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4
votes
4answers
93 views

Math newbie: what to read? [on hold]

Quick question for you all: what should a high school senior who intends to major in CS and math read to become familiar with proofs, calc, algorithms, etc? I know that's incredibly broad, basically ...
2
votes
3answers
77 views

A mathematically mature introduction to Turing Machines and Computability [reference-request]

In the computer science course for mathematicians held at my university Turing Machines have been presented very briefly. So much so that I didn't quite get why they are relevant to mathematics. I did ...
6
votes
3answers
111 views

Lang's Linear Algebra: what's next?

I've completed the study of Lang's Linear Algebra ($3^\text{rd}$ edition). To put it simply, I have enjoyed the subject and I would like to know "what's next". In other words, I would like to know ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
21
votes
20answers
2k views

What are some interesting sole exceptions or counterexamples? [duplicate]

Many theorems assert that a particular property holds for all objects in a class except those in a given list of exceptions. Examples of rules that admit precisely one exception include: All primes ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

LaTeX/TeX Vs. Mathematica for Typesetting [on hold]

I know Mathematica like the back of my hand, but I do not know a speck of $\LaTeX$ or $\TeX$. With regards to mathematical typesetting, is there something significant I can do in $\LaTeX$/$\TeX$ that ...
1
vote
0answers
183 views

Top current research topics in Complex Algebraic and Differential Geometry

I am currently a first year PhD candidate and I need some help figuring out the top current research topics in Complex Algebraic and Differential Geometry (can be in both, or just one of the two). I ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Counting in other bases [duplicate]

While this could be considered opinionated to a certain degree, by setting the requirement as ease of use, is there a base that is better for performing simple math functions (+-×÷) than base ten. ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

Probabilistic techniques, methods, and ideas in (“undergraduate”) real analysis

As the book Probabilistic Techniques in Analysis by Richard Bass shows, nowadays techniques drawn from probability are used to tackle problems in analysis. The mentioned book presents a survey of ...
6
votes
0answers
72 views

Examples of useful, insightful, and interesting hand-waving

I am really amused by the answers to this question on "Most harmful heuristic" posed on MathOverflow, from which I've benefited a lot. However, it seems to me that some hand-waving may be really ...
8
votes
5answers
145 views

Sources for mathematics outside the mathematics world

In this question I would like to ask you about material showing the uses (or occurrences) of mathematics in the everyday world. The aim is to encourage with it a group of young undergraduate ...
7
votes
3answers
291 views

Why are the surreals considered “recreational” mathematics?

One of my college math professors once remarked to me that it was interesting that John Conway's two "biggest" contributions to math were both recreational: the Game of Life and the Surreals. No one, ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Looking for a partial converse of Rolle's theorem

Let $f: [a,b] \to \mathbb R $ be a continuous function differentiable in $(a,b)$ such that $f(b)=0$ and for some $c \in (a,b) , f'(c)=0$ ; then under what additional conditions can we conclude that ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

On subgroups of the form $HZ(G)$ where $H$ is abelian subgroup of non-abelian group $G$ such that $H \rlap{\;\,/}\subseteq Z(G)$

Let $H$ be a an abelian subgroup of a non-abelian group $G$ such that $H \rlap{\;\,/}\subseteq Z(G) Z(G)$ ; then I can prove that $HZ(G)$ is an abelian subgroup such that $Z(G) \subset HZ(G) \subset ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Some questions about prime divisors and no. of primes

Let for an integer $n \ge 2$ , $\omega (n)$ denote the no. of distinct prime divisors of $n$ and $\pi (n) $ be number of primes not exceeding $n$. Let $a_1,...,a_k$ be integers greater than $1$ and ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Book comparison, Linear Algebra

so next semester (Spring 2015) I'm taking a Linear Algebra class. I was wondering if anyone who's had this book "Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 4th Edition - by David C. Lay" can give me an ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

Ability to View Answers in LaTex [migrated]

Is there an option or can one be implemented so that new users like myself can view the "source code" of others answers. Obviously there are many tutorials in which we can find the correct commands, ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Restriction estimates

What is the defining property of what someone in the harmonic analysis community would call a "restriction estimate?" I see sobolev norms, Fourier transforms, and inequalities relating these. The ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Efficient ways to read and learn a new topic

I started reading the book "Topology without tears" by Sidney A Morris and lecture notes on "Elementary Number Theory" by WWL.Chen. To get the maximum out of the book and understand the material ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Homotopy Type Theory prerequisites.

I've done some undergraduate level study of algebraic topology (most Hatcher's book) and the smallest amount of type theory in a foundations of mathematics course. Homotopy type theory sounds amazing ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Permutations and combinations - fun questions [on hold]

Well I am studying permutations and combinations, and I'm finding it quite an interesting topic. Surprisingly enough, it seems to have practical applications. I was looking for some questions on the ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

Good source on current 'views and thoughts' on mathematics

Recently I've become interested in the history of the way people think about mathematics. What I mean by this is for example how Godels proof basically put an end to the whole school of thought ...
43
votes
14answers
3k views

Largest “leap-to-generality” in math history?

Grothendieck, who is famous inter alia for his capacity/tendency to look for the most general formulation of a problem, introduced a number of new concepts (with topos maybe the most famous ?) that ...
1
vote
2answers
42 views

Is there a good short phrase for a point where a function is continuous but not smooth?

Given a point $x_0$ where a function $f$ is $C^0$ but not $C^1$, how could one call this point intuitively? I am not looking for a technically precise term (like a point where $f'$ is ...
343
votes
25answers
66k views

How to study math to really understand it and have a healthy lifestyle with free time?

