# Maxima and minima

In mathematical analysis, the **maxima** and **minima** (the respective plurals of **maximum** and **minimum**) of a function, known collectively as **extrema** (the plural of **extremum**), are the largest and smallest value of the function, either within a given range (the *local* or *relative* extrema), or on the entire domain (the *global* or *absolute* extrema).[1][2][3] Pierre de Fermat was one of the first mathematicians to propose a general technique, adequality, for finding the maxima and minima of functions.

As defined in set theory, the maximum and minimum of a set are the greatest and least elements in the set, respectively. Unbounded infinite sets, such as the set of real numbers, have no minimum or maximum.