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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Fermat's Little Theorem fails for composite instead of prime numbers.

I know Fermat's Little Theorem = Fermat-Euler's Totient Theorem when $n$ is prime. Elementary Number Theory, Jones, p83 writes if we simply replace p with a composite integer n, then the ...
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91 views

Ground plan of Forward direction - Let $p$ be an odd prime. Prove $x^{2} \equiv -1 \; (mod \, p)$ has a solution $\iff p\equiv 1 \; (mod 4)$

Prove by contradiction. Thence suppose NOT $p\equiv 1 \; (mod 4)$. Thence 3 possibilities remain: $4|p, 4|(p - 2), 4|(p - 3)$. But $p > 2$ is prime, thence $4 \not | p$. (1) How can you ...
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Natural example where $\ell_\infty$ distance appears.

The $\ell_2$ distance has a natural connotation: the straight line distance between two points "as the crow flies". Similarly, the $\ell_1$ distance has a natural connotation: the length of a path ...
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102 views

How can one visualize a homomorphic mapping.

It has been a year or so studying Group theory and Ring theory. Funnily enough, this is the part where i am able to solve most of the questions of the book quite easily, yet not fully understanding ...
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186 views

Ramanujan's personification of small positive integers

I dimly recall reading somewhere (perhaps in "The Man Who Knew Infinity"?) that Ramanujan associated personalities (perhaps it was mystical personalities, e.g. specific gods and goddesses?) with small ...
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71 views

Why does $ 1+2+3+\cdots+p = {(1⁄2)}\cdots(p+1) $ [duplicate]

I saw this from Project Euler, problem #1: If we now also note that $ 1+2+3+\cdots+p = {(1/2)} \cdot p\cdot(p+1) $ What is the intuitive explanation for this? How would I go about deriving the ...
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63 views

Geometric intuition behind subspaces in $\mathbb C^n$

While learning elementary linear algebra one develops a great deal of geometric intuition in $\mathbb R^n$. It helps to see the forest for the trees and leads through proofs. After meeting ...
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77 views

Gradient and Swiftest Ascent

I want to understand intuitively why it is that the gradient gives the direction of steepest ascent. (I will consider the case of $f:\mathbb{R}^2\to\mathbb{R}$) The standard proof is to note that the ...
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1answer
224 views

A sequence converges $\iff$ it's Cauchy. Proof of ($\Leftarrow$) (Abbott p 59 t2.6.4)

Lemma 2.6.3 $\implies (x_{n})$ is bounded. So use the Bolzano-Weierstrass Theorem to produce a convergent subsequence $(x_{n_{k}})$ . Set $x= \lim x_{n_{k}}.$ So $(x_{{n_{k}}}) \to x. \quad ...
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93 views

Intuition. Equivalence of Characterization of Limits and Continuity (Abbott p106 t4.2.3, p110 t4.3.2)

What are the intuitions of these equivalences? Not questioning about proofs or any rigour. I question both equivalences jointly because they look similar. And Are there any figures? ...
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What is the intuition behind the name “Flat modules”?

I am studying Atiyah and MacDonald's book "Introduction to Commutative Algebra" and I have just read the definition of a flat module. It seems to me that if they have called that kind of modules ...
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if $g$ is continuous at $c$ and $g(c)\neq 0$, there exists an open interval containing $c$ on which $f(x)/g(x)$ is defined (Abbott p 113 q4.3.5)

Theorem 4.3.4.(iv) says that $f(x)/g(x)$ is continuous at $c$ if both $f$ and $g$ are, provided that the quotient is defined. Show that if $g$ is continuous at $c$ and $g(c)\neq 0$, then there exists ...
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184 views

Why study integrality?

Here are a few of the basic definitions related to integrality. (1) A polynomial in $R[x]$ is monic if its leading coefficient is $1$. (2) An element is integral over a ring $R$ if it ...
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334 views

What is the motivation behind a product solution?

Let's consider the simple differential equation: $$\frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial x^2} + \frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial y^2} = 0$$ And let's assume we have some regular homogeneous boundary conditions ...
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179 views

Intuition behind normal subgroups

I've studied quite a bit of group theory recently, but I'm still not able to grok why normal subgroups are so important, to the extent that theorems like $(G/H)/(K/H)\approx G/K$ don't hold unless $K$ ...
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98 views

Intuition or figure for Reverse Triangle Inequality $||\mathbf{a}| − |\mathbf{b}|| ≤ |\mathbf{a} − \mathbf{b}|$ (Abbott p 11 q1.2.5)

I acquiesce to Wikipedia's picture for Triangle Inequality. But without referring to Triangle Inequality at all, is there intuition or figure please for Reverse Triangle Inequality for all ...
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1answer
59 views

Intuition - Normal Subgroup Test - Fraleigh p. 141 Theorem 14.13

(1.) Not querying proofs or formality. I do this in my other question. Normal Subgroup Test says H is normal in G $\iff gH{g}^{-1}\subseteq H$ for all $g \in G$. What's the intuition of this ...
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1answer
41 views

Directional derivatives in any direction do not imply continuity?

