Questions asking for advice on various mathematical matters. Consider adding the tag [soft-question] as well.

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272
votes
26answers
53k views

How to study math to really understand it and have a healthy lifestyle with free time?

Here's my problem. I'm studying math and when I really work hard, I think I understand things very good, but that comes at a big cost: in the last few years, I've had practically zero physical ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Learning Roadmap for Algebraic Topology

I am now considering about studying algebraic topology. There are a lot of books about it, and I want to choose the most comprehensive book among them. I have a solid background in Abstract Algebra, ...
4
votes
3answers
267 views

I need some advice for $ \; “ \; 3xy+y-6x-2=0 \;”\, $

PS: I edited the title again and I think, it's better now... :) Actually, almost the whole solving way is wrong but, I understood why... :D :) You can check that or add some more useful links about ...
143
votes
27answers
12k views

Too old to start math

I'm sorry if this question goes against the meta for posting questions - I attached all the "beware, this is a soft-question" tags I could. This is a question I've been asking myself now for some ...
6
votes
6answers
507 views

Which topics of mathematics should I study? [closed]

I'm a first year econometrics student with a great interest in mathematics. I very much enjoy my study, but still I am interested to learn about more topics in mathematics which are not part of my ...
78
votes
9answers
5k views

How do I sell out with abstract algebra?

My plan as an undergraduate was unequivocally to be a pure mathematician, working as an algebraist as a bigshot professor at a bigshot university. I'm graduating this month, and I didn't get into ...
30
votes
3answers
2k views

Motivation and methods for self-study

First, a little background: Beginning with calculus in my first semester of college, I fell in love with mathematics. That was the point at which the concepts became interesting to me, and I started ...
37
votes
12answers
3k views

I almost quit self-studying mathematics, but should I continue?

Before I move on to the main idea of this post, I need to tell you some background information about myself. Hopefully, it proves useful for you in giving me advice. I'm a 16 year old high school ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Advice for Self-Study

I am a senior in high school who has taught myself through Calculus BC and I got a 5 on the exam. However, I have taken all the math I can at my school. I have also taught myself multi-variable ...
8
votes
3answers
543 views

Which of these courses to take if one intends to go to grad school in pure math (rank please)

could you rank these classes in terms of necessity to take if I intend to pursue a Ph.D in pure math? I don't know if I can fit everything, but I want to make sure I take the most important ones: ...
4
votes
2answers
264 views

Majoring in maths

Does majoring in mathematics with economics (with emphasis on mathematics) have good career prospects? Does anyone know something about this course?
5
votes
2answers
992 views

Rudin against Pugh for Textbook for First Course in Real Analysis

So as I have said before in a previous question, I am taking a first course in Mathematical Analysis, and I'm quite excited. I just found out though that unlike the other professors at my university, ...
58
votes
22answers
9k views

Complete course of self-study

I am about $16$ years old and I have just started studying some college mathematics. I may never manage to get into a proper or good university (I do not trust fate) but I want to really study ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Math GRE Subject Exam

I am studying for the GRE Mathematics subject exam [1]. I am looking for tips regarding how to more effectively study for it. Does anyone know of any good study materials or have any tips in general? ...
22
votes
3answers
637 views

How much time is too much (to put into a single problem)?

As a self-studier, I have no due dates and no time pressure. This is partly a good thing since I do have a life outside of my pursuit of mathematics. However, the lack of pressure is also a bad ...
20
votes
4answers
667 views

Understanding mathematics imprecisely

For a long time, it has been a complete mystery to me how any of my peers understood any math at all with anything short of filling in every detail, being careful about every set theoretic detail down ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

I want to start mathematics from scratch. What should I begin with?

I've just finished high school but I don't feel my knowledge of mathematics is good enough. I'd like to start again from scratch, possibly adding a bit (a lot) of problem solving to it. What is the ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Career advice in mathematics

First of all, I don't know if this is the right place to ask about careers. If not, please direct me somewhere I can get more help. So, I'm in my first year of university, majoring in applied ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Mathematical Career Advice to a young 16 year wannabe mathematician

I am a '94 born aspiring mathematician, programmer and a little bit of drummer from Nepal. I have been an avid follower and lover of mathematics since my seventh grade. Although I do not even consider ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

What am I losing if I decide to perform all math by computer?

