A groupoid (in the sense of category theory) is a small category in which every morphism is an isomorphism. Groupoids arise throughout mathematics, e.g. in guise of fundamental groupoids in the theory of covering spaces, holonomy groupoids in the theory of foliations or Lie groupoids in mathematical ...

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11
votes
2answers
315 views

A comparison between the fundamental groupoid and the fundamental group

Are there two path connected topological spaces $X,Y$ such that the fundamental groupoid of $X$ is not isomorphic to the fundamental groupoid of $Y$ but the fundamental group of $X$ is isomorphic to ...
24
votes
1answer
700 views

Purely combinatorial proof that$ (e^x)' = e^x$

At the beginning of Week 300 of John Baez's blog, Baez gives a proof that the "number" of finite sets (more specifically, the cardinality of the groupoid of all finite sets, where an object in the ...
31
votes
5answers
2k views

What structure does the alternating group preserve?

A common way to define a group is as the group of structure-preserving transformations on some structured set. For example, the symmetric group on a set $X$ preserves no structure: or, in other ...
14
votes
1answer
548 views

Categorification of $\pi$?

Is there a categorification of $\pi$? I have to admit that this is a very vague question. Somehow it is motivated by this recent MO question, which made me stare at some digits and somehow forgot my ...
6
votes
3answers
153 views

Is there a “natural” / “categorical” definition of the “parity” of a permutation?

Given a permutation $\sigma$ on $n$ elements (i.e. $\sigma \in S_n$), there is a notion of "parity" (or "sign" or "signature") of $\sigma$, which can be defined in several equivalent ways (look here). ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Should the first be the last by composition of paths?

Given two paths $f,g:\mathbb{I}\rightarrow X$ with $f\left(1\right)=g\left(0\right)$ there is a composite $f.g$ defined by $t\mapsto f\left(2t\right)$ if $2t\leq1$ and $t\mapsto g\left(2t-1\right)$ ...