I found an example where a function from R^2toR has directional derivatives at a point p at any direction however the function isn't continuous at p. I found this very weird because I thought that ...
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47 views

Equivalence Relation definitions of Coset - looks like 1-step Subgroup Test? [Fraleigh p. 97 theorem 10.1]

p. 4 We are especially interested in the case where the set is a group, and the equivalence relation has something to do with a given subgroup. That is, we want to partition a group G into subsets, ...
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How do we arrive at the definite integral to find area approximated by a sum of rectangles?

The area enclosed by a one variable function from a to b can be approximated by $n$ rectangles$$A \approx \sum_{i=1}^{n} f(x_i)(x_i-x_{i-1})$$ and if we let $n \rightarrow \infty$ we get $$A = ...
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1answer
69 views

Kolmogorov's $0-1$ law and constant RV

Kolmogorov's $0-1$ Law: For any terminal event $A$ we have that either $\mathbb{P}(A)=1$ or $\mathbb{P}(A)=0$. Alternatively any $F_{\infty}$ measurable random variable (so basically a terminal ...
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132 views

Prove That the Second Moment is Minimized with a Circle Packing

Graham and Sloane studied the problem of minimzing the second moment of disks on the plane, i.e. minimize $$ U = \frac{1}{d^2} \sum_{i=1}^{n} || \mathbf{p}_i - \bar{\mathbf{p}} ||^2 $$ s.t. ...
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Any group of prime order is cyclic - Proof blueprint [Fraleigh p. 100 Cory 10.11] [closed]

Not querying the proof or formality. I include only part of the proof. The order of the group is a prime number. Call it p. Hence by means of the definition of prime number, $p > 1$. Since the ...
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50 views

Intersection of Groups is a Group? Is a Union of Groups? - Fraleigh p. 66 Exercise 6.32h

This is a true or false question, hence are the answers supposed to follow quickly? Because the empty set has no identity element, hence $\emptyset$ is not a group. Hence I'm inquiring for ...
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Meaning of Normal Vector in Surface Integration

Is there a good interpretation of what the normal vector (and its magnitude) $$\mathbf{N}=\frac{\partial \mathbf{X}}{\partial s}\times\frac{\partial\mathbf{X}}{\partial t}$$ to the parametric surface ...
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147 views

Picture - Equivalence Relation & Classes, Partitions, Quotient Set, & other related ideas

To get intuition for them and to remember them, I'd be grateful for a picture that combines and embodies the key definitions regarding Equivalence Relations & Classes, Quotient Sets, and ...
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93 views

Show that $f(x,y)= \|x-y\|_2^2$ is differentiable

Problem: Show that $f: \mathbb{R}^n \times \mathbb{R}^n \to \mathbb{R}$ with $f(x,y)=\|x-y\|_2^2$ is differentiable and compute its differential at every point in the domain of $f$Note: $\| \cdot ...
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Physical significance of knot vector in B-spline.

A B-spline blending curve formulation is: $P(u)=\sum_{k=0}^np_k B_{k,d}(u)$ Given $n+1$ control points, B-spline blending functions are polynomials of degree $d-1$, $(1<d<=n+1)$. ...
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What is the relationship between the second isomorphism theorem and the third one in group theory?

The second isomorphism theorem [wiki] in group theory is as follows: Let $G$ be a group. $H \triangleleft G, K \le G$. Then: $HK \le G$, $(H \cap K) \triangleleft K$, and $K/(H \cap K) ...
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101 views

How does this amount change if we add to it?

We can iterate over the naturals, with zero included. Here the focus is on the numbers from $0$ to $2^s - 1$, inclusive, in binary. So we have the numbers as: $$0000, 0001, 0010, \dots 1111 \text{ ...
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109 views

Cauchy-Schwarz Inequality - Proof using Projections [Lay P379 Thm 6.7.16]

t If $u=0$, then the inequality becomes $ 0 \le 0 $, which is true. See Practice Problem 6.7.1 on P382. If $u\neq 0$, let $W$ be the subspace spanned by $u$. $1.$ How would one determine to ...
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integrate a difficult function

I can't solve it. please help! I tried everything. Integration by parts - doesn't work. but maybe I didnt do it right. I tried to substitute , but I'm stuck. $$\int \frac{x}{\cos x}\sin(\tan ...
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3answers
226 views

What is defined by rate of change at a single point?

