**59**

votes

**22**answers

10k views

### Examples of major theorems with very hard proofs that have NOT dramatically improved over time

This question complement a previous MO question: Examples of theorems with proofs that have dramatically improved over time.
I am looking for a list of
Major theorems in mathematics whose proofs ...

**0**

votes

**2**answers

310 views

### Intuition about covariant derivative/connections on real and complex manifolds

I was hoping to gain more intuition about the similarities and differences between the covariant derivative (of any connection, not necessarily the Levi Civita one if it exists) on real and complex ...

**35**

votes

**33**answers

4k views

### Structures that turn out to exhibit a symmetry even though their definition doesn't

Sometimes (often?) a structure depending on several parameters turns out to be symmetric w.r.t. interchanging two of the parameters, even though the definition gives a priori no clue of that symmetry. ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

688 views

### Mazur's torsion theorem on elliptic curves and its generalisations

I want to study Mazur's torsion theorem for elliptic curves over $Q$ and its generalizations for number fields, i.e., papers by Kamienny, Kenku & Momose, Filip Najman. So please suggest to me what ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

225 views

### Why do convex polytope options constrict with dimension, rather than expand?

There are an infinite number of regular polygons in the plane,
five regular polyhedra,
six regular polytopes in $\mathbb{R}^4$,
and then three regular polytopes in every dimension $d > 4$.
There ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### What is the status of (universal) algebra in type theory?

With the recent interest in homotopy type theory as a foundation for mathematics, it seems natural to develop algebra within the framework of type theory. So far, I can't find much literature ...

**36**

votes

**5**answers

7k views

### What is a cumulant really?

A cumulant is defined via the cumulant generating function
$$ g(t)\stackrel{\tiny def}{=} \sum_{n=1}^\infty \kappa_n \frac{t^n}{n},$$
where
$$
g(t)\stackrel{\tiny def}{=} \log E(e^{tX}).
$$
Cumulants ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

341 views

### Categories of sheaves and Kan Extensions

This is quite a broad question regarding constructions of categories of sheaves in geometry.
Let $\textbf{Sch}$ denote the category of schemes. Let $\textbf{SchAff}$ denote the full subcategory of ...

**23**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Contemporary mathematical themes

The presence of fruitful mathematical themes suggests the unity of mathematics. What I mean by a mathematical theme here is a basic idea or guiding principle that motivates or directs the central ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

557 views

### Motives over the complex numbers versus mixed Hodge structures

Let $\mathsf{MM}(\mathbf C)$ be the hypothetical category of mixed motives over the complex numbers, and consider the realization functor $\Phi : \mathsf{MM}( \mathbf C) \to \mathsf{MHS}$ to integral ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Are overlaps among {algebraic geometry, arithmetic geometry, algebraic number theory} growing?

From a naive outsider's viewpoint, just watching the MO postings
in those three fields scroll by, and hearing of breakthroughs in the news,
it appears there might be increasing overlap among the ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### At which level is it currently possible to write formal proofs?

I am wondering whether I should try to have some fun using proof systems. I have never used such a system, but I have some experiences in logic and programming. My question is: At which level of ...

**11**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### What´s essential to learn about complex spaces and several complex variables for an algebraic geometer?

Hi, I don´t know if this question is suitable for this site. The field of several complex variables is too broad, so I would like to know what´s essential to learn about complex spaces and several ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

611 views

### Generalization of join of simplicial complexes

The join of two abstract simplicial complexes $K$ and $L$, denoted $K\star L$ is defined as a simplicial complex on the base set $V(K)\dot{\cup} V(L)$ whose simplices are disjoint union of simplices ...

**33**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Recent fundamental new directions in PDEs

My main interests are in modern geometry/topology, algebra and mathematical physics. I observe that there is a raising communication, language and social barrier between this community and the ...

**9**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### What is about J. v. Neumann's “Continuous geometry”?

I am curious about von Neumann's "Continuous geometry", but found no recent text or survey on it. Does anyone know the book and would be so nice to share their impression, and if/how the concept of ...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Status of Beilinson conjectures?

(I hesitate to post that question here, but I received on answer on FB:)
Does anyone know how the current status of work on them is? And how the possible generalizations etc. which one thinks ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

487 views

### Is there a deep reason for the fecundity of involutions?

You might have come across the book of involutions in your travels. A colleague of mine asked whether there is a natural global reason (versus ad-hoc trickery) for considering involutions in ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

698 views

### 3D generalizations of permutations, RSK correspondence, contingency tables, etc.

I want to gather facts and questions related to 3D generalizations
of permutations, RSK correspondence, contingency tables,
etc. One reason I am interested in this is because it is potentially
related ...

**16**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Research level applications of “row rank = column rank”?

No less an authority than Gilbert Strang frames "row rank equals column rank" (and a couple of other facts) as "The Fundamental Theorem of Linear Algebra."
I'd simply like to assemble (for teaching ...

**7**

votes

**3**answers

874 views

### spectacular applications of functional analysis in resolutions of apparently unrelated problems

What are some of the spectacular applications of functional analysis to apparently unrelated problems.One that
comes to my mind is Per Enflo's resolution of Hilbert's 5th problem.There are also ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

656 views

### Skeleton category of the category of skeleton categories?

A category is a skeleton if, roughly speaking, no two distinct objects within the category are isomorphic. To every category is associated a skeleton, and two categories are categorically "equivalent" ...

