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Questions tagged [mathematicians]

Questions about mathematicians and their lives.

24
votes
1answer
912 views

Strange acknowledgment in Serge Lang's Linear Algebra

Recently I open this book to look up a certain theorem and saw something peculiar about the acknowledgments I've never notice before: Acknowledgments I thank Ron Infante and Peter Pappas for ...
6
votes
2answers
193 views

The significance and acceptance of Helfgott’s proof of the weak Goldbach Conjecture

Recently I was browsing math Wikipedia, and found that Harald Helfgott announced the complete proof of the weak Goldbach Conjecture in 2013, a proof which has been accepted widely by the math ...
-1
votes
2answers
27 views

Basic “Punctuation” and “words” used in basic Mathematics

I live in a place where solving math problems is taught perfectly, but Punctuation and correct words are overlooked. I don't know to use comma, period, dash, paragraph change, etc and words like ...
6
votes
2answers
83 views

Can a mathematical proof always be objectively determined as correct or incorrect?

Fields medalist Michael Atiyah claimed a simple proof of the Riemann hypothesis, but many mathematicians rejected his proof. Am I right in saying that Atiyah's proof is either objectively correct (...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Who said (a variation of) this? “Mathematics didn't teach me how to reason correctly, but […] how easy it is to make an error when reasoning.”

I remember I once read a quote of a mathematician at the beginning of a book, or article, which said a (possibly) small variation of: Mathematics didn't teach me how to reason correctly, but at ...
1
vote
0answers
106 views

Fake solution to Navier-Stokes Milennium problem? [closed]

I apologize in advance if this question is in the wrong section. I was looking through the recent published papers in the journal "Applied Mathematics Letters" (Q1 in Scimago, H Index 75) and I found ...
2
votes
0answers
78 views

Rose Katherine Morton

I stumbled upon something called The Morton Number, I wonder if anyone knows about it? I found out that it is related to Rose Katherine Morton, I know she was an american mathematician, but very ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

The history of trigonometry in two old stories

There is a story, apparently from Diogenes Laertius and Plutarch (and repeated here, and here, and here, and, well, here) that Thales was able to calculate the height of an Egyptian pyramid by the ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Best universities to study for a postgraduate degree [closed]

I'm finishing my undergraduate degree in pure mathematics, and I'd like to study in Europe in a masters or doctoral degree program. What are the best options? P.s i'm interested in number theory, ...
5
votes
0answers
154 views

Are great mathematicians actually “bad” in some fields of mathematics? [closed]

When a mathematician like Terence Tao says "I'm not good in Algebra" what does he actually mean? Does that imply he's actually good at undergraduate level Algebra and perhaps even at masters level, ...
3
votes
0answers
177 views

How do mathematicians know when writing papers if their results have already been proven or are special cases?

How does a mathematician know if what they are trying to show or what they are working on has already been shown by someone else, or has already been extensively studied etc.? What if instead someone ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Entscheidungsproblem

I'm trying to understand the problem proposed by David Hilbert in 1928. So, oversimplifying a bit, he was asking for an algorithm that, given a set of axioms, returns true/false if a statement input ...
1
vote
0answers
220 views

Any mathematician known to be good at pure mathematics but bad at an applied mathematics?

There are mathematicians who are not good at taking math exam, say Hermit. Is there any mathematician known to be good at only pure mathematics, whose ability may not be that well at applied ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Did Hilbert present all of his problems to the ICM in 1900?

In texts of Hilbert's speech to the ICM in Paris in 1900, all 23 problems are listed. However, Wikipedia claims that he only presented 10 in his speech, and the others were published later. I know in ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Name of mathematician who made an error, which made his later work useless?

