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2
votes
1answer
62 views

How much set theory is necessary for serious logic?

I'm currently studying logic at my university and I have been trying to squeeze in as much set theory on the side as possible. Considering that I am spending quite a lot of time studying set theory ...
-2
votes
2answers
121 views

Is Infinity Needed in Maths? Does Infinity Actually Exist? [on hold]

I'm asking this question as I have been having an on going online debate with a friend of mine. I claimed that Infinity does in fact exist in Maths and in Reality, as there's a whole plethora of ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Proof that group is commutative if every element is its inverse (feedback wanted)

This is one of my first proofs about groups. Please feed back and criticise in every way (including style & language). Axiom names (see Wikipedia) are italicised. $e$ denotes the identity element. ...
32
votes
13answers
1k views

How To Present Algebraic Topology To Non-Mathematicians?

I am writing my master thesis in algebraic topology (fundamental groups) and as a system in my school students must write about one page about their theses explaining for non mathematicians the ...
155
votes
28answers
15k views

Too old to start math

I'm sorry if this question goes against the meta for posting questions - I attached all the "beware, this is a soft-question" tags I could. This is a question I've been asking myself now for some ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Groups - Prove that every element equals inverse of inverse of element

This is my first proof about groups. Please feed back and criticise in every way (including style & language). Axiom names (see Wikipedia) are italicised. We use $^{-1}$ to denote inverse ...
5
votes
4answers
194 views

What sequence should I study these topics in?

I will shortly list a series of topics that amount to what is essentially the first two years of an undergraduate degree. I'd like to know what is considered best order in which to study these ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

On the usage of words instead of numbers to denote numbers

[To the best of my knowledge, I did not find any previous question that deals with this issue. I hope it is not a duplicate.] I have a problem with the way in which mathematicians sometime use ...
-5
votes
0answers
53 views

What is the hardest question in mathematics? [on hold]

In general, which question in mathematics is known to be the hardest, and would probably take the most time for humanity to solve?
2
votes
1answer
58 views

What cardinals do we actually need?

I recently heard of a great variant of set theory called "Pocket Set Theory" in which the only two cardinalities are that of $\mathbb N$ and that of $\mathbb R$ (and the latter is a proper class). ...
10
votes
5answers
264 views
+50

I need help finding a rigorous Pre-calculus textbook

I dislike modern textbooks; their cookie-cutter approach and appearance, over reliance on breaking things down into little boxes, the general spoon-feeding they engender and most of all the poor ...
6
votes
2answers
134 views

Self studying higher mathematics?

I'm fairly well-versed in calculus but I would like to explore beyond calculus. I have looked into the basics of some topics in higher mathematics such as group theory and abstract algebra and they ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Book on calculus of several variables.

I'm an undergraduate student in mathematics and want to study Calculus of several variables currently this semester which involves the use of analysis,vector spaces and linear transformations. Can ...
3
votes
6answers
571 views

How should I self-study calculus?

So I already took Pre-Calc, and ended up with a B both semesters. I am an incoming senior in high school. My special-ed case manager won't let me take it because she doesn't want to see me panic ...
6
votes
2answers
53 views

Geometric interpretation of complex path integral

Let's say that we want to make sense of integrating a function $f: \mathbb{C}\rightarrow\mathbb{C}$ over some path $\gamma$. I can imagine two reasonable ways of doing it. First, there's the way ...
3
votes
2answers
223 views

Question on questions in Spivak's Calculus?

I started reading Spivak's Calculus about a month ago and I'm at the end of chapter two, so this is not really calculus yet. However, I find the problems really difficult and the answer keys are not ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Importance of Linear Algebra

In one of his online lectures Benedict Gross comments that one can never have too much Linear Algebra. Also, looking around it seems like I can find comments to the effect that Linear Algebra has ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

High dimensional vector space references

Is there any good text book or review papers that introduce high dimensional vector spaces and its peculiarities as compared to generic/low-dimensional vector spaces? For example, high dimensional ...
51
votes
18answers
6k views

If there are obvious things, why should we prove them?

