Questions asking for a "big list" of examples, illustrations, etc. Please do not ask too many of these. Please do not use this as the only tag for a question.

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430
votes
134answers
26k views

What was the first bit of mathematics that made you realize that math is beautiful? (For children's book)

I'm a children's book writer and illustrator, and I want to to create a book for young readers that exposes the beauty of Mathematics. I recently read Paul Lockhart's essay "The Mathematician's ...
-3
votes
0answers
30 views

IB Math Help: grade Nine [on hold]

Does anybody who has been or is in grade 9 IB program know what sort of material they put on the entrance tests. Just a brief list of the math topics covered in the examination. Only answer if you are ...
3
votes
5answers
90 views

Classic Counting Problems

Does anyone have some good, classic, counting problems? I want things that are interesting, as well as instructive- more than just compute the number of way to get a flush, etc. (Not that those aren't ...
29
votes
10answers
2k views

Real life usage of Benford's Law

I recently discovered Benford's Law. I find it very fascinating. I'm wondering what are some of the real life uses of Benford's law. Specific examples would be great.
14
votes
3answers
328 views

Book ref. request: “…starting from a mathematically amorphous problem and combining ideas from sources to produce new mathematics…”

I couldn't find Charles Radin's Miles of Tiles at the local university library or the public library, and cannot afford its Amazon price right now. Thus, while sorely disappointed for the moment, I ...
21
votes
7answers
14k views

Good books for self-studying algebra?

I have a few weeks off from school soon, and I was hoping to self-study a bit of algebra. I don't think this question has been asked on here before, but does anyone have any suggestions for algebra ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Text on Witt vectors that are accessible to undergraduate students

I am looking for a thorough text on Witt vectors that is accessible to an undergraduate student that have completed the following courses: Calc 1, 2, Linear Algebra and Abstract Algebra. (In Norway, ...
216
votes
21answers
19k views

Different methods to compute $\sum\limits_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2}$

As I have heard people did not trust Euler when he first discovered the formula $$\zeta(2)=\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2}=\frac{\pi^2}{6}.$$ However, Euler was Euler and he gave other proofs. I ...
24
votes
6answers
1k views

Bag of tricks in Advanced Calculus/ Real Analysis/Complex Analysis

I am studying for an exam and I have been studying my butt off during the winter break for it. During the course of my study I have written down quite a number of tricks, which in my opinion were ...
34
votes
5answers
2k views

How to write a good mathematical paper?

I hesitate to ask this question. However I read many advices from math.stackexchange, and I couldn't find anything similar. A good time always goes too fast! Two years are fled. In the third year of ...
8
votes
4answers
316 views
13
votes
9answers
1k views

Reference for general-topology

Though there are several posts discussing the reference books for topology, for example best book for topology. But as far as I looked up to, all of them are for the purpose of learning topology or ...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

Mathematical statements that cannot be proved or disproved [on hold]

I've recently been reading about the continuum hypothesis and am fascinated by the fact that it cannot be proved or disproved, despite the fact that the statement itself is either true or false. What ...
128
votes
28answers
14k views

List of Interesting Math Videos/ Documentaries

This is an offshoot of the question on Fun math outreach/social activities. I have listed a few videos/documentaries I have seen. I would appreciate if people could add on to this list. Story of ...
63
votes
21answers
3k views

What are some examples of mathematics that had unintended useful applications much later?

I would like to know some examples of interesting (to the layman or young student), easy-to-describe examples of mathematics that has had profound unanticipated useful applications in the real world. ...
0
votes
0answers
105 views

“Deep” maths books in certain subjects [closed]

I would like a suggestion on the 'deepest' books in Calculus and analysis (something along the lines of Rudin's) Linear algebra Abstract algebra Geometry (and topology); (even something along the ...
13
votes
1answer
454 views
+100

Big-Daddy-Conjectures and Hierarchy of Mathematical Conjectures

I am interested in the Hierarchy and Connections between various different open problems in Mathematics, and the most general conjectures in various fields of Mathematics. Examples of Hierachy ...
50
votes
18answers
5k views

If there are obvious things, why should we prove them?

Obviously, there are obvious things in mathematics. Why we should prove them? Prove that $\lim\limits_{n\to\infty}\dfrac{1}{n}=0$? Prove that $f(x)=x$ is continuous on $\mathbb{R}$? $\dotsc$ Just ...
143
votes
63answers
10k views

Funny identities

Here is a funny exercise $$\sin(x - y) \sin(x + y) = (\sin x - \sin y)(\sin x + \sin y).$$ (If you prove it don't publish it here please). Do you have similar examples?
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Algebraic constructions to add a real to a sub-group of $\langle \mathbb{R}^+,.\rangle$

Consider the group $\langle \mathbb{R}^+,.\rangle$ and let $r$ be a real number (e.g. $r=\sqrt{2}$). I would like to know about all known algebraic constructions to build a sub-group of $\langle ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Identities involving adjoint action

I'm looking for list of identities involving adjoint action $\mathrm{ad}_A X = [A,X] = AX - XA$. For example, it can be easily shown that: \begin{equation} e^{\mathrm{ad}_A} X = e^A X e^{-A} ...
10
votes
6answers
11k views

“Where” exactly are complex numbers used “in the real world”?

