I sometimes see answers or comments on this site that suggest people have figured out good strategies for searching or organizing math results to find information on specific approaches or equations. How are people doing this?

Here's just one example:
Why can't elliptic curves be parameterized with rational functions?
In 15 minutes Callus was able to search and find someone else who used a similar equation / proof. How is this even possible?

I struggle to search for math results with google, or even finding some solution I vaguely remember seeing in a textbook. I don't understand how mathematicians search and correlate all this knowledge.

Sometimes I'll search for quite awhile and stumble on something that gives a name to a whole class of equations that covers what I'm interested in. And once I have that phrase, I can finally make progress searching. But if there was a better way to search for equations, I should have been able to find that name quicker. Especially when it comes to Diophantine equations, I feel like every time I need to search for known math results I'm suddenly as bad at searching the internet as the pre-altavista days.

If there are any useful tricks, please do share.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't know what Callus did, but there are some useful strategies. Of course if you happen to know of a good on-line reference for the particular topic at hand, go to it. Otherwise, Wikipedia is quite good these days. For anything involving integer sequences, try the OEIS, especially if you can compute 5 or 10 consecutive members of the sequence. For other searches, at least half the battle is usually finding the right key word or phrase to search for. $\endgroup$ – Robert Israel Feb 11 '19 at 1:53

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