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How to become fluent at reading math formulas? [on hold]

As part of my studies, oftentimes I need to read research publications which contain mathematical formulas. Whenever I have to do that, I feel discouraged. Somehow I can not comprehend the ...
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2answers
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When are quantities outside of the real numbers considered equal, and when do they exist?

I know of the complex number $i$ and it's existence as the result of invalid square rooting (the square root of negative one does not exist inside the real numbers), but other than complex numbers, ...
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The positive introspection axiom

I am studying modal logic with the textbook 'Reasoning about Knowledge' Fagin et al. 1995 The positive introspection axiom is taken as something that can be proved with the possible worlds model of ...
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Necessary truth of mathematical proposition.

Take from Possible world- an introduction to logic and its philosophy. p-21 Following quote provide us with necessary definition of what "logically necessary" or as far as i think "necessary truth" ...
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Is it an abuse of language to say “*the* integers,” “*the* rational numbers,” or “*the* real numbers,” etc.?

I'm finding that the more math I learn, the more concepts I thought were well-defined seem to be intuitive and naive. Here I'm asking about whether it's an abuse of language to refer to "the integers,"...
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Can we take definability and existence as primitive notions of a theory?

One of my friend tries to develop an alternative viewpoint of Set Theory. For this he has taken the terms binary relation, set, existence and definability as primitive notions of his Set Theory. After ...
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6answers
347 views

Do different notations imply different properties of a number?

I had an argument with a friend of mine and I'd be glad if someone could clarify things a little bit. So, let's say we have an integer, eight or seventeen, for example, doesn't matter. It has all the ...
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920 views

What Do Mathematicians Do?

The American Mathematical Society maintains a web page entitled "What Do Mathematicians Do?" which references two interesting surveys. (One of the reference links is broken, but this one works: What ...
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68 views

A philosophical question on probability theory [closed]

This question is philosophical in nature. The example is taken from theology, but one may invent more examples, including these more scientific than mine. Nevertheless it is a valid mathematical issue....
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65 views

“Concrete” Realisations of non-abelian finite groups

Many commutative groups could be imagined as something "concrete", for example $\mathbb N$ as an abstraction of operations on sets of objects, and from this $\mathbb Z, \mathbb Q$ and $\mathbb R$ are ...
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Problems that are largely believed to be true, but are unresolved

Are there unsolved problems in math that are large believed to be true, but for reasons other then statistical justification? It seems that Goldbach should be true, but this is based on heuristic ...
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What is… A Parsimonious History?

Interpreting historical mathematicians involves a recognition of the fact that most of them viewed the continuum as not being made out of points. Rather they viewed points as marking locations on a ...
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Tensors as mathematical objects

Continuing my journey to understand Tensors, Maxwell's equations. Here is my current understanding. Is it correct? Tensors are mathematical objects, i.e., an entity in mathematical reality or a ...
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Meaning of the word “axiom”

One usually describes an axiom to be a proposition regarded as self-evidently true without proof. Thus, axioms are propositions we assume to be true and we use them in an axiomatic theory as premises ...
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1answer
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Is it circular to define the Von Neumann universe using “sets”?

I was just reading the Wikipedia page on the Von Neumann universe, where it is stated that this universe "is often used to provide an interpretation or motivation of the axioms of ZFC." However, later ...
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286 views

When is a function a dimension?

The concept of dimension is used in many different contexts. Generally a dimension is a function that has as domain some family of sets ad has value on a set that, in the most common situations, is $...
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1answer
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Cauchy's real line and math philosophy till XIX

I have to write an essay concerning philosophy of mathematics until the end of $XIX$ century. I've heard that the reason why the Cauchy's theorem (if continuous functions $f_n \rightarrow f$ then $f$ ...
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3answers
143 views

On “why” questions in mathematics

In response to the question How would one be able to prove mathematically that $1+1 = 2$?, Asaf Karagila explains: In a more general setting, one needs to remember that $0,1,2,3,…$ are just ...
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Is Leibnizian calculus embeddable in first order logic?

We just published an article making what we feel is a plausible case in favor of an affirmative answer in Foundations of Science, see preprint here. The basic argument is that while such a requirement ...
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1answer
48 views

Have humans ever used the Log Scale convention in the past rather than the Linear one?

There are many examples where our senses are based off of log scales such as volume of a noise, ability to guess (i.e.) plus or minus a power of 10 with Fermi, and even when we measure pain on 1 to 10 ...
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79 views

On logic vs information theory

If the statements All crows are black and All non black things are non crows are equal, then why is the former so much easier to communicate by giving examples? What implications does this ...
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9answers
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Is complex analysis more “real” than real analysis?

In physics, in the past, complex numbers were used only to remember or simplify formulas and computations. But after the birth of quantum physics, they found that a thing as real as "matter" itself ...
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Law of Excluded Middle Controversy

I was reading an introductory book on logic and it mentioned in passing that the Law of Excluded Middle is somewhat controversial. I looked into this and what I got was the intuistionists did not ...
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Can I just make this function up?

The Lambert W function was made to solve the problem $xe^x=k$ for $x$, which is given as $x=W(k)$. Could I just make a function $x=F(k)$ which solves $x\cos(x)=k$? Even though the solution has an ...
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Is formal truth in mathematical logic a generalization of everyday, intuitive truth?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the relationship between truth in formal logic, as the value a formal expression can take on, as opposed to commonplace notions of truth. Personal background: When I ...
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Does mathematics require axioms?