In school, many years ago, my teacher taught me about a mathematician who was working on developing tables (or something similar to that). He apparently worked for years and then made a single ...
24
votes
1answer
1k views

Please help me identify these mathematicians

In the English translation of Sharygin's Problems in Geometry by Mir Publishers, there are a number of instances in which the names of mathematicians are clear misspellings. For example, "Lemuan" for ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

Curiosity of roulette system

What is the probability of me losing a 3/1 bet 10 times in a row I've tried working out myself but the equations needed go straight over my head
0
votes
0answers
290 views

L'Hôpital's full name

I think we've all heard of L'Hôpital's rule when solving limits of the form $\frac{0}{0}$ or $\frac{\infty}{\infty}$ (for those doing calculus or real analysis at a higher level) but the other day my ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Otton Marcin Nikodym/Nikodým?

My question is simple: which of the two spellings of this famous Polish mathematician’s surname is correct? His most influential result is proving that a $\sigma$-finite measure that is absolutely ...
46
votes
3answers
2k views

Did Pólya say, “can” or “cannot”?

Most mathematicians are familiar with the mathematical problem-solving book How to Solve it, by George Pólya. And for those who are not, especially young mathematicians, I would recommend dropping ...
8
votes
1answer
712 views

What type of mathematics is posed in the movie “A Beautiful Mind”?

There is a scene in the movie "A Beautiful Mind" in which John Nash is talking to his friend Charles in Princeton Library. Nash shows Charles three pieces of mathematics - drawn on the windows - that ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Mathematician whose teacher recommended he stay back a year.

Was it true that Fejer's childhood teacher recommended he be held back? I recall such a legend but cannot find any reference to it. I am guessing it is apocryphal.
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Galois Biography References

I'm currently starting work on a project about Evariste Galois, and while I'm familiar with the basic details of his life (French, revolutionary, genius, headstrong, dead), and those details paint an ...
41
votes
8answers
4k views

Is any mathematican more famous for their conjecture(s) than their theorem(s)?

I'm wondering if some mathematicians gained more fame from their (perhaps visionary) conjectures, than from the positive results they proved? I would say this is not true of Fermat, despite his ...
1
vote
0answers
145 views

Being a Mathematician [closed]

I love mathematics--the exploration of space and quantity and how areas of mathematics are interrelated. However, I think proofs of trivial theorems are boring and uninteresting. The more complex the ...
43
votes
4answers
5k views

Did Joseph Fourier ever make a pure mathematical mistake?

Cited by "Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason" John David Kadvany, 2001: It is remarkable that the nineteenth century was a time of error for mathematics: not trivial oversights or amateur ...
3
votes
2answers
191 views

Who is M. Montel?

From V.I. Arnold's Experimental Mathematics: Not having achieved what they desired, they pretended to desire what they had achieved. –M. Montel Who is M. Montel? Is he related to the French ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the “real” first equation? [closed]

The first equation ever written, using a modern equals sign, has TWO versions: Version 1: Wiki link and Another link gives $$ 14x+15=71 $$ But from a UK maths textbook, it gives $$ 14\sqrt{x}+15=...
1
vote
0answers
113 views

Theory of reality by Ramanujan

I am reading the Book "The man who knew Infinity" by Robert Kanigel.In it, in the second chapter "Ranging with delight", page: 66, he says: Later in England, Ramanujan would build Theory of ...
-4
votes
1answer
101 views

First scientific work. [closed]

One year ago I decided to myself to write my own scientific work in number theory, graph theory or combinatorics. I tried to find the teacher and theme during this year, but unfortunately I didn't ...
9
votes
3answers
179 views

Any surviving contemporary manuscripts by ancient mathematicians?

As I understand it, most of what we know about ancient mathematics comes from copies, quotations, and summaries by later scribes and scholars. Medieval Arab mathematicians in particular are given ...
7
votes
0answers
651 views

Who is “R. Drabek”?

The book "Algebra für Einsteiger" bei Bewersdorff (I think the English edition is called "Galois Theory for Beginners") starts with a nice quotation: Math is like love; a simple idea, but it can ...
0
votes
1answer
148 views

Independent Study

Aiming for a Pure Mathematics Degree. So I have currently completed 1.5 years at a junior college and have completed all of my lower division mathematics courses (i.e Single Variable Calculus, Multi-...
11
votes
1answer
364 views

Sources of “morality of results” in mathematics

Long ago, I have heard Itai Shafrir, one of my differential equations mathematics teachers, claim several times that a result or a conjecture should hold "moralement" in French ("morally" in English)....
29
votes
12answers
5k views

Why is Lebesgue so often spelled “Lebesque”?