I solve mathematical problems every day, some by hand and some with the computer. I wonder: What will I lose if I start doing the mathematical problems only by computer? I've read this text and the ...
16
votes
4answers
841 views

Grasping mathematics

First, I'm not trying to make this sound like a "poor-me" story. I understand fully that every decision I've made leading to this is my fault. I am genuinely looking for advice. So, I am a high ...
6
votes
2answers
389 views

What is the best approach when things seem hopeless?

I'm finding that I am getting to the point of being hopelessly behind in one of my courses (Fourier Analysis). What is the best thing to do when it feels impossible to get caught up in the literal ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Foundational Research a Dead Field?

I'm a second year mathematics major at a pretty good school. Ever since I became a math major I have been most interested in set theory and logic, which I guess can be lumped into the category of ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Spotting crankery

Underwood Dudley published a book called mathematical cranks that talks about faux proofs throughout history. While it seems to be mostly for entertainment than anything else, I feel it has become ...
11
votes
2answers
660 views

Studying mathematics efficiently

I am particularly angry at myself for the last few days. I noticed how inefficiently I work.Here is the general scenario: I decided to study abstract algebra and analysis some days back.I tried ...
4
votes
5answers
884 views

Is it possible to practice mental math too often?

I'm far from a mathematician, but the field I'm trying to break into (management consulting) requires a fair amount of mental arithmetic. I'm okay, but I'm not even close to as good as I need to be in ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Surveys of Current (last 50 years) Mathematics at Graduate / Research level?

I'm wondering if there are any books or broad survey articles that survey current mathematical areas, i.e. mathematics of the last 50 years. Ideally, these would continue in the style of the various ...
2
votes
1answer
428 views

Prerequisite for Differential Topology and/or Geometric Topology

What are the prerequisites to learning both or one of the items? Consider that one will have done some of the "core" classes like Differential Geometry, Real Analysis, Abstract Algebra and POint-Set ...
2
votes
2answers
953 views

What makes Probability so difficult to get it right in the first place?

I took two classes of Probability, I did very well and was confident on the subject. Now I meet it again in my Combinatorial Algorithm course, and guess what? I feel completely blank again! I have to ...
6
votes
2answers
379 views

Recommendations for real analysis

I have completed two courses in real analysis that covered up to chapter 9 in Rudin's Principle of Mathematical Analysis (and one on complex analysis). So if I am interested in continuing on in ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Advanced Linear Algebra courses in graduate schools

After studying general a linear algebra course, how would an advanced linear algebra course differ from the general course? And would an advanced linear algebra course be taught in graduate schools? ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Mathematics in cognitive sciences

Which areas of Maths can be formally studied in a cognitive sc major? Or: which areas of maths can support the study of brain. Some areas that seem relevant would be: mathematical logic, graph theory, ...
6
votes
0answers
376 views

Prerequisite of Projective Geometry for Algebraic Geometry

I studied Euclidean Geometry in high-school, and I have not studied anything relates to geometry since I started studying in university. I am now intending to study Algebraic Geometry, however, I ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

When should I start learning Set Theory?

I started to learn a few disciplines on my own over the break after my first year in college and one of them was Real Analysis. In the process I came across many issues in Analysis texts concerning ...
5
votes
3answers
240 views

Does Differential Topology or Differential Geometry play a larger role in Chaos Theory?

I'm an undergraduate on somewhat of a time constraint in school. I have room in my remaining schedule for a semester of either Differential Geometry or Differential Topology. I understand the ...
5
votes
2answers
327 views

Advice about taking mathematical analysis class

I appologize if this isn't the place to ask, if it's not could you let me know and I will take it to meta? Anyway, so I am planning on taking a mathematical analysis course next spring, and I'm really ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

What is the correct terminology to say that $\small f(x)=a+bx+cx^2+…$ can be expressed by $\small g(x)=A(1-x)+B(1-x)(2-x)+C(1-x)(2-x)(3-x)+… $

Hm, I do not even know the best formulation for my question in the header. It is not for the math but for the proper writing/terminology. I've come across the term "base change" recently but the ...
3
votes
0answers
57 views

My first simple direct proof (very simple theorem on real numbers). Please mark/grade.

What do you think about my first simple direct proof? What mark/grade would you give me? Besides, I am curious about whether you like the style. Theorem Let $I = [a,b]$ be a non-empty closed ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

What's the right moment to learn Set Theory?

I've seen a question in which the OP asked when is the right moment to learn Category Theory, it seems this moment comes a little after a course of algebra, and indeed some books on abstract algebra ...