For questions related to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Note that Mathematics Educators StackExchange may be a better home for narrowly scoped questions on specific issues in mathematics education.

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GRE past papers

As it is required for most students who wish to do a Ph.D in maths in the US to sit the GRE subject specific mathematics exam, I hope this question will be of interest to the mathematical community ...
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155 views

Is it a good approach to heavily depend on visualization to learn math?

I am a third year undergraduate and I am a beginner on these "real mathematics" (no pun intended). Before contacting the "real math", my math level should be considered to be "good", although I was ...
10
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367 views

How to be a bird

Freeman Dyson has famously characterized two styles of mathematics, that of the bird and that of the frog. I was asked recently the following question, which I don't know how to answer: If, in ...
8
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283 views

Is there an elementary introduction to higher order functions?

I am teaching a pre-calculus course (using the textbook by Michael Sullivan if it helps), and I realized that higher order functions seem to show up in with some frequency in pre-calculus and ...
8
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0answers
163 views

Undergrad research gateways

This question is intended as public service to mathematics. It is meant to benefit undergrad research students and maybe even researchers wishing to broaden their expertise and learn something away ...
7
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0answers
1k views

Learning higher-mathematics on your own

I was hoping someone had an opinion on how to learn higher-mathematics (specific fields that could be of use to me) outside of a classroom setting. I graduated with an M.S. in Computer science about ...
6
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106 views

Is it worth proving every theorem you learn?

Ever since I determined mathematics - mainly set theory and number theory - was my main passion, and I began learning mathematics formally outside of the curriculum posed within secondary schools I ...
6
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0answers
203 views

What is the best way to go about learning math?

I know this is a very subjective question, but after struggling on my own for a while I figured I might as well ask it. I did all the normal math classes in college (LinAlg, MultiVariable Calc, ...
6
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0answers
121 views

Educational software for graduate mathematics

Our university uses computer software to help automate and expedite the learning process for basic math classes (college algebra, trigonometry, precalculus, etc.). Software such as this provides ...
6
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217 views

Comparing the U.S. undergraduate math education to the French “classes préparatoires”

Could anyone comment on how the math track of the "classes préparatoires" compares to the U.S. undergraduate major? I took a look at some of the French entrance exams and was rather intimidated. How ...
6
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0answers
171 views

Advice on learning mathematics

I know it is hard to ask for the perfect method for doing mathematics, but I hope there are some paths that are more preferable over others. I am a engineering student who has switched to mathematics ...
5
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0answers
76 views

Algorithm for finding “fact families”

My friend's 3rd grader encountered the following question regarding "fact families" on her math homework: I was in 3rd grade sometime in the 1980s, so I don't believe I ever encountered this term ...
5
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0answers
56 views

Optimal partition for a riemann integral

I am a statistician tasked with teaching an elementary calculus course. I am about to teach Riemann sums. The breakpoints for the rectangles (the partition) that make up the Riemann sum need not be ...
5
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0answers
148 views

Bayes analysis as used in a Presidential Election - with calculations shown

Can you show all the steps needed for a Bayesian probability progression as new information is received. As an example, initial estimate for Obama to win (popular vote) is 55%. In state-A, Democrats ...
5
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0answers
276 views

Have Changes in Applications Made Linear Algebra More Central/Urgent?

In the days when my father taught civil engineering (some decades ago), mathematical applications seemed to be mainly "scientific." (This was the "space age.) Hence the most important branch of ...
4
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0answers
101 views

From algebraic master degree to algebraic geomery Phd

I am a foreign master student in algebra at the final year. I'm familar with categorical algebra and have interesting in algebraic geomery and number theory. I have learned some knowledge about scheme ...
4
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0answers
139 views

Alternative introduction to tensor products of vector spaces

One of the main obstacles in understanding the tensor product is that, unlike many other algebraic structures, you cannot really get hold of its element structure. This confuses many beginners. The ...
4
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0answers
108 views

distance Pure Math graduate programs?

I would like to go to a graduate school for pure mathematics, but I do not live where such programs exits. Furthermore, I can not move. Question: Do any Universities have graduate program in pure ...
4
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0answers
177 views

What is tensor, really?

How can one understands the definition of tensor from the purely formal point of view? To what abstract structure this concept can be generalized?
4
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0answers
346 views

Graduate schools in set theory

What options for graduate schools are there for an aspiring set theorist? In the US, the only top 50 schools with active research in set theory seem to be Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon. Are there any ...
4
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0answers
209 views

Mind Maps for teaching Mathematics

Has anyone used Mind Maps to teach advanced mathematical topics? If so, how did it work, was it useful or a waste of time? Thanks for any insights. Regards -A
4
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142 views

$\max_{y} \min_{x} f(x,y)$ as motif for exploring mathematics

It's been several years since my undergraduate math days, and I would like to spend a bit of time refreshing and then tackling a few things I never completely mastered. Rather than proceeding topic ...
4
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0answers
714 views

List of mathematical Summer schools (particulary in Europe)

I would like to apply for a summer school. Particulary it should take place in Europe and center on the topic numerical analysis. Is there something like a comprehensive list of summer schools?
4
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0answers
301 views

“Reverse thinking” exam questions-reference request

I am interested in exam questions that are "backwards" from how they are usually asked. For example: Brian and Megan have the following question on their exam: Find the volume of the solid ...
3
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0answers
36 views

Looking for Math books recommendations to study Electronics

My background is the very basics, and I mean, literally, I can add, sub,mul,div and a little of algebra (near, nothing) and that's it. As you can see I need the best Total Beginner Book(s) that can ...
3
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0answers
40 views

Criterion for Improvement

I was recently asked the question "How do you know when you've become a better mathematician/better at mathematics?," and I realized that at that moment I did not have a valid answer, since I have ...
3
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0answers
117 views

Examples of categories which appear naturally without objects

Regarding the morphisms-only-definition of a category (which is equivalent to the usual one dealing with objects and morphisms), I would like to ask: Which examples of categories in practice appear ...
3
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0answers
552 views

Can I get a PhD in Stochastic Analysis given this limited background?

