Questions asking for advice on various mathematical matters. Be careful that your question is answerable, and also that it is not a polling question (e.g. "What is the best / your favorite way to...").

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0
votes
1answer
112 views

Dealing with questions with unknown answers

The vast majority of textbook exercises are worded essentially in the format: This assertion is (true/false). Prove this or find a counterexample. This, of course, is not how mathematics is ...
41
votes
6answers
4k views

What should an amateur do with a proof of an open problem?

Assuming that somebody is not an employee of a university, just a math amateur, and makes a proper proof of some well known open math problem, what should he do with it? Publish on the internet for ...
1
vote
3answers
171 views

Is tutor essential for success in mathematics? [closed]

Everyone in my Pre-Calc - Calc I class is failing, except the kids who go tutor. They get top percentile ranks in the class. Should I drop maths all together so I don't have to invest in a tutor? I ...
5
votes
4answers
327 views

What sequence should I study these topics in?

I will shortly list a series of topics that amount to what is essentially the first two years of an undergraduate degree. I'd like to know what is considered best order in which to study these ...
0
votes
3answers
52 views

What are the concepts that I need to understand before studying Fourier Analysis?

Background ( Long Story Short ) : For some reasons, I am taking a class in my university that focus on Fourier Analysis Laplace Transform, and Partial Diffiential Equations Problem : I have done ...
6
votes
1answer
272 views

How much mathematics should a student of mathematical logic know?

I would like to know what areas of mathematic are directly related to mathematical logic, besides the usual courses on model theory, proof theory and computability. If you suggest only one book on ...
2
votes
3answers
146 views

What is so special about $a*b^{ -1}$ equivalence?

This equivalent is used often in group theory. For example, using this equivalnce you prove Lagranges theroem and also this equivalence gives you the cosets and other things. This equivalence also ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Is $g$ increasing?

Suppose $f:[a,b]\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ and define $g:[a,b]\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ as follows $$ g(x)=\sup\{f(t):a\leq t\leq x\}, $$ with $x\in[a,b]$. Someone told me that $g$ is an increasing ...
11
votes
3answers
470 views

A question from an engineering undergraduate

My question primarily concerns the necessary transition from an undergraduate program in electrical engineering to graduate program in applied mathematics or pure mathematics. I'm an electrical ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

Actuarial Science or Financial Mathematics? [closed]

I’m a second year undergraduate student of Actuarial Science that equally loves finance and pure mathematics. I only knew of Actuarial Science as a career that suited best these two requirements ...
3
votes
2answers
57 views

Favorite Textbooks for introducing a subject?

I'm interested in learning more about number theory, about fractal geometry, and about probability. Anyone have any good recommendations? I've taken calculus and statistics at university if that helps ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Re professional mathematicians working on several problems at once. Source needed.

Recently I read a quote from a working mathematician where he pointed out that professionals have to get used to carrying around several unsolved problems at once. Can anyone help me with the source ...
39
votes
5answers
7k views

What are the work habits of the best mathematicians? [closed]

Of course I would never compare myself to, and don't expect to be, one of the great mathematicians. However, I am curious as to how my work habits, dedication and passion differs from theirs. How ...
9
votes
2answers
418 views

The best balance in studying Mathematics?

I'm a student studying Mathematics at a university level. I've completed Single Variable Calculus, Differential Equations, Multivariable Caculus, Real/Complex Analysis, and Linear Algebra and I've ...
2
votes
4answers
452 views

Should I read about Manifolds or Algebraic Topology?

I really enjoy doing maths and it fills quite a lot of my spare time. I'm starting my first year in the university on october and I probably won't have that much time for independent reading once ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

Problem solving strategy?

This question has always bothered me, and I've never had a maths coach to guide me along the way and show me what to do next. Nevertheless, I did make top 50 nationally in my national mathematics ...
0
votes
5answers
170 views

Some examples of applications of Game Theory

I'm approaching my junior year of HS now, and I'm looking for a good science fair project to do. I love mathematics, so I decided to a category of mathematics that can help base logical conclusions to ...
16
votes
5answers
798 views

Understanding mathematical texts

Please could you comment on following: I always wanted to know what mathematicians mean by "understanding a piece of mathematics". For example, I have just finished the second chapter from Rudin's ...
20
votes
11answers
2k views

Gap year to study math

This is a plan in its earliest and thus least concise stage, so either bear with me or don't read the following babble (I bolded some of the important stuff): I am a high school graduate who is about ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Masters' thesis in group theory [closed]

I would like some ideas on topics in group theory which would be suitable for a masters' thesis. What sort of problems would be suitable for this level? Because it is at masters' level, no original ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Changing streams in PhD

I've a masters degree from a reputed Indian university in pure mathematics, with a specialization in Algebraic Number Theory. However, I'd like to apply for a PhD in computational math/theoretical ...
3
votes
2answers
420 views

What's after undergrad? Advice needed.

I'm currently a rising senior at a small, yet well ranked liberal arts college studying Pure Mathematics. I've taken multiple high level mathematics courses and plan on doing a few more independent ...
6
votes
2answers
218 views

Advice for self-studying Inequalities and Calculus

I'm interested in self-studying the following books over the next year or so: Spivak's Calculus (I'm already in Ch. 5 and it is very slow going) The Cauchy-Schwarz Master Class by J. Michael Steele ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Decided to finally jump in [closed]

I've finally decided to jump into teaching myself math because I am a junior (soon senior) in high school and have been interested in math for the longest time. I am not sure if this question belongs ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it bad to keep aside Lang's Algebra in graduate school?

