For questions about visualizing mathematical concepts. This includes questions about visualization of mathematical theorems and proofs without words.

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1
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0answers
119 views

How to visualize orientation of 3d objects

The way I visualize orientations of $1$- and $2$-dimensional objects is by an ant walking along a path. For a $1$d object (like a line/ line segment/ etc), just place the ant on the line and confine ...
19
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1answer
427 views

Textbooks for visual learners

Perhaps this question has already been asked (if so, please let me know) but I am looking for books that appeal to visual learners. I discovered that I am able to understand concepts much quicker ...
4
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6answers
155 views

Visualize $z+\frac{1}{z} \ge 2$

As we know, always $$z+\frac{1}{z} \ge 2,~~~~~~~~~ z\in \mathbb{R}^+$$ However, is there any geometric way to visualize this equation for some one who is not that expert in math? I know this ...
8
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2answers
197 views

On visualizing the spaces $\Bbb{S}_{++}^n$ and $\Bbb{R}^n\times\Bbb{S}_{++}^n$ for $n=1,2,\ldots$

Let $\Bbb{S}_{++}^n$ denote the space of symmetric positive-definite $n\times n$ real matrices. I am looking for hints concerning the visualization of such spaces for $n=1,2,\ldots$. I know that $\Bbb{...
7
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2answers
109 views

How to visualize $\mathbb{C}^2$?

In a homework question I had to do, the rotational matrix $A = \begin{pmatrix} 0&-1\\1&0 \end{pmatrix}$ was given. Its eigenvalues in $\mathbb{C}$ are $i$ and $-i$. The set of all eigenvectors ...
2
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2answers
33 views

Inverse mapping on a set $U_1\times U_2$, wrong intuition?

Let $f(x) = (f_1(x),f_2(x))$ where $f: X\to Y_1\times Y_2$. And $f_1:X\to Y_1, f_2: X\to Y_2$ where $X,Y_1,Y_2$ are topological spaces. I want to prove some continuity properties, but my intuition ...
58
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2answers
1k views

Visual proof of $\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^4} = \frac{\pi^4}{90}$?

In his gorgeous paper "How to compute $\sum \frac{1}{n^2}$ by solving triangles", Mikael Passare offers this idea for proving $\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2} = \frac{\pi^2}{6}$: Proof of equality ...
3
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1answer
142 views

No extremals satisfying the Euler equation - what does it mean?

Consider the functional $J[y] = \int_{0}^{1}xyy^{'}dx$. If I want to find extremals (a function $y=y(x)$ that makes the functional stationary) with boundary condition $y(0)=0$ , $y(1)=1$ for this ...
26
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2answers
670 views

Can I represent groups geometrically?

I have just taken up abstract algebra for my college and my professor was giving me an introduction to groups, but since I like geometric definitions or ways of looking at stuff, I kept thinking, "How ...
17
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2answers
299 views

Enumerating Bianchi circles

Background: Katherine Stange describes Schmidt arrangements in "Visualising the arithmetic of imaginary quadratic fields", arXiv:1410.0417. Given an imaginary quadratic field $K$, we study the Bianchi ...
16
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1answer
249 views

Is it a good approach to heavily depend on visualization to learn math?

I am a third year undergraduate and I am a beginner on these "real mathematics" (no pun intended). Before contacting the "real math", my math level should be considered to be "good", although I was ...
2
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1answer
101 views

Soft Question: Difficult to Visualize Areas of Mathematics

Yesterday I came across this webpage, which describes a recent (successful) attempt to visualize isometric embeddings of flat tori in 3D Euclidean space. The webpage and associated paper discuss the ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Is it possible to estimate the number of primes between 0 and a 128 bit number?

I'm attempting to visualize an RSA public/private key pair, or a SHA2 hash. In order to reduce that massive number that is meaningful to humans I'm looking at this SHA2 visualization function to ...
1
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0answers
29 views

Why the gradient of the r vector is the identity map, geometrically speaking?

When doing some simple quantum mechanics problem involving commutators, I forgot the result of this expression $$\left[\vec{r} ,\hat{p}\right]$$ Thus I then brute force it using the definition of ...
2
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2answers
362 views

How to read a cycle graph?

