I have noticed in the list of tag synonyms that a synonym $\to$ has been suggested. Currently it awaits votes from users.

I am not sure this is a reasonable tag synonym. But I definitely think that such a synonym should not be created without discussing it on meta beforehand - this is a synonym which would influence a very big number of questions.

EDIT: In the meantime, the synonym suggestion has been downvoted to $-2$ and hence removed. (Probably it was noticed partly thanks to this meta post.)

  • $\begingroup$ I feel like it's a good idea to alter the person whose suggestion this was: @Leila Hatami $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2017 at 17:37
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    $\begingroup$ @StellaBiderman That won't notify Leila since they did not comment on this post. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43019/… $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2017 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeEarnest oh interesting. Thanks for the information. $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2017 at 18:44
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    $\begingroup$ Also, it's probably a better idea to alert Leila than to alter her. $\endgroup$ Apr 5, 2017 at 7:02
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    $\begingroup$ @StellaBiderman I have pinged Leila Hatami in chat. To my best knowledge of chat and notifications in chat, she should get some notification about this. $\endgroup$ Apr 5, 2017 at 9:28
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Thank you for notifying me. The suggestion has been closed and there is post with 19 votes against it! I know that this two concepts are far away but I suggest it for more organization. I thought that removing combinatorics and merge it to discrete math could be useful.... $\endgroup$
    – MR_BD
    Apr 5, 2017 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


I am against this synonym. Although many discrete math problems are also combinatorics problems, and depending on your definition it might be that all combinatorics problems are discrete math problems, they don't mean the same thing. There are many many discrete mathematics problems that are not combinatorics problems, such as problems in elementary number theory, set theory, and graph theory.

If people are using the tags together at a high enough rate as to make them look like synonyms (I don't have information one way or the other) that should be remedied by making the correct tag use clearer, not by making the tags synonyms. There's definitely a lot of questions that get asked that are discrete math and not combinatorics.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree; combinatorics is at the very least only a subset of discrete-mathematics. $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2017 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ Agreed. "Discrete mathematics" is used to distinguish it from "continuous mathematics". Similarly, we do not want a synonym (continuous mathematics) -> (calculus). $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Apr 4, 2017 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, I always thought graph theory was combinatorics. But otherwise, I agree. $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2017 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ @ThomasAndrews some of it is, but questions about, e.g. DFS aren't combinatorics questions but are graph theory questions. Graph theory is roughly divided into combinatorial and algorithmic IMO. $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2017 at 17:08

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