Question is as it is stated in title. I will be joining for PhD program in this July 2014. I am interested in working in Algebra/Algebraic Geometry/Algebraic Number Theory. I tried to learn algebra ...
2
votes
3answers
515 views

What languages to learn for maths? [closed]

For people with "hands-on" experience in mathematical research, what languages are the most beneficial to learn? I know that many graduate programs require some degree of non-native lingual ...
1
vote
1answer
207 views

Path to Differential Geometry

What do I need to learn to start on the rigorous study of differential geometry? I'm about to start my 3rd undergrad year at school, and have taken Cal 1-3, Linear Algebra, Elementary Number Theory, ...
5
votes
0answers
233 views

Analysis or (abstract) algebra first?

Which one would you recommend? I only know calculus and linear algebra when it comes to university-level mathematics. Is one required to understand the other?
8
votes
1answer
140 views

Follow up to Pinter's abstract algebra

I wanted to learn abstract algebra this summer so I bought Pinter's A book of Abstract Algebra. I was planning on reading it over the course of the summer, but just finished the last problem of its ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

Book: Functional Calculus

Is there a good book that investigates in detail the various kinds of functional calculus? I'm having now some knowledge about unbounded operators and integration but I would like to understand ...
-1
votes
1answer
23 views

About the convergence or divergence? [closed]

Whether the following integral converge or diverge by comparison test. \begin{align*} ...
4
votes
1answer
219 views

Too “young” for advanced mathematics?

Is it harmful to try to learn an advanced topic that is way beyond your mathematical maturity, even if you're really interested in it? Should I focus only on standard material for undergraduates and ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Is it worth it? [closed]

I am studying pure mathematics at university, as well as minoring in physics. I am soon to finish to BSc degree, and I am considering continuing on with studying pure mathematics. However, I do have a ...
3
votes
3answers
160 views

Can a mathematician be a multi-discipline expert?

My professor says: If you be a mathematician then you can easily learn any discipline like physics, chemistry, engineering and even medical! Is he right? I am an enthusiast of all scientific ...
3
votes
3answers
61 views

Confusing -Probabilities.!!

Ok so far what i understand is this lets say...Having to draw a card from 52card-deck its probability is of course 1/52.Now the probability to say that i will keep drawing this same card 10 times of ...
3
votes
0answers
255 views

Which is the best transitional mathematics book for self-teaching among the ones listed?

What is Mathematics, An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods - Courant Robbins Stewart How to Solve It, A New Aspect of Mathematical Solving - Polya Introductory Mathematics, Algebra and Analysis ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

How do high-achieving students in math study for their exams?

I'm taking a real analysis course that is a bit more advanced than usual in that it introduces you to the Lebesgue theory and has some deeper concepts in metric spaces. This is an honors and advanced ...
40
votes
9answers
4k views

When to give up on a hard math problem?

I practice olympiad problems from books like Putnam and Beyond. Often I come across a problem that I simply can't solve. After $\sim30$ minutes of deep thinking it feels like I'm ramming my head into ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Pure mathematics curriculum for self study with interests in foundational issues

I wonder if I want to make my own pure mathematics curriculum to study along the next 4 or 5 years. What topics should I include? I want it to be like one which an undergraduate student of pure ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

What should be in your graduate toolbox?

I've just finished my undergraduate degree at an average uni in the UK. Clearly the content will not be as in depth or rigorous as some of the higher ranked universities. I intend (well, hope!) to ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Post Baccalaureate Studying

So I'm currently finishing up my last quarter of undergrad, but unfortunately I have to take a year off before starting grad school. My degree is in physics, but I've been far more interested in ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Intuition or wisdom for stability and instability properties of locally linear system. Boyce, p513, Table 9.3.1

Our instructor requires us to memorize this table for our differential equations exam. So I wonder if anyone has some deeper intuition or observation to help with this? For example, I noticed ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

I am failing at Analysis again. [closed]

I am stuck at this very hard course again. I don't want to put blames but if you were to ask me, what is going wrong I would say: The professor teaches too bluntly The book is too hard to ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Research Proposal help

Soft question, so I hope this is still in the right place. I have applied for a PhD position at the university I have just finished my undergrad degree at. I have to write a research proposal in the ...
39
votes
7answers
2k views

When working proof exercises from a textbook with no solutions manual, how do you know when your proof is sound/acceptable?

When working proof exercises from a textbook with no solutions manual, how do you know when your proof is sound/acceptable? Often times I "feel" as if I can write a proof to an exercise but most ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Should the theory be studied thoroughly before solving exercises?

Most of the books claim in the preface that the important part of the book is in the exercises, which makes sense considering that solving problems improves in great depth the understanding of the ...
6
votes
2answers
281 views

How should one go about obtaining “mathematical maturity”?

tl;dr: Is mathematical maturity better obtained by doing hard subjects slightly out of your reach, or by doing more simple subjects to gain experience? The end of the semester is close, and I ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

What should a student (with algebraic-geometry minded) study in differential geometry?

One of my friend who is an undergraduate student, has known something about algebraic geometry (equivalent to chapter 1 and a little bit chapter 2 in GTM 52 by Hartshorne). He is now has to study a ...
28
votes
27answers
3k views

Gift advice: present for high school graduate interested in math

I am a PhD student in mathematics who recently found out that I will be attending my girlfriend's cousin's high school graduation party. I have never met the cousin, but hear that he is very ...
6
votes
0answers
87 views

Strategy for self-studying after M.S.

For someone who has finished their M.S. degree in pure mathematics, what is a good way to keep learning mathematics within your specialization? Would you suggest reading research articles from ...