Rate of change measures how fast a process is going when it moves from one point to another. It measures the change of, say, $Y$ when $X$ moves from $X$ to $X + \Delta X$. But my problem arises when ...
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How to understand “Union of balls centered at rational numbers is way less than $\mathbb{R}$

A few month ago I had to prove $\lambda(\mathbb{Q}) = 0$ (where $\lambda$ is the one-dimensional Lebesgue measure). The idea: Let $\varepsilon \gt 0, r_n := \frac{\varepsilon}{2^n}$ and $\mathbb{Q} = ...
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27 views

Understanding a complex set description

I am trying to understand the following math expression, describing the possible sets of a 15 Puzzle: The expressions for tile and ...
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230 views

First and Second Fundamental Form Intuition

I was just wondering what various quantities relating to the first and second fundamental forms of a regular surface mean intuitively. First of all, another explanation as to what the first and second ...
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59 views

Is $(-1)^{1/8} + (-1)^{7/8}$ ever a value whose real component is $0$?

Is $$(-1)^{1/8} + (-1)^{7/8}$$ ever a value whose real component is $0$? Is this ever true in modular arithmetic, hypercomplexes, and/or both?
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explanation for a combinatorial identity involving the binomial coefficient

I am looking for an intuitive explanation for the identity: $$\binom{n}{h}\binom{n-h}{k} = \binom{n}{k}\binom{n-k}{h}$$ Thanks!
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138 views

An intutive way to think about odd and even numbers. [closed]

What is an intuitive way to think about odd and even numbers? And about divisibility also...
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51 views

What is a zero morphism in an abelian category

I am trying to familiarize myself with some basic category theory and I am getting confused with what a $0$-morphism is. If we are in category of say $k$-vector spaces then I am guessing ...
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Intuition - Countable iff Surjection iff Injection [Velleman P310 Thm 7.1.5]

Define $I_n = \{1, 2, ..., n \} $. Let $A$ be a nonempty set. TFAE : (i) $A$ is finite (ie: a bijection $h:A\rightarrow I_{N}$ exists) or A is countably infinite (ie: a bijection ...
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Intuitive significance of harmonicity

I'm nearing the end of the semester of an introductory-level complex variables class. (Very introductory -- it's the version of the class that's only required for engineering and physics majors, as it ...
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71 views

Proof strategy for $(=>)$: If $g \circ f = id_A$, then f onto $\iff$ g 1-1. [Chartrand 3Ed P239 9.72]

For nonempty sets A and B and functions f : A → B and g : B → A, suppose that $g \circ f =$ the identity function on A. $(♦)$ (d) $(=>)$ Assume that $f$ is onto. This means there exist ...
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Intuition behind Descartes' Rule of Signs

I have read several places that Descartes' Rule of Signs was familiar to both Descartes and Newton, and that both considered it too "obvious" to merit a proof. I know how to prove it, but I would like ...
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31 views

Descartes' Rule of Signs

I have read several places that Descartes' Rule of Signs was familiar to both Descartes and Newton, and that both considered it too "obvious" to merit a proof. I know how to prove it, but I would like ...
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98 views

Intuition - Divisibility results - If c divides some integers, then c divides any linear combination of them.

Not querying about proofs here. I don't want to memorize, thence are there intuitions or illustrations for them? As a student, how else can I remember these results? Origin - Elementary Number ...
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1answer
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Motivation behind steps in proof of Hoeffding Inequality

The lemma that is proved for proving Hoeffding's inequality is: If $a\leq X\leq b$ and $E[X]=0$, $E[e^{tX}] \leq e^{\frac{t^2(b-a)^2}{8}}$ Here's a link to the proof: ...
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1answer
145 views

Why if $a = qb + r$, then $\operatorname{gcd}(a,b) = \operatorname{gcd}(b, r)$ intuitively?

Origin - Elementary Number Theory, Jones, p$5$, Lemma $1.5$ Are there any illustrations? I tried wikipedia's article and the first picture to the right, but I think this delineates Euclid's ...
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Intuition about the where the beta distribution has its maximum

I've stumped myself trying to develop an intuition about why the beta distribution should have its maximum where it does. I can differentiate easily enough, and I can manage a simple argument based on ...
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276 views

Polar coordinates for $xz$-plane: $z = r\sin\theta$ ? [Stewart P1091 16.7.25]

$1.$ The unit disk is projected onto the xz-plane, so shouldn’t $x = 1\cos \theta$ and $\color{red}{z = 1 \sin \theta} $? User Semsem below kindly identified the problem: The normal to the ...