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13
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0answers
699 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 ...
12
votes
0answers
598 views

What is magical about Cartan's magic formula?

Why is Cartan's magic formula $$\mathscr{L}_X\omega = i_Xd\omega + d(i_X\omega)$$ called "magic"? Should it be considered a highly surprising result? Does it "magically" prove several other ...
12
votes
0answers
294 views

Irrationality of e

I have a question about the irrationality of $e$: In proving the irrationality of $e$, one can prove the irrationality of $e^{-1}$ by using the series $$e^x = 1+x+\frac{x^2}{2!} + \cdots + ...
11
votes
0answers
228 views

Anecdote about mathematicians leaping to tops of problems and then building a staircase down?

I've run across this cute little story before, and now for the life of me I can't find it anywhere. It goes something like: Two people are looking out onto a mathematical landscape, and there are ...
10
votes
0answers
260 views

Is this $really$ a categorical approach to $integration$?

Here's an article by Reinhard Börger I found recently whose title and content, prima facie, seem quite exciting to me, given my misadventures lately (like this and this); it's called, "A Categorical ...
10
votes
0answers
168 views

Important topics for arithmetic geometry (esp Arakelov geometry)?

Seeing other past successful 'roadmap' questions, I hope this question is acceptable and not too vague. I know I'd like to eventually study arithmetic algebraic geometry - but I also know that it's a ...
10
votes
0answers
614 views

What are some strong PhD programs in (algebraic) number theory?

I am currently applying for PhD programs in the US. My main interests are number theory and algebra. More specifically, I am interested in algebraic number theory (number fields, Galois groups, ...
10
votes
0answers
265 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
939 views

Which is better strategy to learn and read books, traditionally one by one OR re-read carefully on perfect books

(Just focus on how to learn and master the stuff pretty well, not involve the aspect of courses or exam) Because recently I always feel that the time and energy are pretty limited, I want to try ...
9
votes
0answers
138 views

Big geometry grad schools - for an average applicant

What are some schools that have a lot of geometry going on, but that might accept some middle-of-the-range applicants? Let me add some context... I left grad school (UC Davis) with an MS in 2012 ...
9
votes
0answers
496 views

Are there “mental calculator” persons that can recognize closed-form expressions?

There are people, sometimes called mental calculators, who is capable of performing fast calculations in their head, involving multiplication, factorization, finding logarithms and roots of a high ...
8
votes
0answers
169 views

Interesting but short math papers?

Is it ok to start a list of interesting, but short mathematical papers, e.g. papers that are in the neighborhood of 1-3 pages? I like to read them here and there throughout the day to learn a new ...
8
votes
0answers
129 views

How much practice is too much practice?

I have an exam in single-variable calculus tomorrow. Seeing as its my first exam at the university level, I have been spending some time doing old exams in order to get used to the format. While doing ...
8
votes
0answers
377 views

Why are there mathematicians that do not use computers?

I was watching a video on Andrew Wiles and his proof of Fermat's Last Theorem and I quite liked the video, especially the complexity of the proof only to prove a simple concept which can be understood ...
8
votes
0answers
236 views

The status of $\mathbb{R}$ in homotopy theory.

The definition of a path as a continuous map $I \rightarrow X$ is a completely natural one. But this raises two questions in my mind. First, what properties of the interval give rise to useful ...
7
votes
0answers
191 views

How much time is reasonable to complete baby Rudin?

I've been teaching myself math for more than a year. My current aim is towards algebraic topology and differential geometry. Apart from a messy (by which i mean some rigorous and some not) ...
7
votes
0answers
121 views

Math Behind the Dragon Illusion!

Dragon illusion has been one of the items presented in the 3rd "Gathering for Gardner". This video shows the illusion. What does it have to do with mathematics?
7
votes
0answers
1k views

Using distance formula to find slope, any reason to use the concluding equation?