I've always enjoyed solving problems in the complex world during my undergrad. However, I've always wondered where are they used and for what? In my domain (computer science) I've rarely seen it be ...
141
votes
62answers
32k views

'Obvious' theorems that are actually false

It's one of my real analysis professor's favourite sayings that "being obvious does not imply that it's true". Now, I know a fair few examples of things that are obviously true and that can be proved ...
38
votes
18answers
4k views

Nuking the Mosquito — ridiculously complicated ways to achieve very simple results [closed]

Here is a toned down example of what I'm looking for: Integration by solving for the unknown integral of $f(x)=x$: $$\int x \, dx=x^2-\int x \, dx$$ $$2\int x \, dx=x^2$$ $$\int x \, ...
49
votes
16answers
5k views

Interesting “real life” applications of serious theorems

As a student one sometimes encounters exercises which ask you to solve a rather funny "real life problem", e.g. I recall an exercise on the Krein-Milman theorem which was something like: "You have a ...
253
votes
27answers
15k views

Examples of apparent patterns that eventually fail

Often, when I try to describe mathematics to the layman, I find myself struggling to convince them of the importance and consequence of 'proof'. I receive responses like: "surely if the Collatz ...
15
votes
7answers
854 views

Properties of the number 50

I will shortly be engaging with my 50th (!) birthday. 50 = 1+49 = 25+25 can perhaps be described as a "sub-Ramanujan" number. I'm trying to put together a quiz including some mathematical content. ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Interactions between geometry and graph theory.

I'm looking for some nice theories or just exercises, with both geometrical aspects and graph theoretics aspects. Example may include for instance the 4-color theorem or Euler characteristics, maybe ...
137
votes
77answers
12k views

Surprising identities / equations

What are some surprising equations / identities that you have seen, which you would not have expected? This could be complex numbers, trigonometric identities, combinatorial results, algebraic ...
33
votes
9answers
2k views

Literary statements that are false as mathematics

I recently wanted to use the title of the famous short story "Everything that Rises must Converge" in a poem of mine. However, the mathematician in me insisted on changing it to "Everything that ...
9
votes
3answers
257 views

Book series like AMS' Student Mathematical Library?

I had the joy of discovering AMS' Student Mathematical Library book series today, and I have been pleasantly surprised by how enticing some of the titles seem: exciting and expositionary, a perfect ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Infinite families of prime numbers

What interesting/useful infinite families of prime numbers are there? Right now it would be useful if I could find one with arbitrarily many 1's in its binary representation, but I am doing a larger ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Other Interesting solutions to $a=bq+r$? [closed]

The division algorithm says $a=bq+r$, with $r$ between $0$ and $b$. Are there interesting restrictions on $r$ using number-theoretic properties that make the equation $a=bq+r$ hold, or hold with ...
36
votes
9answers
7k views

List of interesting math podcasts?

mathfactor is one I listen to. Does anyone else have a recommendation?
4
votes
5answers
518 views

What's so special with small categories?

Sometimes one encounter the requirement that the objects of a category needs to be a set. What if it was not, could you provide examples of what could go wrong? (One example per answer).
64
votes
22answers
5k views

The Best of Dover Books (a.k.a the best cheap mathematical texts)

Perhaps this is a repeat question -- let me know if it is -- but I am interested in knowing the best of Dover mathematics books. The reason is because Dover books are very cheap and most other books ...
4
votes
1answer
55 views

References for mathematical theory of summability of divergent series

Once in a while, I can't help it to ask very broad questions. I have read (a portion of) Hardy's Divergent Series. Back then, I think besides in mathematics, divergent series and the need to assign ...
57
votes
23answers
10k views

Mathematicians ahead of their time?

In every field there's always that person who's just years ahead of their time. For instance, Paul Morphy (born 1837) is said to have retired from chess because he found no one to match his technique ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Different ways of constructing the free group over a set.

This could be too broad if we're not careful. I'm sorry if it ends up that way. Let's put together a list of different constructions of the free group $F_X$ over a given set $X$. It seems to be ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Important applications of the Uniform Boundedness Principle

There's like three applications of the uniform boundedness principle in wikipedia: 1) If a sequence of bounded operators converges pointwise to an operator, then the limit operator is also bounded, ...
3
votes
5answers
294 views

Real life examples of order relations.

It's easy to find examples of equivalence relations (for example, A shares room with B), but I can't seem to find a real life example of an order relation (that is, a relation that's reflexive, ...
3
votes
0answers
72 views

Is there any visual animation to show the basic concept of algebraic geometry? [closed]

Is there any visual animation to show the basic concept of algebraic geometry? There are rarely pictures in textbooks, so are there any animation to show basic but important concepts?
2
votes
3answers
103 views

Examples of Infinite Simple Groups

I would like a list of infinite simple groups. I am only aware of $A_\infty$. Any example is welcome, but I'm particularly interested in examples of infinite fields and values of $n$ such that ...
67
votes
21answers
32k views

Software for drawing geometry diagrams

What software do you use to accurately draw geometry diagrams?
138
votes
37answers
11k views

Fun but serious mathematics books to gift advanced undergraduates.

I am looking for fun, interesting mathematics textbooks which would make good studious holiday gifts for advanced mathematics undergraduates or beginning graduate students. They should be serious but ...
27
votes
9answers
5k views

Examples of nonabelian groups.

Can anybody provide some examples of finite nonabelian groups which are not symmetric groups or dihedral groups?
363
votes
42answers
166k views

Visually stunning math concepts which are easy to explain

Since I'm not that good at (as I like to call it) 'die-hard-mathematics', I've always liked concepts like the golden ratio or the dragon curve, which are easy to understand and explain, but are ...
46
votes
46answers
4k views

What was the book that opened your mind to the beauty of mathematics?

Of course, I am generalising here. It may have been a teacher, a theorem, self pursuit, discussions with family / friends / colleagues, etc. that opened your mind to the beauty of mathematics. But ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

Daily exercises to speed up my mental calculations?

When I was a kid in school my father prevented me from using a calculator when solving my math homeworks. However at that time I was not convinced as of why not to use such a useful tool! So I kept on ...
62
votes
23answers
11k 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 ...