Questions designed to generate a "big list" of certain results, examples, conjectures, etc. via many individual answers, each contributing one or a few instances. Such a question should typically be in Community Wiki mode (CW); after asking, please, flag for moderators attention requesting the ...

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152
votes
89answers
26k views

Not especially famous, long-open problems which anyone can understand

Question: I'm asking for a big list of not especially famous, long open problems that anyone can understand. Community wiki, so one problem per answer, please. Motivation: I plan to use this list ...
57
votes
13answers
16k views

Top specialized journals

In geometry/topology, there are (at least) three specialized journals that end up publishing a large fraction of the best papers in the subject -- Geometry and Topology, JDG, and GAFA. What journals ...
22
votes
3answers
732 views

Graduate program applications that require questionnaires and other non-letter material

In the December 2014 AMS Notices, a letter to the editor (http://www.ams.org/notices/201411/rnoti-p1311.pdf) by Deconinck and Medlock addresses the problem of (math) graduate programs requiring letter ...
41
votes
46answers
14k views

An example of a beautiful proof that would be accessible at the high school level?

The background of my question comes from an observation that what we teach in schools does not always reflect what we practice. Beauty is part of what drives mathematicians, but we rarely talk about ...
100
votes
20answers
22k views

Examples of unexpected mathematical images

I try to generate a lot of examples in my research to get a better feel for what I am doing. Sometimes, I generate a plot, or a figure, that really surprises me, and makes my research take an ...
105
votes
64answers
14k views

Suggestions for good notation

I occasionally come across a new piece of notation so good that it makes life easier by giving a better way to look at something. Some examples: Iverson introduced the notation [X] to mean 1 if X is ...
74
votes
50answers
14k views

Counterexamples in Algebra?

This is certainly related to "What are your favorite instructional counterexamples?", but I thought I would ask a more focused question. We've all seen Counterexamples in Analysis and Counterexamples ...
9
votes
18answers
17k views

Text for an introductory Real Analysis course.

Any suggestions on a good text to use for teaching an introductory Real Analysis course? Specifically what have you found to be useful about the approach taken in specific texts?
126
votes
36answers
32k views

Widely accepted mathematical results that were later shown wrong?

I wonder if there are any examples in the history of mathematics of a mathematical proof that was initially reviewed and widely accepted as valid, only to be disproved a significant amount of time ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

How and how much do the notations and diagrams influence our understanding of mathematical concepts?

How and how much do the notations and diagrams influence our understanding of mathematical concepts? This question was stimulated by the MathOverflow questions Thinking and Explaining and ...
86
votes
33answers
51k views

Best Algebraic Geometry text book? (other than Hartshorne)

I think (almost) everyone agrees that Hartshorne's Algebraic Geometry is still the best. Then what might be the 2nd best? It can be a book, preprint, online lecture note, webpage, etc. One suggestion ...
116
votes
29answers
36k views

Real-world applications of mathematics, by arxiv subject area?

What are the most important applications outside of mathematics of each of the major fields of mathematics? For concreteness, let's divide up mathematics according to arxiv mathematics categories, ...
88
votes
97answers
55k views

Famous mathematical quotes [closed]

Some famous quotes often give interesting insights into the vision of mathematics that certain mathematicians have. Which ones are you particularly fond of? Standard community wiki rules apply: one ...
45
votes
13answers
6k views

Contest problems with connections to deeper mathematics.