So, today I was observing a class that I will be a TA for this semester and the professor started to talk about the distance formula $d=\sqrt{(x_2-x_1)^2+(y_2-y_1)^2}$. Well, my mind wandered a little ...
7
votes
0answers
152 views

Reference suggestion: eigenvalues of tridiagonal matrices

I would like to ask for a reference on the problem of computing the eigenvalues/eigenvectors of tridiagonal matrices (not necessarily with constant diagonals). I have seen authors use continued ...
7
votes
0answers
200 views

Graham's Number : Why so big?

Can someone give me an idea of how R.Graham reached Graham's Number as an upper bound on the solution of the related problem ? Thanks !
6
votes
0answers
95 views

How strong is the analogy between spectra and abelian groups?

I am led to understand that spectra are some kind of $\infty$-analogue of (discrete) abelian groups, or perhaps more accurately, some kind of generalisation of chain complexes of abelian groups. How ...
6
votes
0answers
163 views

Balancing Coursework with original research

I am a first-year graduate student in a US university pursuing a PhD in mathematics. I am a bit frustrated in trying to balance coursework with original research. I saw students who spend most of ...
6
votes
0answers
57 views

Analogue of the term 'summand' for unions and intersections.

If we have a sum $\sum_{i=1}^na_i$, we call the terms $a_i$ summands. In fact, in the cases of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, we have a large vocabulary to describe the various ...
6
votes
0answers
284 views

formulating theories in math

One of my profs mentioned that sometimes people formulate theories about some type of object, but then later realize that those objects do not exist. Can someone given me an example of such a theory? ...
6
votes
0answers
331 views

Why didn't Cartan-Eilenberg develop homological algebra on sheaf theory?

Cartan-Eilenberg created homological algebra on modules over rings. I wonder why they didn't develop it also on sheaves over ringed spaces. Grothendieck and Godement did that soon after(or almost at ...
6
votes
0answers
464 views

How to use Hardy and Wright's text and what corresponding exercises/problem books can I do?

I have just started out with Hardy and Wright's An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers today. I find the lack of exercises in the book as a departure from the style of the textbooks we are so ...
5
votes
0answers
89 views

Help needed with Masters' Thesis

My brother is at the very end of his Masters Program at a well-known University (Math, of course, hence my inclusion of this question on this site) and he is totally done with course work, but is ...
5
votes
0answers
86 views

Intuition about structures in Galois Theory.

Background Often in mathematics I find we can ask "why" something is true. Of course, this is not a well defined question. However, it usually prompts answers that includes words like ...
5
votes
0answers
48 views

Making modular representation theory and cohomology 'compelling' and 'accesible'

I'm currently putting together an application for a dissertation completion fellowship offered through my university. A part of the application includes 500-1000 words describing my dissertation. ...
5
votes
0answers
65 views

Is there a proper etiquette for asking an author for their (mathematical) software?

This may not be the correct place to ask such a question. I have read a mathematical paper on multiclass total variation clustering. I wish to use the algorithm in the contents to compare with another ...
5
votes
0answers
214 views

Paul Erdős Joke.

I was watching the great documentary "$N$ is a Number" and in it Erdős tells a joke where he writes: PGOM LD AD LD CD Which means poor great old man, living dead, archeological discovery, legally ...
5
votes
0answers
115 views

which branch of maths studies Standard Logical Matrices

In classical logic you have truthtables like: & | T | F ---|---|--- T | T | F F | F | F In many valued logic you have tables like: (this one is ...
5
votes
0answers
261 views

Logical consequence of Euclid's theorem

Are there any far reaching non-trivial consequences of Euclid's infinitude of primes where theorems make use of it? Wikipedia does not have the list of applications of this theorem, rather modern ...
5
votes
0answers
139 views

Comparing the U.S. undergraduate math education to the French “classes préparatoires”

Could anyone comment on how the math track of the "classes préparatoires" compares to the U.S. undergraduate major? I took a look at some of the French entrance exams and was rather intimidated. How ...
5
votes
0answers
305 views

Top graduate schools in dynamical systems.

