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17
votes
0answers
184 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 ...
15
votes
0answers
538 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 ...
14
votes
0answers
2k views

What are some strong algebraic number theory PhD programs?

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, ...
13
votes
0answers
866 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 ...
13
votes
0answers
440 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
355 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
279 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
152 views

How beginner researcher or ph. d student should learn new concepts?

I hope this question is o.k for S.E. M. When some one is reading book(monograph); possibly helpful in his/her research, and content is large enough; At the first glance it seems very frustrating and ...
9
votes
0answers
262 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
142 views

What is the overall idea of Galois theory?

I am a third year undergraduate, doing a course on Field and Galois theory. Now, while I seem to understand most of the concepts locally, I do not seem to get the 'Whole picture' of what is happening ...
8
votes
0answers
76 views

Why is the Leibniz rule a sufficient ingredient in the construction of the tangent space?

This is a very soft question, but I am wondering if anyone can shed light on why it is that the product rule (and linearity) provide exactly the right requirement for the space of derivations to be ...
8
votes
0answers
109 views

Is Category Theory geometric?

In "From a Geometrical Point of View" (http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1402093837?pc_redir=1407132421&robot_redir=1) Marquis states that category theory is thoroughly geometric. Could someone ...
8
votes
0answers
116 views

Intuition behind Erdős proof of the infinitude of prime numbers

Suppose by contradiction that there are finitely many primes, namely $p_1, p_2,...,p_k$, where $k$ is a natural number. Now consider another natural number $n$, and all natural numbers $m \leq n$. ...
8
votes
0answers
94 views

Galois Group of Composite Field vs. Second Isomorphism Theorem

$\DeclareMathOperator{\Gal}{Gal}$ In my abstract algebra class, we learned about how Galois groups interact with composite fields. Namely, if $K/F$ is Galois, and $L/F$ is any extension: $$\Gal(KL/L) ...
8
votes
0answers
106 views

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

If we have a sum $\sum\limits_{i=1}^na_i$, 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
267 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
95 views

How to listen math lectures?

Many times, the lectures goes beyond the head and not easy to follow, (at least with me),mainly in the workshop/conferences, though the audience are eager to learn something from it. Also, most of ...
7
votes
0answers
96 views

Is there really anything wrong with Bourbaki's Set Theory?

Recently I have started reading Bourbaki's Theory of Sets on my own. Regarding one of the explanations of a concept when I went to a Professor of our college, he asked me why I was wasting my time ...
7
votes
0answers
167 views

How do mathematicians know what is known?

How do mathematicians know that what they are researching has not been already know for 200 years? Obviously if they are researching something that is cutting edge it is not a problem, but if one is ...
7
votes
0answers
86 views

Relations between definite integrals not having a known closed form

Are there any known cases, when there are two (or more) definite integrals, none of them having any known closed-form expression on its own, but there is still a non-trivial$^\dagger$ elementary ...
7
votes
0answers
82 views

Origins of the name “Q” and “R” for cofibrant and fibrant replacement functors.

In a model category $\mathscr M$ (in the modern sense, i.e. closed and with functorial factorizations), there is a notion of fibrant and cofibrant replacement functors. Specifically, for any object ...
7
votes
0answers
129 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
491 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
172 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
73 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
83 views

How to master general topology for analysis?

I started learning topology long ago. I first exposed myself to metric topology in Baby Rudin and Munkres Topology 2nd ed. Part I. Munkres is my most revisited book ever since. The first big ...
6
votes
0answers
163 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?
6
votes
0answers
101 views

Visual Proofs of Series Summations

I'd like to put together a compilation of visually geometric proofs of series summations. I have three famous 2D examples to clarify what I mean below, but other "visually geometric" proofs of an ...
6
votes
0answers
184 views

Difference between dynamic system and complex system

I know this might not be an easy question, I've already read the wikipedia page, and there is an interesting view: Therefore, the main difference between chaotic systems and complex systems is ...
6
votes
0answers
303 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
391 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
142 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, ...
6
votes
0answers
244 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.
6
votes
0answers
610 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
442 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
20 views

Discrete analogue of Green's theorem

Following formula concerning finite differences is in a way a discrete analogue of the fundamental theorem of calculus: $$\sum_{n=a}^b \Delta f(n) = f(b+1) - f(a) $$ We can think about the Green's ...
5
votes
0answers
83 views

How important is Differential Geometry for Number Theory?

The title pretty much says it. To elaborate slightly, I am, of course, aware of the huge role played by Algebraic Geometry in Number Theory but I'm not so sure about Differential Geometry. I would be ...
5
votes
0answers
49 views

Why should the open mapping theorem be expected?

Soft question alert. I want to know why to expect the open mapping theorem to be true. My thoughts: I know that one nice consequence of the OMT could be thought of as the universal property of ...
5
votes
0answers
66 views

Apparent Arbitrariness in Mathematics

Something about definitions in mathematics has always interested – confused? - me, I call it “arbitrariness in Mathematics” - it's a bad name, but I don't know a better one. Let me explain: 1st - ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Some questions about synthetic differential geometry

I've been trying to read Kock's text on synthetic differential geometry but I am getting a bit confused. For example, what does it mean to "interpret set theory in a topos"? What is a model of a ...
5
votes
0answers
87 views

Are there examples of mathematical problems proven by abduction?

Proof by deduction is a simple principal. For example: All humans are mortal, and Bill is a human; Therefore, Bill is mortal. However, proof by abduction is a bit different. A famous example: ...
5
votes
0answers
87 views

Can a Power Series tell when to stop?

The naive description of the radius of convergence of a complex power series is as the largest radius so that the ball avoids poles and branch cuts. This makes sense in a world where analytic ...
5
votes
0answers
65 views

Can we consider a hypergeometric function as a closed-form?

Let's say a calculus problem like an integral or a series has a solution that inevitably involving a hypergeometric function. It turns out that hypergeometric function cannot be expressed in term of ...
5
votes
0answers
71 views

Legitimate papers refuting the significance of the golden ratio in art?

I'm not sure this is the right place to ask about this, but is there any legitimate peer-reviewed paper refuting the significance of the golden ratio in art? I can find numerous websites and blogs ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

Math opportunities for a graduate

Are there any opportunities for young mathematicians who have finished their undergraduate education and are taking a year before going to graduate school, but want to do something math related? To ...
5
votes
0answers
85 views

How to take limit *along a path*

So in multivariable calculus for a limit of a function to exist, the limits of the function along all possible paths must exist and equal the same value. But how does one calculate the limit along a ...
5
votes
0answers
108 views

Reference Request: Prereqs for Lecture Notes on “Abstract Linear Algebra”

I just found this set of lecture notes on linear algebra which seems to go over several things I've been wondering about as I study linear algebra. Unfortunately there are very few exercises in the ...
5
votes
0answers
168 views

Propper algorithm to integrate ODE's numerically.

I have studied in a course several algorithms to integrate ODE's numerical: Runge-Kutta, Predictor-Corrector methods, Taylor... However the teacher failed to show which is the best for every ...
5
votes
0answers
172 views

Riemann Zeta function, quaternions and physics

Disclaimer: This question is rather vague, and thus probably not suitable for Mathoverflow, so I prefer to ask it here. I'm sorry if it doesn't meet the standards of this site. Several years ago, I ...