Mathematical intuition is the instinctive impression regarding mathematical ideas which originate naturally without regard to formal mathematical proofs. It may or may not stem from a cognitive rational process.

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A Base of a metric space intuition

From what I have read online and from what I have read in Rudin, a collection of open sets $\lbrace$$V_{n}$$\rbrace$ is said to be a base for a metric space $X$ if every open set in $X$ can be ...
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75 views

Intuitive Understanding of the First Isomorphism Theorem

I've been reading some things about an intuitive understanding of the first isomorphism theorem, and there's just one more part that I do not understand. Specifically, the first isomorphism theorem ...
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35 views

Understanding what $P - P \log(P)$ means for an event of probability $P$

Let $(\Omega, \Sigma, \mathbb{P})$ be a probability space, $X$ be a random variable, and $E \in \Sigma$ be an event with $\mathbb{P}(E) = P$. Then $P - P \log(P) \in [0, 1]$, for all $P \in (0, 1]$, ...
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What is the motivation to build measure theory?

I started reading about measure theory on wikipedia, and downloaded some PDFs, but they all start defining things that I can understand, but can't imagine the motivation to define these things. ...
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35 views

Intuition for problem involving binomial random variable

Question: The below algebraic solution is simple enough. But is there a way to "see" the answer using a clever trick or intuition? Given the algebraic solution, I feel like there should be. I just ...
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97 views

Find the time interval between oscillations of SHM.

Parts i) and ii) I can solve. But for part iii) I can't do, as I don't know which equation describes the SHM motion? Is it $y=0.5sin(1.2t)$ or $y=0.5cos(1.2t)$ or $x=0.5sin(1.2t)+2.5$? I thought ...
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Why do some mathematical ideas seem counter-intuitive?

Suppose you play the following game: There's a certain buy-in, and at every turn you flip a coin. If anytime you flip a tail, you lose the game and leave with your winnings. If you flip a head on the ...
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33 views

Motivation for Definition of Measurable Function

I'm having trouble understanding why a function is defined as "measurable" if the preimage of every measurable set is measurable. I see the parallel to the definition of continuity, and the latter ...
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58 views

Why does the order not matter? Partial D

When taking partial derivatives, why does the order not matter as long as the function is continuous? Any proof, intuitive or rigorous?
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64 views

Physical significance of the fact that the cardinality of the real number line is the same as a finite interval of the real number line

It is known that the cardinality of the real number line is the same as a finite interval of the real number line. Is there a physical meaning of this apparently conter-intuitive statement?
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71 views

Matrix exponentiation intuition.

What does $x^A$ intuitively mean if $x \in \mathbb{C}$ and $A$ is any matrix? Also, what if we had $x$ being a matrix too? Last but not least, what happens if we have a complex $x$ raised to a ...
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34 views

general mean value theorem

Can anyone give me the intuitive explanation of the general mean value theorem stated in my notes as under: Let $f:U\rightarrow \mathbb R$ and $U\subseteq \mathbb R^n$ and let $f$ is differentiable ...
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42 views

Intuition for Euler's Partition Theorem

Euler's Partition Theorem states the following: Every number has as many integer partitions into odd parts as into distinct parts. I played around with small examples (I wrote out the partitions ...
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37 views

Dirichlet Distribution - the underlying intuition.

I'm not a math expert, but I need dealing with some math tools for natural language processing research. One of the most common tools is the Dirichlet distribution. I know that with a multinomial ...
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1answer
31 views

Conflict between geometric intuition and computed answer

Evaluate the integral $\int_{C} z ds$ where C is the intersection of $x^{2}+y^{2}=4$ and $z=0$ (oriented clockwise as viewed from above). My interpretation of this problem yields the following ...
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24 views

Negative integrals spherical coordinates

Need help interpreting a result prompted by the following question. Solve the triple integral of $\sqrt{x^{2} + y^{2} +z^{2}}$ on the region Q where Q is bound by $z=-\sqrt{9-x^2-y^2}$ and the x-y ...
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30 views

Geometric intuition for mixed partial derivatives

I'm trying to better understand exactly what $f_{xy}(x,y)$ at a point is geometrically, and possibly understand why $f_{xy}$ and $f_{yx}$ should be equivalent, not just because the math happened to ...
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50 views