General advice on PhD apps welcome Given my limited background in stochastic analysis and other information (below), can I apply for a PhD with stochastic analysis for my dissertation topic? 1/4 I ...
3
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0answers
72 views

A good way to explain $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ for chemistry / biology students?

I feel like I have a pretty good way to talk about $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ to physics and engineering students (and possibly students in comp sci). But I am not very sure what I can do for chemistry ...
3
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0answers
125 views

Why is there no collection about all mathematical theorems and open questions?

I really would like to have a giant math collection which is sorted according to the Mathematics Subject Classification, but with more then 3 levels, and it should contain all known theorems and also ...
3
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0answers
298 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
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0answers
32 views

Classroom enhancement resources for linear algebra

My university offers small grants (in the \$100 - \$300 range) for classroom enhancement resources. In the past, I've applied for and received a grant to purchase a Zometools kit used for ...
3
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0answers
75 views

Is there a link between level of abstraction and use of numbers?

One of my friend who stopped studying maths in high school told me once You study maths, can you help me fill my tax forms? In her mind, advancing in maths studies implied manipulating an ...
3
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0answers
75 views

Math for kids with Cuisenaire rods

I work with kids and i am searching some cool stuff to do with Cuisenaire rods. Thinking about an application i thought that i can show to my students what will be the sum of first $N\in\mathbb{N}$ ...
3
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0answers
84 views

A question on mathematical writing.

One of the problems I am grading this week is as follows: Given a simply connected bounded domain $\Omega$ on $\mathbb{R}^{2}$, prove that there exist a line that separates it into two parts of equal ...
3
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0answers
141 views

Why to Use the Same Sign for Minus and Negative?

Using the same symbol for two different concepts may cause confusion. So if one decides to do so, they should justify this choice by showing its advantages over other choices. What about the minus ...
3
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0answers
118 views

Do expressions like $(-1)^{2/3}$ show up naturally in pure or applied math?

Let $x$ denote an arbitrary real number. Then $x^n$ makes sense for arbitrary $n \in \mathbb{N},$ via the obvious recursive definition. We can extend this definition by asserting that if $x$ is ...
3
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0answers
142 views

Where to start?

I want to learn Mathematics but I don't know where to start. Sometimes I really get frustrated as I am a Software Engineering graduate (currently working) and I feel like I don't know anything about ...
3
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0answers
97 views

How to get interest in the mathematics of tax

In a similar vein to my previous thread, I will also be teaching about the mathematics behind taxation - to a lot of people, this is very mundane - but that is not true of everyone. The practicality ...
3
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0answers
71 views

Teaching Student's distribution

While it is fairly straightforward to show the basics of the normal distribution in a first year undergraduate course, how does a teacher provide good intuition when the Student distribution comes in? ...
3
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0answers
142 views

Is there a way to determine how many solution does “ The hundred Fowls problems” have looking at the coefficients?

I was looking at the different versions of the hundred fowls problems. I came across the problem posed by Chinese mathematicians posed in 5th century,and then Indians in 9th, 10th centuries. Alcuin of ...
3
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0answers
84 views

Niche topics in math useful for physics

I have a somewhat unorthodox question. What are some good niche topics that aren't typically covered in courses in math to self-study? Ideally, I'm looking for something that could ultimately be ...
3
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0answers
207 views

Starting my nephew out on the journey to higher mathematics.

My nephew is 8 years old and shows great promise as a student. Sadly, as most of you know most programs in secondary education don't offer any foundational courses for higher mathematics. What ...
3
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0answers
218 views

How to Create a Lesson Plan with Wolfram Alpha

This will be my first post in this forum. I am so excited to see a lot of interesting posting from the community. From the FAQ, I learned that Mathematics stack exchange discussed about mathematical ...
2
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0answers
28 views

How should the topic of frequency domain be taught?

This is a soft question but I think it's a real fact.The Frequency domain has made revolution in the field of Mathematics, Digital Signal and image Processing. Some of concepts which are very ...
2
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0answers
82 views

Argument for the zero vector not being defined as an eigenvector

Two days ago, my lecturer of Advanced Numerical Methods gave a review on the topic about eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Just as the lecturer presented the definition of eigenvalues and eigenvectors, a ...
2
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0answers
22 views

Learning Logic and Metric Spaces

I want to learn how to manipulate metric spaces. I have been reading this book about metric spaces. ...
2
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0answers
29 views

Determine the set of points $M$ of affix of $z\in\mathbb{C}$

Determine the set of points $M$ of affix of $z\in\mathbb{C}$ such that there exists at least one real $t$ satisfying $z^2=t(t-i)$ My attempt: We look for the form $z=x+yi$ and we want there is a ...
2
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0answers
69 views

How to decide which theorems from textbook to prove

I've noticed that theorems in textbooks roughly come in two varieties: those that are worth trying to prove yourself, and those that aren't. I'm not going to try and give criteria for "worth trying" ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Ratio Question (Primary School)

Now, there are 6 students who are sharing 4 desks at the library. While 4 of them are using the desks, the other 2 students have to wait and watch. If they have to use the desk for the same amount of ...