I will be applying to graduate school next fall and I want to start my list of where to apply. I have looked on some of the top graduate schools to see how large of a dynamical systems group they ...
5
votes
0answers
139 views

The high road to learn algebraic geometry

Suppose that a student has a basic knowledge in commmutative algebra at the level of the Atiyah-MacDonald. What do you think about the following steps to learn algebraic geometry? step 1: read ...
5
votes
0answers
163 views

Convex Hulls vs Shrink Wrap

I was recently explaining to a friend what the convex hull of a set of points is using the analogy of an elastic band around a set of nails hammered into a board. I was about to say that we can ...
5
votes
0answers
132 views

Why are injective $\mathscr{O}$-modules flasque?

Let $X$ be a topological space, and let $\mathscr{O}$ be a sheaf of rings on $X$. It is easy to verify that the functor $\Gamma (U, -) : \textbf{Mod}(\mathscr{O}) \to \textbf{Ab}$ is representable, ...
5
votes
0answers
199 views

(Mathematical) Applications of Quantum Group

What are some mathematical applications of Quantum Groups? I have tried researching and found that it is used to find solutions to Yang-Baxter equation. Any other applications? Thanks a lot.
5
votes
0answers
354 views

Transitioning from Statistics to Pure Math at the PhD level

I was not sure if I should even post this question at this site because it is not directly related to mathematics, but rather, careers in mathematics. First of all, I have a B.S. in pure math. ...
5
votes
0answers
194 views

Have Changes in Applications Made Linear Algebra More Central/Urgent?

In the days when my father taught civil engineering (some decades ago), mathematical applications seemed to be mainly "scientific." (This was the "space age.) Hence the most important branch of ...
5
votes
0answers
273 views

homology groups, physical interpretation

One can roughly interpret Betti numbers as the number of n-dimensional holes of our space. Is there a reasonable interpretation for torsion coefficients? Moreover, for 'physical' applications, are ...
4
votes
0answers
77 views

Is it easier to publish in certain areas of mathematics?

I was wondering whether there are areas of mathematics that it is easier to publish in than in others. The reason I'm asking this question is not because I would then want to do research there, but ...
4
votes
0answers
38 views

Is there a way to figure out the minimum number of participants or maximum number of rounds in my tournament style?

I just finished hosting a Euchre tournament at work that was meant to get people to meet other people in the company. This is the third time I've hosted this type of tournament. The first two times, ...
4
votes
0answers
81 views

Earliest precursor to category theory

In the Historical notes section of the Wikipedia article on category theory, it is mentioned that in 1942-1945, Samuel Eilenberg and Saunders Mac Lane, in the course of their work in algebraic ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

Transitioning to Higher Level Mathematics

I am just finishing grade 12 pre-calculus at my school and have strong interest in math. The problem is, it seems some important elements of higher level math are not in my schools curriculum that are ...
4
votes
0answers
42 views

Soft Question: Inequalities like this

I am studying signed and complex measure and at a point in a proof the following lemma is being used: Lemma. If $z_1,...,z_n$ are complex numbers, then there exists a subset $S\subset\{1,2,...,n\}$ ...
4
votes
0answers
96 views

start studying advanced topics in number theory

I am a first year undergrad and have had elementary course in Number Theory which includes only basic introductory topics like: divisibility,gcd-lcm,primes,congruences, number theoretic functions etc. ...
4
votes
0answers
76 views

How can math students (not instructors) improve studying by Learning through Testing?

I hit upon Alex K. Chen's answer on What learning strategies do people who are "quick learners" follow? which links to this New York Times article To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test . ...
4
votes
0answers
137 views

Was Fermat's last theorem proved based on Peano's postulates?

Is the proof of Fermat's last theorem solely based on the Peano's postulates $+$ first order logic? Or it contains other axiomatic systems as well? What does it mean from foundations of math ...