Complete this reasoning? Number theory

I have this really weird confusion with $gcds$ and and basic theory dividing numbers and at the moment, I am stuck at this. If $gcd(a,b) = 1$, it means the biggest number that divides them evenly ...
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35 views

Use Leibniz' formula to show that the $(2n)$th derivative of $(2x^2 + 3x +1)sinx$ is $(-1)^n(2x^2+3x-8n^2+4n+1)sinx+(-1)^{n+1}(8nx+6n)cosx$ wrt $x$

If I let $f=f(x)=sinx$ and $g=g(x)=2x^2+3x+1$ and $D=$ First derivative wrt $x$, $D^2=$ Second derivative wrt $x$ and $D^n=$ $nth$ derivative wrt $x$ then, Leibniz' formula states that $\displaystyle ...
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938 views

I can't understand logical implication

I just started studying logic (high school) anyway...for the truth table of logical implication If sentence $A$ is true and $B$ is true then $A\implies B$ is true. does that mean if $A$ and $B$ are ...
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Novel approaches to elementary number theory and abstract algebra

As a part of a university course, I'll have to study Herstein's Topics in algebra and Hardy&Wright's Introduction to the theory of numbers. Can you suggest some books (to be used as companions) ...
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54 views

What is the intuition behind homeomorphism, especially behind the geometrical notion of “gluing together”?

Intuitively, a homeomorphism is a way of mapping two spaces without any tearing or gluing together. Thus, I would expect the formal definition of homeomorphism in terms of continuous functions to be ...
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106 views

Why is the dihedral group closed under composition?!

I've been obsessing over this all day now. I understand associativity, presence of inverse elements and identity, but I don't get why a composition of a reflection with a rotation or other reflexions ...
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32 views

What does a lattice of the direct power of the two-element chain look like?

In universal algebra, it is known that every finite Boolean lattice is isomorphic to a direct power of the two-element chain. I am having hard time figuring out what a lattice of the direct power of ...
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50 views

Intuition behind combinatorics problems?

I have a hard time understanding when a problem is a combination or permutation. Especially when using the multinomial theorem. For example: three boxes numbered 1,2 and 3 for k = 1 2 and 3, box k ...
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Conceptual question about independence and stopping times

Let $\{X_i\}_{i\in \mathbb{N}}$ be a sequence of i.i.d. random variables with common distribution function $\mu$. Consider a property $A$, such that $\mu(A)>0$. Define $T$ to be stopping time ...
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21 views

Is it possible to derive the sum of the tangent or cotangent from this?

So we can suppose that we can find the finite sum $$\sum_{x=a}^b{ \tan{(x)} + \cot{(x)} } \tag{1}$$ for essentially all integer values of $x$. I'm wondering, can we derive either: $$\sum_{x=a}^b{ ...
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496 views

What does it really mean when we say that the probability of something is zero? [duplicate]

Conventionally, people will say a probability of zero is equivalent as saying that the event is impossible. But when we look at the probability from a mathematics perspective, probability is defined ...
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198 views

Intuitively, how do you explain the concept of Flux?

Lately in my physics and mathematics classes, I've come across the concept of Flux. And although I've been able to define them mathematically and figure out how to use them. I'm still not entirely ...
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81 views

counting occurence of subgraphs by counting their occurence in larger subgraphs

I have a mental block in fully understanding the following notion. Let $G$ be a graph of order $n$ and $H$ a fixed small graph of order $k \le n$. Suppose that there are $d$ copies of $H$ as an ...
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What is the d in the formula of a plane in $ R^3$

In algebra the formula for a line is $y=ax+b$ the $b$ moves the position of the line up and down the y axis. The formula for a plane is given to me as $ax+by+cz+d=0$ the $d$ must move the position of ...
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Why are matrices written as such?

Another thread has talked about the purpose of a matrix. Dr. Math roughly summarized it as: A matrix is just a compact notation, which allows you to specify several linear equations at once ...
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248 views

What do rationals represent?