I just read this whole article: http://web.maths.unsw.edu.au/~norman/papers/SetTheory.pdf which is also discussed over here: Infinite sets don't exist!? However, the paragraph which I found most ...
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The standard role of intuitive numbers in the foundations of mathematics

In my career I've been formed mostly in the formal side of mathematics, that is, standard set theory and every classical branch of mathematics that uses set theory. However, I am not quite sure about ...
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Are all statements about math inherently formal? Can one do math without formal logic? [duplicate]

Are all people who do mathematics applying (whether they know it or not) formal logic? Does every statement someone may make about math, at its core, a formal statement in mathematical logic? (I'm ...
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1answer
45 views

Different Mathematics

Hey I am a high school student who is very interested in the philosophy of mathematics. I was watching this talk by Stephen Wolfram about whether or not mathematics is invented or discovered. In it he ...
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35answers
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Do complex numbers really exist?

Complex numbers involve the square root of negative one, and most non-mathematicians find it hard to accept that such a number is meaningful. In contrast, they feel that real numbers have an obvious ...
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4answers
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Should we or should we not take $1$ as a prime number? [duplicate]

I think I know that there were times in the past when it was convenient to look at a number $1$ as a prime number, and, as far as I can remember, even then it was dependent on who we ask is it prime ...
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1answer
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A question about the real line and the Dirichlet function.

Though the graph of the Dirichlet function is non-drawable, I think if we have to draw it in some informal way then it will be two complete lines (instead of isolated points). Here's my reasoning: ...
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3answers
38 views

Division of segments into infinitely many parts.

Let AB and CD be two segments, so that the length of AB is 1, and the length of CD is 2. If we divide AB and CD in infinitely many parts, how "long" would those parts be? I'm particularly interested ...
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What are examples of unexpected algebraic numbers of high degree occured in some math problems?

Recently I asked a question about a possible transcendence of the number $\Gamma\left(\frac{1}{5}\right)\Gamma\left(\frac{4}{15}\right)/\left(\Gamma\left(\frac{1}{3}\right)\Gamma\left(\frac{2}{15}\...
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mathematical terms with fractions and variables - usage in daily life?

what usage do algebraic fractions (monomial or polynomial) have in our life? Are there specific professions that deal with them now and then? Where exactly in technology do they have their very own ...
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Why do we need to learn Set Theory?

I was planning to write some article for the Mathematics magazine of our college and it occurred to me that it will be a good idea to write about the impact and importance of Set Theory. I plan ...
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Scalar multiplication as a special form of matrix multiplication

Question What do we gain or lose, conceptually, if we consider scalar multiplication as a special form of matrix multiplication? Background The question bothers me since I have been reading about ...
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$Con(T) + T\vdash \neg\neg A$ implies $Con(T+A)$ for any intuitionistic theory T

It's easy to notice that for any intuitionistic theory T: $Con(T) + T\vdash \neg\neg A$ implies $Con(T+A)$ $Con(T) + T\vdash \neg\forall x\neg A$ implies $Con(T+\exists x A)$ where $Con(T)$ means, ...
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Impossibility of proving a foundation to be consistent

An argument came to my mind that seems really mind-blowing and I haven't found it anywhere. Here's how it goes: We call a formal system F embodied in classical logic a foundation of mathematics when ...
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42 views

What is this ontological position called?

If one believes that certain 'abstract' mathematics-like concepts do exist, yet the mathematics we construct and develop as humans are only approximations of those real concepts, approximations shaped ...
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167 views

What exactly are the numbers we use everyday?

Pi can be defined as diameter / circunference of a circle. But what is a circle? You can't tell a computer: "build a circle and divide its diameter by its ...
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1answer
103 views

Quasi mathematical objects [closed]

I was looking on this post http://www.songho.ca/math/euler/euler.html and I came to the comment that says "i is not a number at all. It is an ill-formed concept. There is a vast difference between a ...
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1answer
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Could relational operators be used to construct formal theory of natural numbers which is “stronger” than Peano Axioms?

This is a beginner's question about foundational construction of (alternative?) number theory. The notion of mathematical equality is closely related to logico-philosophical notion of 'Law of Identity'...
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Does defining a type of mathematical object require defining a binary relation of “equality”?

I'm trying to determine whether defining a type of mathematical object requires us to know what we mean by another object being "equal" to it. For example, when we define a type of object like set, ...
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Developments from Charles Peirce's logic diagrams?

These last weeks I have been revisiting Charles Sanders Peirce's logical or thought diagrams (what he called, alpha, beta and gamma diagramms) and I found many of them highly interesting. Some ...
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What exactly is wrong with this argument (Lucas-Penrose fallacy)

Argument "For every computer system, there is a sentence which is undecidable for the computer, but the human sees that it is true, therefore proving the sentence via some non-algorithmic method."
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What is the simplest mathematical object? [closed]

What is the simplest mathematical object? I am talking about mathematics in the most abstract way possible, and not as some concrete axiomatic theory (e.g. foundational ones, like ZFC). After a lot ...
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How can I learn Math intuitively? [closed]

I am currently a Junior in High School. I am in an Intermediate Algebra class, but my teacher does not always explain things in a way I can understand. I like to learn Math intuitively, but my teacher ...