Hi, I already posted this on math.stackexchange, but I'm also posting it here because I think that it might get more and better answers here! Hope this is okay. We all know that problems from, for ...
14
votes
19answers
17k views

Good books on problem solving / math olympiad

Hello, I would want all book tips you could think of regarding Problem solving and books in general, in elementary mathematics, with a certain flavour for "advanced problem solving". An example would ...
5
votes
7answers
8k views

Pseudo-random number generation algorithms

What algorithms are used in modern and good-quality random number generators?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

The resolution of which conjecture/problem would advance Mathematics the most? [closed]

This is an impossibly broad question, and makes the unwarranted assumption that Mathematics is a uniform field. It might make more sense to ask the same question restricted to, say, Mathematical ...
28
votes
19answers
6k views

Interesting applications (in pure mathematics) of first-year calculus

What interesting applications are there for theorems or other results studied in first-year calculus courses? A good example for such an application would be using a calculus theorem to prove a ...
36
votes
15answers
7k views

Is there a nice application of category theory to functional/complex/harmonic analysis?

[Title changed, and wording of question tweaked, by YC, because the original title asked a question which seems different from the one people want to answer.] I've read looked at the examples in ...
430
votes
186answers
110k views

Examples of common false beliefs in mathematics

The first thing to say is that this is not the same as the question about interesting mathematical mistakes. I am interested about the type of false beliefs that many intelligent people have while ...
-3
votes
1answer
121 views

Decidable theorem or result that is not weaker than Tarski's theorem

I am wondering what other decidable theorem or results that is not weaker or stronger than Tarski's theorem. Could any one give reference or a simple introduction about such result known in their ...
81
votes
28answers
14k views

Are there other nice math books close to the style of Tristan Needham?

Hello, I've been very positively impressed by Tristan Needham's book "Visual Complex Analysis", a very original and atypical mathematics book which is more oriented to helping intuition and insight ...
0
votes
1answer
313 views

Applications of the natural bilinear forms on the direct sum between a vector space and its dual

As is known, the vector space $V\oplus V^\ast$ admits the natural symmetric and skew-symmetric bilinear forms $$\langle X+\xi,Y+\eta\rangle|_\pm:=\frac 1 2 (\xi(Y) \pm \eta(X)).$$ I am interested in ...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

Combinatorial Databases

At one point, I remember being excited by seeing the website Encyclopedia of Combinatorial Structures as an extension of Sloane's Online Integer Sequence Database site. Unfortunately, the site (ECS) ...
33
votes
21answers
8k views

Open source mathematical software.

I want some recomendation on which software I should install on my computer, an open source program for general abstract mathematical purposes (as opposed to applied mathematics). I would likely use ...
87
votes
68answers
14k views

Most helpful math resources on the web

What are really helpful math resources out there on the web? Please don't only post a link but a short description of what it does and why it is helpful. Please only one resource per answer and let ...
91
votes
77answers
20k views

Examples of great mathematical writing

This question is basically from Ravi Vakil's web page, but modified for Math Overflow. How do I write mathematics well? Learning by example is more helpful than being told what to do, so let's try to ...
16
votes
16answers
2k views

Math books for advanced high school students

I'm working in a program for teaching a group of students selected in a Olympiad competition. The program is aimed to acquaint the students with the diverse aspects of higher mathematics in a way ...
24
votes
13answers
1k views

Big list of repositories of mathematical preprints and postprints

I'm looking for a extensive list of online repositories of mathematical preprints and postprints. I'm interested in every type of repository, including small informal and semi-formal collections, like ...
33
votes
9answers
3k views

List of Classifying Spaces and Covers

I am looking for a list of classifying spaces $BG$ of groups $G$ (discrete and/or topological) along with associated covers $EG$; there does not seem to be such cataloging on the web. Or if not a ...
13
votes
11answers
3k views

Mathematics and cancer research?

