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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

53
votes
46answers
7k views

Important formulas in Combinatorics

Motivation: The poster for the conference celebrating Noga Alon's 60th birthday, fifteen formulas describing some of Alon's work are presented. (See this post, for the poster, and cash prizes offered ...
68
votes
37answers
9k views

Experimental Mathematics

I would like to ask about examples where experimentation by computers have led to major mathematical advances. A new look Now as the question is five years old and there are certainly more examples ...
88
votes
92answers
11k views

What would you want to see at the Museum of Mathematics?

EDIT (30 Nov 2012): MoMath is opening in a couple of weeks, so this seems like it might be a good time for any last-minute additions to this question before I vote to close my own question as "no ...
52
votes
15answers
7k views

Contest problems with connections to deeper mathematics

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 ...
34
votes
2answers
3k views

Open problems/questions in representation theory and around?

What are open problems in representation theory? What are the sources (books/papers/sites) discussing this? Any kinds of problems/questions are welcome - big/small, vague/concrete. Some estimation ...
137
votes
67answers
45k views

Awfully sophisticated proof for simple facts [closed]

It is sometimes the case that one can produce proofs of simple facts that are of disproportionate sophistication which, however, do not involve any circularity. For example, (I think) I gave an ...
93
votes
16answers
22k views

Mathematical software wish list

Like many other mathematicians I use mathematical software like SAGE, GAP, Polymake, and of course $\LaTeX$ extensively. When I chat with colleagues about such software tools, very often someone has ...
64
votes
16answers
6k 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 ...
488
votes
199answers
125k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Noncommutative analogs of classical Banach geometric properties

The scale of Schatten-von Neumann classes is noncommutatitve analog of classical $\ell_p$-spaces. A lot of researchers devoted their lives to study Banach geometric structure of these spaces. ...
128
votes
72answers
22k views

Your favorite surprising connections in Mathematics

There are certain things in mathematics that have caused me a pleasant surprise -- when some part of mathematics is brought to bear in a fundamental way on another, where the connection between the ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Rhombus tilings with more than three directions

The point of this question is to construct a list of references on the following subject: Fix vectors $v_1$, $v_2$, ..., $v_g$ in $\mathbb{R}^2$, all lying in a half plane in that cyclic order. I am ...
6
votes
2answers
745 views

Survey papers on the role played by PDE in mathematics

There are already several questions on MathOverflow that inquire about the many diverse relationships between PDE and several other 'areas' of mathematics (e.g., algebraic and differential geometry ...
224
votes
72answers
88k views

Video lectures of mathematics courses available online for free

It can be difficult to learn mathematics on your own from textbooks, and I often wish universities videotaped their mathematics courses and distributed them for free online. Fortunately, some ...
110
votes
56answers
23k views

What are your favorite instructional counterexamples?

Related: question #879, Most interesting mathematics mistake. But the intent of this question is more pedagogical. In many branches of mathematics, it seems to me that a good counterexample can be ...
114
votes
26answers
26k 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 ...
100
votes
40answers
11k views

Generalizing a problem to make it easier

One of the many articles on the Tricki that was planned but has never been written was about making it easier to solve a problem by generalizing it (which initially seems paradoxical because if you ...
45
votes
37answers
5k views

Results true in a dimension and false for higher dimensions

Some theorems are true in vector spaces or in manifolds for a given dimension $n$ but become false in higher dimensions. Here are two examples: A positive polynomial not reaching its minimum. ...
2
votes
0answers
107 views

What other axioms for set theory can be written in the form: “If mathematical structures $X$ and $Y$ are equipotent, then they're isomorphic”?

The "injective continuum function hypothesis" (ICF) is the following statement. ICF (Version 0). For all cardinal numbers $\kappa$ and $\nu$, we have $2^\kappa = 2^\nu \rightarrow \kappa = \nu.$ ...
204
votes
67answers
98k views

Proofs without words

Can you give examples of proofs without words? In particular, can you give examples of proofs without words for non-trivial results? (One could ask if this is of interest to mathematicians, and I ...
20
votes
25answers
6k views

Is there an image for you that epitomizes mathematics? [closed]

Can you think of an image, whether technical or nontechnical, available for viewing online that says a lot about what you think mathematics or a particular field of mathematics is all about? For ...
136
votes
27answers
16k views

What are some reasonable-sounding statements that are independent of ZFC?