Obviously, there are obvious things in mathematics. Why we should prove them? Prove that $\lim\limits_{n\to\infty}\dfrac{1}{n}=0$? Prove that $f(x)=x$ is continuous on $\mathbb{R}$? $\dotsc$ Just ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Tangent bundle of the 2-sphere

I'm reading through Tu's Introduction to manifolds and today I learned about tangent bundles and vector bundles. I was surprised to learn that $TS^2$, tangent bundle of the 2-sphere, isn't trivial ...
-1
votes
0answers
54 views

REUs for graduates? [on hold]

I have done REUs for the last two summers and plan to go to graduate school in mathematics. I am graduating next year and am wondering if there are any programs for students (maybe similar to an REU) ...
35
votes
5answers
6k views

How hard should a mathematician work?

Of course I would never compare myself to, and don't expect to be, one of the great mathematicians. However, I am curious as to how my work habits, dedication and passion differs from theirs. How ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

Why the whole theory about differentiable manifolds is based on open sets?

I only have studied basic topology, which means i haven't studied any about differentiable manifolds. I just skimmed pages on wikipedia. Here is a simple illustration on a basic situation. Let $E$ ...
5
votes
1answer
178 views

Why do we study representations of groups but not fields?

Groups are great objects to work with as we all know. With surprisingly little structure, we can say fairly general things. However groups can be difficult to manage and so we look to representations ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Chains of Field Extension

To deal with compass-and-straightedge construction, solvability of algebraic function and integration of real/complex function, we consider the chains of field extension. More precisely, let ...
0
votes
0answers
73 views

What mathematical knowledge should a regular math. major undergraduate know? [on hold]

I knew what pure mathematics is about five years ago. And since then I am fascinated. Most of my math. knowledge are arguably understood all by myself. But now I begin to feel unsatisfactory. For ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Relation between $|H \lor K|$ , $|H|$ and $|K|$

Let $H$ and $K$ be subgroups of a finite group , then we know that the subgroup generated by $H \cup K$ i.e. $H \lor K$ is the smallest subgroup containing both $H$ and $K$ , then how can we relate ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Do you paragraph a proof?

When writing out a proof of moderate length, i.e. a proof taking less than or equal to 5 A4 papers and with normal spacing (please avoid asking the criterion for "normal"), do you tend to paragraph it ...
0
votes
2answers
100 views

General question about undergrad math classes? [on hold]

I'm currently in Real Analysis 2, and while I'm doing pretty well, it's just so much time and effort to finish all the problem sets and do well on the exams. I only have a few math classes left for ...
17
votes
4answers
694 views

Book ref. request: “…starting from a mathematically amorphous problem and combining ideas from sources to produce new mathematics…”

I couldn't find Charles Radin's Miles of Tiles at the local university library or the public library, and cannot afford its Amazon price right now. Thus, while sorely disappointed for the moment, I ...
442
votes
138answers
27k views

What was the first bit of mathematics that made you realize that math is beautiful? (For children's book)

I'm a children's book writer and illustrator, and I want to to create a book for young readers that exposes the beauty of Mathematics. I recently read Paul Lockhart's essay "The Mathematician's ...
23
votes
10answers
25k views

Why is Infinity multiplied by Zero not an easy Zero answer?

I did a bit of math at school and it seems like an easy one - what am I missing? $$n\times m = \underbrace{n+n+\cdots +n}_{m\text{ times}}$$ $$\quad n\times 0 = \underbrace{0 + 0 + \cdots+ ...
3
votes
0answers
146 views

As a high school student, how do I go about doing research and writing a research paper?