Here's my problem. I'm studying math and when I really work hard, I think I understand things very good, but that comes at a big cost: in the last few years, I've had practically zero physical ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

math books of undergraduate/graduate level without formula? [on hold]

Just wondering, is there a math book talks deep into the math ideas (maybe undergraduate or graduate level, so not the pre-algebra content), but comes with no or very few formula?
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Which courses should I take to prepare for PHD in Finance/Econ/OR

Since it's finally the end of the year, I would like to gain some insights about which course should I take that are most helpful to prepare for application to the PHD program in Finance/Financial ...
17
votes
0answers
180 views
+50

Effective Research Notes

Note-taking for research is vital to your success as a mathematician. As I look back at some of my handwritten notes, I realized how poor they were. I had thought to myself, "What happened?" I was ...
-4
votes
0answers
51 views

Give an example of a field K, an extension field F, a subring R of F containing K where R is not a field? [on hold]

Give an example of a field K, an extension field F, a subring R of F containing K where R is not a field? I had $\mathbb{C}$ as a field, $\mathbb{C}(x)$ as a field extension, and $\mathbb{C}[x]$ ...
2
votes
0answers
110 views

Can anyone explain this quote about how mathematicians think?

I found this quote by Stephen Wolfram on page 1177 of his book A New Kind of Science. Yet of the limited set of people exposed to higher mathematics, different ones often seem to think in ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

What is some reason that there are no book bridge the gap of these three books

I am referring to the (beginner's text- Stochastic Calculus by Mircea Grigoriu and Introduction to Stochastic Calculus by klebaner.) and the advanced texts - stochastic differential equation by ...
9
votes
2answers
120 views

How to select the right books?

As the saying goes, "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, feed him for life." I've always had a problem with selecting appropriate books. It could be a problem that I'm a ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Physical or geometric meaning of the trace of a matrix

The geometric meaning of the determinant of a matrix as an area or a volume is dealt with in many textbooks. However, I don't know if the trace of a matrix has a geometric meaning too. Is there ...
1
vote
8answers
387 views

Why Not Define $0/0$ To Be $0$?

For every number $x$, $x\times 0=0$, hence $\dfrac{0}{0}$ can be any number! So $\dfrac{0}{0}$ "is knows as indeterminate" [1]. But what if we define it to be $0$? I already have an answer, but ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

What is the discrete log used for?

Perusing Wikipedia, I stumbled on the discrete logarithm. I looks interesting that we'd be able have a function that could solve $b^k=g$ for integers $b,k,$ and $g$. However, Wikipedia says "No ...
4
votes
1answer
689 views

Complex Variable vs Real Analysis 1

I took Real Analysis 1 last semester, and it was challenging, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I am considering taking Function of a Complex Variable this semester, but I am torn. I don't know ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

subtle/annoying fallacious proofs [duplicate]

I've been invited to a maths themed Xmas after party. I need to prepare a selection of interesting, and relatively simple fallacious proofs which other guests will try and find the flaw in. I'm trying ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Motivation for Putnam (soft question)

This question may be too specific and too vague. But I'm curious about this. How highly are the applicants evaluated in PhD admission if they were ranked above the cutoff of honorable-mention in ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Relationship between measure theory and real analysis

Does measure theory generalize real analysis to abstract spaces? For example, you can now talk about convergence even on unordered fields.
3
votes
1answer
44 views

What journals/periodicals are appropriate for serious amateurs to submit findings/research?

Are there journals out there that publish work by serious amateurs (but not at the level of academic researcher). I think that MAA journal American Mathematical Monthly is a good example (I could be ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Why are infinite sums so much harder to calculate than the associated infinite integral?

It seems that with continuous functions, we have in calculus an apparatus for "short cutting" an infinite sum. However, when we move to the discrete case, it seems that we don't have the equivalent ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

Genius mathematicians who never published anything

Amongst philosophers, Socrates is an example of a genius with a great influence on human history who never wrote anything. Almost all facts which are known about his revolutionary ideas are written by ...
679
votes
28answers
46k views

Can I use my powers for good?

I hesitate to ask this question, but I read a lot of the career advice from mathOverflow and math.stackexchange, and I couldn't find anything similar. Four years after the PhD, I am pretty sure that ...
19
votes
4answers
424 views

Why there is much interest in the study of $\operatorname{Gal}\left(\overline{\mathbb Q}/\mathbb Q\right)$?

Let's start for a simple quote from wikipedia: "No direct description is known for the absolute Galois group of the rational numbers. In this case, it follows from Belyi's theorem that the ...
6
votes
2answers
108 views

How to explain to a layman why Fermat's Last Theorem involves non-trivial math?

Fermat's Last Theorem states, given$$x^n + y^n = z^n$$ no three integers $x,y,z$ will satisfy the equation given integer value of $n$ greater than two. On the surface this seems like something that ...
4
votes
4answers
215 views

Have any definitions in mathematics been redefined

Based on certain intuitions and motivations we make certain definitions and then proceed to use these concepts in further developing our intuition. For example, we have an intuition that a line has ...
43
votes
17answers
20k views

Good book for self study of a First Course in Real Analysis

Does anyone have a recommendation for a book to use for the self study of real analysis? Several years ago when I completed about half a semester of Real Analysis I, the instructor used "Introduction ...
56
votes
4answers
1k views

“Advice to young mathematicians”

I have been suggested to read the Advice to a Young Mathematician section of the Princeton Companion to Mathematics, the short paper Ten Lessons I wish I had been Taught by Gian-Carlo Rota, and the ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

Why is the axiom of choice not taught from the start to mathematics undergraduates?

I've recently discovered that the following theorems require the axiom of choice to be proven: every surjective function has a right inverse. a real-valued function that is sequentially continuous ...