Every now and then, somebody will tell me about a question. When I start thinking about it, they say, "actually, it's undecidable in ZFC." For example, suppose A is an abelian group such that every ...
4
votes
2answers
379 views

$C^{*}$ algebras which do not admit nontrivial idempotent morphism

In this question which I flag it as a community wiki, I search for a big list of $C^{*}$ algebras(and a big list of criterions) which do not admit a non trivial idempotent $C^{*}-$morphism. I ...
91
votes
69answers
15k 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
828 views

Statements reliant on conjectures

There are lots of statements that have been conditionally proved on the assumption that the Riemann Hypothesis is true. What other conjectures have a large number of proven consequences?
40
votes
24answers
7k views

The concept of Duality

I have been thinking for sometime about asking this question, but because I did not want to have two "big-list" questions open at the same time, I did not ask this one. Now its time has come. ...
103
votes
46answers
32k views

Ways to prove the fundamental theorem of algebra

This seems to be a favorite question everywhere, including Princeton quals. How many ways are there? Please give a new way in each answer, and if possible give reference. I start by giving two: ...
186
votes
97answers
31k 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 ...
84
votes
53answers
15k 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 ...
36
votes
23answers
9k views

Open source mathematical software

I want some recommendation on which software I should install on my computer. I'm looking for an open source program for general abstract mathematical purposes (as opposed to applied mathematics). I ...
60
votes
32answers
10k views

What notions are used but not clearly defined in modern mathematics?

"Everyone knows what a curve is, until he has studied enough mathematics to become confused through the countless number of possible exceptions." Felix Klein What notions are used but not ...
63
votes
65answers
9k views

Old books still used

It's a commonplace to state that while other sciences (like biology) may always need the newest books, we mathematicians also use to use older books. While this is a qualitative remark, I would like ...
35
votes
22answers
3k views

What are examples of good toy models in mathematics?

This post is community wiki. A comment on another question reminded me of this old post of Terence Tao's about toy models. I really like the idea of using toy models of a difficult object to ...
29
votes
15answers
1k views

Discovering and selecting conferences

Last summer, there were several excellent summer schools in my field that I learned of only after the application date. The events I did attend were chosen without too much care. I'm planning for the ...
167
votes
30answers
16k views

Which journals publish expository work?

I wonder if anyone else has noticed that the market for expository papers in mathematics is very narrow (more so than it used to be, perhaps). Are there any journals which publish expository work, ...
33
votes
30answers
11k views

Most intricate and most beautiful structures in mathematics

In the December 2010 issue of Scientific American, an article "A Geometric Theory of Everything" by A. G. Lisi and J. O. Weatherall states "... what is arguably the most intricate structure known to ...
27
votes
22answers
7k views

Titles composed entirely of math symbols

I apologize for burdening MO with such a vapid, nonresearch question, but I have been curious ever since Suvrit's popular October 2010 Most memorable titles MO question if there were any ...
10
votes
8answers
3k views

Leibnizian calculus textbook

Where can I find a calculus textbook that emphasizes differentials? Is there such a book that I could realistically require my calculus students to use? I want a textbook that supports me when I tell ...
27
votes
35answers
4k views

What are some mathematical sculptures?

Either intentionally or unintentionally. Include location and sculptor, if known.
42
votes
34answers
6k views

Are there any books that take a 'theorems as problems' approach?

Are there any books that present theorems as problems? To be more specific, a book on elementary group theory might have written: "Theorem: Each group has exactly one identity" and then show a proof ...
64
votes
61answers
26k views

Favorite popular math book [closed]

Christmas is almost here, so imagine you want to buy a good popular math book for your aunt (or whoever you want). Which book would you buy or recommend? It would be nice if you could answer in the ...
69
votes
22answers
7k views

Fields of mathematics that were dormant for a long time until someone revitalized them

I thought that the closed question here could be modified to a very interesting question (at least as far as big-list type questions go). Can people name examples of fields of mathematics that were ...
8
votes
7answers
586 views

Finite-space dynamical systems

This question is quite open-ended, but I will formulate several sub-questions that I'll try to make precise. It is about finite-state dynamical system: start with a finite set $X$, with say $n$ ...
54
votes
54answers
10k views

Books you would like to see translated into English.

I have recently been told of a proposal to produce an English translation of Landau's Handbuch der Lehre von der Verteilung der Primzahlen, and this prompts me to ask a more general question: ...
54
votes
8answers
6k views

Least collaborative mathematician

The recent question about the most prolific collaboration interested me. How about this question in the opposite direction, then: can anyone beat, amongst contemporary mathematicians, the example of ...
10
votes
14answers
6k views

undergraduate logic textbook

I am going to teach the standard undergraduate Logic course for math and engineering majors. What are good (bad) text-books and why. I have not taught that course for a while and wonder if there are ...
32
votes
17answers
5k views

Great mathematical figures and/or diagrams?

Most math papers have few figures, if any, although sometimes a well-chosen figure can be a tremendous help in understanding mathematical concepts. Does anyone have any examples of notable uses of ...
50
votes
16answers
5k views

Solving algebraic problems with topology

Often, topologists reduce a problem which is - in some sense - of geometric nature, into an algebraic question that is then (partiallly) solved to give back some understanding of the original problem. ...
0
votes
1answer
201 views

Collection of graduate research projects in Real Analysis [closed]

While there are many open problems in Real Analysis like Khabibullin's conjecture or Lehmer's conjecture, those are big enough to take an expert's life for several years, let alone some graduate ...
59
votes
15answers
6k views

Mathematical research published in the form of poems

The article Friedrich Wille: Galerkins Lösungsnäherungen bei monotonen Abbildungen, Math. Z. 127 (1972), no. 1, 10-16 is written in the form of a lengthy poem, in a style similar to that of the ...