While learning about the construction of number systems, I realized that I had many misunderstandings of crucial concepts which I was learning intuitively. I recently learned about the construction of ...
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51 views

Not clear on what we mean with numbers with infinite digits

I am confused on a rather simplistic question. 1/3 = 0.333333333333 to infinity. So it has infinite digits. How is it possible to multiply such a number with another one and get a finite number? 6/3 = ...
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48 views

Understanding completness of a metric space

I have a question about completeness of a metric space. The lecture notes that I am reading on my own says the following. PROPOSITION  1. Let X be a complete metric space. Let Y be a closed subset ...
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288 views

How do you go about formalizing a concept?

I am reading Godel Escher Bach. I love it. In the first few chapters, the author shows what a formal system is and gives examples that eventually lead to a typographical formal system of strings that ...
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59 views

Intuition behind the definition of Measurable Sets

I started studying "Measure Theory and Integration" and went through the first section which talks about Lebesgue Outer Measure of a set. All was well until I started with the second section which ...
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41 views

On estimating monthly credit card payment amounts (some pragmatic constraints inside)

Right off the bat, I do hope this question doesn't attract a bunch of derisive comments about my personal affairs. I give the lengthy personal anecdote because I don't have the mathematical training ...
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58 views

What is the line integral in higher dimensions?

Given a function $\ f:\mathbb{R}^2\to\mathbb{R}$ and some curve $\ \gamma:[a,b]\to\mathbb{R}^2$ it is my understanding that the integral of $\ f$ over $\ \gamma$ is the area of the region "between" $\ ...
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34 views

Which functions lies in $H^{loc}_{s}\setminus H_{s}$?

We put $H^{s}=$The Sobolev spaces, and $H^{loc}_{s}=$The localized Sobolev spaces. We note that, $H_{s}\subset H^{loc}_{s};$ also this. Bit roughly speaking, I am interested in knowing that how big ...
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80 views

Differential Geometry Intuition Question

Apologies if I get the notation wrong. Still learning this stuff. Suppose I have a 2 dimensional Riemannian manifold $\mathcal{M}$ that is covered by a single chart: $\phi: \mathcal{M} \rightarrow ...
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Can we characterize the space of functions which is real analytic but not real entire?

A complex valued function $F,$ defined on an open set $E$ in the plane $\mathbb R^{2}$, is said to be real-analytic in $E$ if to every point $(s_{0}, t_{0})$ in there corresponds an expansion with ...
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2answers
180 views

Why should the generalization of a 'sequence' be called a 'net'?

The title says it all, really. Reading through Reed & Simon's book on functional analysis, I have now reached the chapter on topological spaces, and the notion of a net is introduced there to ...
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1answer
226 views

Analogy of ideals with Normal subgroups in groups.

I've started with Ideals in ring theory but still not comfortable with the analogy it has with normal subgroups in group theory.Like we can visualize normal subgroups as Is there some good intutive ...
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41 views

About a Property of maximal solutions of separable ODE's $y'=g(x)h(y)$ for locally Lipschitz $h : U\to\mathbb R$, $U$ open

Theorem: Let $\varphi : (a,b) \to \mathbb R$ be a maximal solution of the IVP $$ y'(x) = g(x) \cdot h(y(x)), \quad y(x_0) = y_0 \quad (1) $$ with continuous functions $g : I \to \mathbb R$ and $h : U ...
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49 views

Positive Linear Transformations: What good for?

Positivity is a concept appearing quite frequently in the study of algebras and its related spectral theory. Positive elements naturally give rise to an ordering and therefore allows to construct ...
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107 views

Why must closest approach occur when relative velocity is perpendicular to motion?

The first part i) I can solve correctly, but I need some advice and intuition on how to solve the second part ii). Here is the mark-scheme for the question: But for part ii) I do not understand ...
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1answer
52 views

What is a geometric shape?

I thought that the concept of "gemoetric shape" is clear enough - squares, ellipses, triangles, you know. But then I found several papers, such as this one, which define "shape" as "an ...
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32 views

Why does $n$ have to be a perfect square for me to construct an equilateral triangle out of equal smaller ones?

If I have $n$ unit squares and want to build a bigger square out of the ones I already have, it is obvious that $n$ itself has to be a perfect square. But after doing some elementary math it turned ...
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1answer
128 views

Intuition behind the definition of linear transformation

I have studied that given vector spaces $V_1$ and $V_2$, a function $T:V_1 \rightarrow V_2$ is called a linear transformation of $V_1$ into $V_2$, if following two properties are true for all $u, v ...