As an important tool for visualizing some small finite groups it is useful to know how read such graph, and with time trying to make sketch of them by my own. I would like to know, for a start, how ...
1
vote
2answers
216 views

Visualizing why rotations preserve orientation

It's clear geometrically that if you have two vectors in $\mathbb{R}^3$ a rotation will preserve their lengths and the angle between them. But how do you visualize that a rotation preserves ...
3
votes
0answers
144 views

Visualising surface integrals

For a current problem I am working on, I have run into angular surface integrals, i.e. the differential solid angle $\text{d}\Omega$. Specifically the surface integrals are defined by \begin{equation}...
0
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0answers
13 views

How common is it to plot linear transforms on continuous spaces?

I came across a question asking how the proof that the transform $f(g) = g(x-a) + g(x+a)$ was Hermitian worked. I was a bit surprised that the proof was symbolic, because if you plot out the ...
0
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1answer
56 views

How to represent a network of chemical reactions?

I am trying to figure out a suitable representation for given set of chemical reactions, which happen over an exhaustive set of chemicals. The chemicals are $A, B, C, D, E$ and the reactions are ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Visualising something geometrically

$W=B(x_{1},r)\cap B(x_{2},r)$. The boundary of the intersection is given by the union of $\delta_{1}W=\delta B(x_{1},r)\cap B(x_2,r)$ and $\delta_{2}W=B(x_1,r)\cap \delta B(x_{2},r)$. Let $W_{1}=\{...
2
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3answers
91 views

Open Source Software for Creating Mathematical Diagrams

I work as a software engineer at a company developing navigation systems. As I have a mathematical background I normally get assigned the more mathematical problems and I find myself regularly having ...
3
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0answers
28 views

Visualization of the fact that the integers defining lens spaces must be coprime

This is related to this question I asked: Visualization of Lens Spaces and is also related to this question by @Earthliŋ: Why are the integers appearing in lens spaces coprime? I understand the ...
8
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1answer
565 views

Visualization of Lens Spaces

I am trying to visualize lens spaces geometrically. While I am aware of the fact that most manifolds which cannot be embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$ are hard to visualize because of the obvious ...
3
votes
0answers
219 views

Why are inter arrival times in the continuous version of discrete-time Markov chains always exponentially distributed?

I am curious whether there exist continuous time Markov processes for which the times between jumping times (which I call inter arrival times) are not exponentially distributed, but have some other ...
59
votes
1answer
752 views

Regular way to fill a $1\times1$ square with $\frac{1}{n}\times\frac{1}{n+1}$ rectangles?

The series $$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\frac{1}{n(n+1)}=1$$ suggests it might be possible to tile a $1\times1$ square with nonrepeated rectangles of the form $\frac{1}{n}\times\frac{1}{n+1}$. Is there a ...
2
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3answers
73 views

Visualization of the quotient of $\mathbb{R}^2$ by an involution.

Consider $\mathbb{R}^2$ and let $\mathbb{Z}_2$ act by taking $(x,y) \rightarrow (-x,-y)$ and consider $\mathbb{R}^2/\mathbb{Z}_2$. I can, using algebraic machinery, show that the quotient is the same ...
2
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0answers
114 views

Visualising algebraic topology

I'm new to algebraic topology and although I can follow the arguments it would be nice to be able to visualise important concepts like homology and excision. Can anyone recommend a book or other ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Help with Diagram of the Standard Lift of Projective Plane

I am posting here because I need help finding (or making) a visual aid for a presentation. I am giving a short presentation about Projective Geometry next week, and I am building a beamer for it. One ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Intuition for gradient descent with Nesterov momentum

A clear article on Nesterov’s Accelerated Gradient Descent (S. Bubeck, April 2013) says The intuition behind the algorithm is quite difficult to grasp, and unfortunately the analysis will not be ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

Visualizing a volume with MATLAB

I have a rational function $\phi: [0,1]^3 \to \mathbb R^3$ (A NURBS, to be precise) and I want to visualize the image of $\partial [0,1]^3$ using a surface plot (...
1
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1answer
75 views

Interpreting a group homomorphism $f: \mathbb{Z}_{12} \to \mathbb{Z}_{3}$ visually

I am having a hard time studying and I am a visual learner. How could I visually imagine a (group) homomorphism $$\mathbb{Z}_{12} \to \mathbb{Z}_3?$$ Also, if the question states that the map $f$ is ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Can Number Theory be visualized?