Henri Lebesgue (1875-1941) was a French mathematician, best known for inventing the theory of measure and integration that bears his name. As far as I know, "Lebesgue" is the correct spelling of his ...
1
vote
0answers
181 views

How to pronounce Serge Lang? [closed]

You could argue that this question belongs on a linguistic Stack Exchange; but not many people there are likely to know Serge Lang. And I would really like to know the answer. The question is: How did ...
-2
votes
2answers
40 views

Question on Groups [duplicate]

Give an example of an infinite group in which every element has a finite order
0
votes
3answers
38 views

Question on matrices

Let A be a symmetric matrix of form 2.2 then what should be the elements in matrix B of2.2 such that AB not equals to BA
6
votes
0answers
134 views

What did John Nash publish post-illness?

I've searched for this from time to time and never been able to find a single research paper he published since 1960. Every account of his later work seems to finesse this. The Abel prize page for ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

Famous Problems the Experts Could not Solve [closed]

After Yitang Zhang stunned the mathematics world by establishing the first finite bound on gaps between prime numbers, it got me thinking about the following question: $\underline{\text{Question}}:$ ...
3
votes
0answers
201 views

How much math was “Broken” by Russell's Paradox?

As you know, the phrase "the set of all sets that don't contain themselves" caused a paradox that "broke" (made trivial) Naive set theory. How much mathematics had to be redone because of this? Most ...
3
votes
1answer
382 views

A joke proof of a famous mathematician showing that a certain two-digit number is prime

There was a joke (highly sophisticated, non-elementary) proof of a famous mathematician showing that a certain two-digit number (like 43 or 83 but I forgot what) is prime. Could you remind me of a ...
0
votes
3answers
473 views

How to pronounce “Sturm”? [closed]

The celebrated phrase "Sturm und Drang" is German. I know the pronunciation of the German noun "Sturm". But, I would like to pronounce the French name "Sturm" of "Jacques Charles François Sturm".
3
votes
0answers
135 views

Who First Considered This Generalization of the Fibonacci Numbers?

I am looking for the author who originally researched a generalization of the Fibonacci numbers, which Koshy, in Chapter 7 his book Fibonacci and Lucas Numbers with Application refers to as the ...
32
votes
7answers
6k views

Genius mathematicians who never published anything

Amongst philosophers, Socrates is an example of a genius with a great influence on human history who never wrote anything. Almost all facts which are known about his revolutionary ideas are written by ...
7
votes
2answers
398 views

Is there any mathematician who felt guilty for one of his math discoveries ever?

Quoted from Wikipedia: In 1888 Alfred Nobel's brother Ludvig died while visiting Cannes and a French newspaper erroneously published Alfred's obituary. It condemned him for his invention of ...
33
votes
11answers
6k views

Great contributions to mathematics by older mathematicians [closed]

It is often said that mathematicians hit their prime in their twenties, and some even say that no great mathematics is created after that age, or that older mathematicians have their best days behind ...
45
votes
14answers
4k views

Largest “leap-to-generality” in math history?

Grothendieck, who is famous inter alia for his capacity/tendency to look for the most general formulation of a problem, introduced a number of new concepts (with topos maybe the most famous ?) that ...
3
votes
6answers
495 views

math-biography of mathematicians

Some of the mathematicians agree that reading biography (or more specifically, math-autobiography, scientific-biography) gives lot of inspiration for working; and I am one of them. One book which I ...
14
votes
2answers
739 views

What is the most influential work of Grothendieck in mathematics?

Recently Alexander Grothendieck has passed away but his mathematical wave is still alive and passes its growth ages. It is hard to describe the influence of such a great man in mathematics just in few ...