What are applications of mathematics in cancer research? My answer. Unfortunately I heard quite small about math, but I heard something about applications of physics. And let me put this story here, ...
13
votes
5answers
830 views

Examples of research on how people perceive mathematical objects

What examples are there on research related to human perception and mathematical objects? For example, the shape of a beer glass influences drinking habits, since people are bad at integrating. ...
37
votes
30answers
37k views

What programming languages do mathematicians use? [closed]

I understand this might be a slightly subjective question, but I am honestly curious what programming languages are used by the mathematics community. I would imagine that there is a group of ...
28
votes
14answers
3k views

Fantastic properties of Z/2Z

Recently I gave a lecture to master's students about some nice properties of the group with two elements $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$. Typically, I wanted to present simple, natural situations where the ...
35
votes
31answers
6k views

Trichotomies in mathematics

Added. Thanks to all who participated! Let me humbly apologize to those who were annoyed (quite understandably) by this thread, deeming it nothing more than an exercise in futility. If you thought the ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

The link and equivalence between variant definition of computation model and computational complexity over reals

To unify the numerical computation and classic computability theory, or to pave a foundation for the numerical computation, mathematicians present variant computation model and computational ...
108
votes
75answers
34k views

Best online mathematics videos?

I know of two good mathematics videos available online, namely: Sphere inside out (part I and part II) Moebius transformation revealed Do you know of any other good math videos? Share.
53
votes
16answers
5k views

What makes four dimensions special?

Do you know properties which distinguish four-dimensional spaces among the others? What makes four-dimensional topological manifolds special? What makes four-dimensional differentiable manifolds ...
35
votes
36answers
5k views

Results true in a dimension and false for higher dimensions

Some theorems are true in vector spaces for a given dimension $n$ but become false in higher dimensions. Here are two examples: A positive polynomial not reaching its minimum. Impossible in ...
66
votes
36answers
25k views

Most interesting mathematics mistake?

Some mistakes in mathematics made by extremely smart and famous people can eventually lead to interesting developments and theorems, e.g. Poincare's 3d sphere charaterization or the search to prove ...
22
votes
17answers
3k views

What are your favorite puzzles/toys for introducing new mathematical concepts to students?

We all know that the Rubik's Cube provides a nice concrete introduction to group theory. I'm wondering what other similar gadgets are out there that you've found useful for introducing new math to ...
24
votes
53answers
9k views

German mathematical terms like “Nullstellensatz”

There are quite a few german mathematical theorems or notions which usually are not translated into other languages. For example, Nullstellensatz, Hauptvermutung, Freiheitssatz, Eigenvector (the ...
18
votes
21answers
3k views

History Question: AUTObiography of Mathematicians

According to Wikipedia, an autobiography is an account of the life of a person, written by that person sometimes with a collaborator. An autobiography offers the author the ability to recreate ...
32
votes
19answers
6k views

Wonderful applications of the Vandermonde determinant

This semester I am assisting my mentor teaching a first-year undergraduate course on linear algebra in Peking University, China. And now we have come to the famous Vandermonde determinant, which has ...
15
votes
4answers
888 views

Mathematical research papers in general science journals

I am interested in collecting a list of research papers with a mainly mathematical focus that appeared in high-reputation general science journals without a dedicated mathematics section. This would ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Discrete Mathematics textbooks for undergraduates

For the first time, I will be teaching a course on Discrete Mathematics for electrical and computer undergraduates students. I intend to focus on practical applications. I would be grateful if ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

“Oldest” bug in computer algebra system?

The goal of this question is to find an error in a computation by a computer algebra system where the 'correct' answer (complete with correct reasoning to justify the answer) can be found in the ...
65
votes
33answers
15k views

Computer Algebra Errors

In the course of doing mathematics, I make extensive use of computer-based calculations. There's one CAS that I use mostly, even though I occasionally come across out-and-out wrong answers. After ...
34
votes
24answers
6k views

Examples of seemingly elementary problems that are hard to solve?

I'm looking for a list of problems such that a) any undergraduate student who took multivariable calculus and linear algebra can understand the statements, (Edit: the definition of understanding here ...
6
votes
2answers
350 views

Rational points techniques on curves not using their Jacobian

Let $C/K$ be a curve of genus > 2 over a number field $K$ and suppose there exists a $p \in C(K)$. Then a recurring theme in studying $C(K)$ is using the map $C \to J(C)$ normalized by sending $p$ to ...