I am currently a high school junior living in India and have already taken Differential Calculus and will be finishing Integral Calculus in 2 months time. I am interested in doing some research and ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Specifying types of variables in pure mathematics and applied mathematics

In pure mathematics, we can write such as "an integer $a$ ..." to specify that $a$ is a given integer or $a$ runs through the ring of integers. But in contexts where mathematics is applied ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Interpretation of a statistical formula involving the ratios of sample and population

Kind of an odd question, but, is this a standard equation for stats? I can't figure out for the life of me what it looks like. $\left(\frac{\text{Sample Of A}}{\text{Population Of ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Some basic practical applications of Calculus

I am currently studying Calculus on my own for fun. I enjoy different components of math and how they can be used to solve so many problems. Many people, however, think I am crazy because I am ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Quantifier problems of equations in physics [closed]

Equations in physics are often written without quantifiers. For instance, from time to time we can see the equation $$E = mc^2$$ is casually written down. To assert that static energy equals mass ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Entrance exam preparation suggestions.

I will be giving my Entrance Exam for (MS in Computer Science) and this is the Syllabus. Syllabus Screenshot : http://i.imgur.com/9KUDCt3.png I am worried about the maths and reasoning part. It's ...
-3
votes
1answer
459 views

What properties of the absolute value function should one remember? [closed]

When one begins to study real analysis, the absolute value function quickly enters and a large number of exercises involve manipulations with it. What are the basic properties of absolute value that ...
62
votes
32answers
5k views

Theorems with an extraordinary exception or a small number of sporadic exceptions

The Whitney graph isomorphism theorem gives an example of an extraordinary exception: a very general statement holds except for one very specific case. Another example is the classification theorem ...
8
votes
1answer
63 views

Understanding Dynkin Diagrams - any organising ideas - are they now adequately understood?

Some 30 or so years ago JH Conway posed a question about the ubiquity of the Dynkin Diagram - not necessarily in public, but I heard him ask it. I think it was in the context of "what would be ...
64
votes
31answers
7k views

What are some conceptualizations that work in mathematics but are not strictly true?

I am having an argument with someone who thinks that it's never justified to teach something that is not strictly correct. I disagree: often, the pedagogically most efficient way to make progress is ...
25
votes
7answers
2k views

Mathematical literature to lose yourself in

H.M. Edwards in the preface to his book on the Riemann Zeta Function, summarises his philosophy on learning Mathematics: ...I have tried to say to students of mathematics that they should read the ...
52
votes
8answers
2k views

Problems that become easier in a more general form.

When solving a problem, we often look at some special cases first, and then try to work our way up to the general case. It would be interesting to see some counterexamples to this mental process, ...
1
vote
3answers
197 views

Is there an adjective appropriate for describing mathematical terminology that you feel needs to be phased out? [closed]

Let me firstly apologize; this is more of an English language question, so posting it here is perhaps slightly inappropriate. But I couldn't think of a non-mathematical example, so here we are. ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Do journals that published a proof of an important theorem $T$ publish another proof of $T$?

I want to know whether or not a journal that published a proof $P$ of an important theorem $T$ is still open to accept another proof $P'$ of $T$ such that $P'$ is greatly simpler than $P$, assuming, ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Is it important to study plane algebraic curves before read Fulton's book

I'm studying Fulton's algebraic curves book and I would like to know how important study plane algebraic geometry before read Fulton's book. Example of books on this subject: Algebraic Curves - ...
5
votes
17answers
3k views

Can we get just $3$ from $\pi$? [closed]

Today, a friend and I solved a question and one point came up where we were discussing whether we should write $(-1)^{n-1}$ or $(-1)^{n+1}$ and quickly we remembered that it was the same thing (for ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

What are the differences between mathematics courses taken by engineering majors and by math majors? [closed]

I am curious to know what are the differences between mathematics taken by engineering students and by math majors. Let's say in terms of the approach, depth and in the topics covered. And even within ...
3
votes
2answers
60 views

Is calling a linear-equation a linear-function, misnomer or completely wrong?

From my college life, I remember many professors used to call a linear-equation a linear-function, however: A standard definition of linear function (or linear map) is: $$f(x+y)=f(x)+f(y),$$ ...