A mathematician who works in the field of geometry is ca ...

, operators in analysis
Analysis (plural, : analyses) is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics a ...

and representations in group theory
In abstract algebra, group theory studies the algebraic structures known as group (mathematics), groups.
The concept of a group is central to abstract algebra: other well-known algebraic structures, such as ring (mathematics), rings, field ...

.
In the theory of dynamical systems, a map denotes an evolution function used to create discrete dynamical systems.
A ''partial map'' is a '' partial function''. Related terms such as '' domain'', ''codomain'', '' injective'', and '' continuous'' can be applied equally to maps and functions, with the same meaning. All these usages can be applied to "maps" as general functions or as functions with special properties.
As morphisms

In category theory, "map" is often used as a synonym for " morphism" or "arrow", which is a structure-respecting function and thus may imply more structure than "function" does. For example, a morphism $f:\backslash ,\; X\; \backslash to\; Y$ in a concrete category (i.e. a morphism that can be viewed as a function) carries with it the information of its domain (the source $X$ of the morphism) and its codomain (the target $Y$). In the widely used definition of a function $f:X\backslash to\; Y$, $f$ is a subset of $X\backslash times\; Y$ consisting of all the pairs $(x,f(x))$ for $x\backslash in\; X$. In this sense, the function does not capture the set $Y$ that is used as the codomain; only the range $f(X)$ is determined by the function.See also

* * Arrow notation – e.g., $x\backslash mapsto\; x+1$, also known as ''map'' * * * List of chaotic maps * Maplet arrow (↦) – commonly pronounced "maps to" * * *References

External links

{{authority control Basic concepts in set theory