So I was thinking about a hard euclidean geometry problem, when it hit me just how much more difficult it would become without the aid of a diagram. This got me thinking: Wouldn't it be great if we ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Visualizing cross product of points in 3-Space

If $p_0, p_1, p_2$ are three distinct points in space, then what does the cross product $$n = (p_0 - p_1) \times (p_0 - p_2)$$ mean geometrically? I'm having a little trouble visualizing this in $3$-...
1
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1answer
227 views

Visualizing Ricci scalar curvature

I am trying to learn more about Ricci scalar curvature. I am trying to get an image in my head of what scalar curvature actually represents about the curvature of a manifold. The most familiar image I ...
2
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1answer
108 views

Are there 3D geometric proofs of Fibonacci identities?

There is a significant number of identities involving Fibonacci numbers that can be proven in a sort of geometric way, as it is shown in the following picture: However, I couldn't find any such ...
1
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0answers
119 views

I seek Visual illustrations of Concepts of Mathematics as animated videos for students of Higher Mathematics

There are some very good animated videos explaining concepts of mathematics on youtube, like videos of website " why U" but most of these deal with elementary mathematics. I am searching for videos ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

How to visualize bilinear transform of the form $S(z) = \frac {T}{2} \frac {z+1}{z-1}$

Note that this is the bilinear transform from a z-domain as appears in Z-transform to s-domain in Laplace transform Recall that bilinear transform has form $M(z) = \frac{az+b}{cz+d}$ with and has to ...
3
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0answers
305 views

Is this a legit way to visualize complex functions?

I am doing laplace transform in a class and I hate how there seems to be no graphical support when things are transformed to laplace domain i.e. nobody cares what they look like in laplace domain But ...
3
votes
2answers
169 views

How to visualize the gradient as a one-form?

I just finished reading the proof that the gradient is a covariant vector or a one-form, but I am having a difficult time visualizing this. I still visualize gradients as vector fields instead of the ...
4
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0answers
223 views

How to visualize cotangent spaces.

I was wondering how to intuitively and visually understand dual vector spaces and one-forms. So my question is (1), how to visualize cotangent spaces and (2), how to intuitively understand them? My ...
4
votes
2answers
378 views

How to actually use the Weierstrass-Enneper parameterization to draw a minimal surface?

I'm interested in drawing (with Mathematica for example) the generalized Scherk saddle tower with threefold symmetry, a shape that I find very attractive. In an article (see here) I found the ...
0
votes
0answers
89 views

Diagram to depict dependencies/prerequisites of activities

A long time ago in a business course I was taught about diagrams that help plan activities, and determine estimates of time required to complete a project: activities in the project were drawn as ...
2
votes
0answers
76 views

Is there a way to graphically show that a solution is the minimum or stationary solution to a functional?

I'm looking for the functional analogue to the visual representations of function optimization you most commonly see. To illustrate, if we have some function: $$ f(x) = (x-1)^2+1 $$ We can look at ...
2
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0answers
36 views

Visualizing Riemannian surface

Given a multi-valued complex function $f: z = x+\mathrm{i}\,y\rightarrow w=u+\mathrm{i}\,v$ with $x,y,u,v\in\mathbb{R}$, we know the image $\{f(z)\,|\,z\in\mathbb{C}\}$ is a Riemannian surface. How to ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

How to visualize(inside ones brain) the Four-dimensional_space

Can the fourth dimension https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-dimensional_space be visualized intuitively by the humans. Does the professional mathematicians can do this ? If so what are the things to ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Visualising this CW structure for the $S^3$

I'm asked to prove that the following is a CW structure for the 3-sphere, (as a part of an exercise involving defining the Cw structure of the Lens Spaces) I'm asked to prove that the following is a ...
25
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2answers
620 views

Are there any visual proofs for $\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2} = \frac{\pi^2}{6}$?

I was flipping through Proofs Without Words (PWW) and saw many visual proofs for sequences and series. However, I saw none for $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2} = \frac{\pi^2}{6}$$ Are there any ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

How would you draw $(A\setminus B)\times (A\setminus B) = (A\times A)\setminus (B\times B)$?

I know it's useful to prove set equalities to make a quick sketch of the sets described. How can I draw this one? $$(A\setminus B)\times (A\setminus B) = (A\times A)\setminus (B\times B)$$
8
votes
2answers
202 views

0 to the power of 0, what does the essential discontinuity actually look like?

So having watch this clip by Numberphile which explains why $0^0$ is undefined https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRRolKTlF6Q And also this http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.0.to.0.power.html And ...
37
votes
3answers
6k views

The Stupid Computer Problem : can every polynomial be written with only one $x$?

When I was a child, I wanted to be a mathematician so I asked my parents to buy me a computer to make super complex calculations. Of course, they were not crazy enough to buy an expensive super ...