**58**

votes

**12**answers

3k views

### Why is Set, and not Rel, so ubiquitous in mathematics?

The concept of relation in the history of mathematics, either consciously or not, has always been important: think of order relations or equivalence relations.
Why was there the necessity of singling ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Algebraic number theory: building and simplifying

This is a somewhat subjective question, about the past, present and especially future of algebraic number theory. I'm not at all in this area, but I'd be interested in an answer.
As we all know, ...

**20**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### When must it be sets rather than proper classes, or vice-versa, outside of foundational mathematics?

Every once in a blue moon it actually matters that some mathematical entity which might a priori only be a class is in fact a set. For clarification, here are some examples of what I do not ...

**37**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### What do theta functions have to do with quadratic reciprocity?

The theta function is the analytic function $\theta:U\to\mathbb{C}$ defined on the (open) right half-plane $U\subset\mathbb{C}$ by $\theta(\tau)=\sum_{n\in\mathbb{Z}}e^{-\pi n^2 \tau}$. It has the ...

**20**

votes

**4**answers

3k views

### The Riemann Hypothesis and the Langlands program

On page 263 of this book review appears the following:
Given the centrality of L-functions to the Langlands program, nothing would seem more natural (than a presentation of elementary algebraic ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

636 views

### Monte Carlo integration

As probably many other people here, I learned integration, as an undergrad, from Rudin's books. I recently realized, however, that I don't quite use Lebesgue integration in my work, or at least I use ...

**29**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### “Softness” vs “rigidity” in Geometry

According to common wisdom, there are structures in Geometry that have a more "topological" flavor, others that are more "geometrical", and others that are halfway between. Usually, geometries${}^*$ ...

**57**

votes

**7**answers

5k views

### How does “modern” number theory contribute to further understanding of $\mathbb{N}$?

I hope this question is appropriate for MO. It comes from a genuine desire to understand the big picture and ground my own studies "morally".
I'm a graduate student with interest in number theory. I ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Clean introduction to toric varieties for an undergraduate audience

I will be giving a talk to a (primarily) undergraduate audience on certain relatively concrete computations with toric varieties and their blowups. The talk is short, about 20 mins. As I result I need ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

486 views

### What do orbital integrals have to do with reciprocity?

Hi, this is my first question (of many). I am blogging for the Fields Medal Symposium and would like to get into the mathematics involved with our program.
In an attempt to sort through the articles ...

**8**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### What are Penrose Tilings, and how do they relate to Quasicrystals?

The question is in the title, but let me elaborate a little.
Background
Penrose Tilings are really pretty and satisfy some remarkable properties. For instance, I believe the following is true: even ...

**24**

votes

**10**answers

3k views

### What are some interesting problems in the intersection of Algebraic Number Theory and Algebraic Topology?

I'm a beginning graduate student and while my background is primarily in algebraic number theory, I've found myself a bit smitten with the subject of algebraic topology recently after only having read ...

**25**

votes

**6**answers

3k views

### A toolbox for algebraic topology

This question has a very general part and a rather concrete part.
General:
When one wants to prove something in algebraic topology (actually in all parts of mathematics) one obviously needs some ...

**12**

votes

**6**answers

846 views

### Proof by `universal receiver'

Anyone following the news knows about the major breakthoughs that have taken place recently in $3$-manifold topology. These have come via a route whose big-picture I find to be conceptually ...

**13**

votes

**0**answers

757 views

### What is the appropriate setting for Cauchy's Integral Formula?

For a $C^1$ function $f:U\to\mathbb{C}$, where $D\subset U\subseteq \mathbb{C}$ with piecewise $C^1$ boundary $\partial D$, we have the following generalized Cauchy integral formula:
$$
f(\zeta) = \...

**10**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Status of the Leopoldt conjecture ? [closed]

In 2009 Mihailescu published a proof of the famous Leopoldt conjecture on the arxiv. Later on, in 2011, he published a 'lightweight' version that proves the conjecture for CM fields. Also compare
...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Elevator pitch for the Virtual Fibering Theorem

There has been a great deal of excitement among topologists about the proof of the Virtual Haken Theorem, and in fact of the Virtual Fibering Theorem (for closed hyperbolic 3-manifolds, but I'm ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

853 views

### Explaining Mukai-Fourier transforms physically

A core concept in mathematics, engineering, and physics is the Fourier Transform (FT) and its many variants (Generalized Fourier Series, Green's Function, Pontryagin duality).
The basic algorithm is ...

**28**

votes

**1**answer

865 views

### Coefficients of Weil Cohomology Theories

A Weil Cohomology theory is a functor from the category of smooth projective varieties (over some fixed field $k$) to graded $K$-algebras (for some fixed field $K$) satisfying various axioms. For ...

**16**

votes

**3**answers

860 views

### Proofs that inspire and teach

I was just listening to the show "A Splendid Table" (which I'd recommend, if you're interested in food) in which they were discussing how to spot a good recipe: one which you can follow successfully ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

871 views

### Which mathematical questions are objectively true or false? [closed]

Which parts of mathematics are objectively true or false like finite arithmetic and which are only true, false or undecidable relative to a particular axiom system such as Euclidean geometry?
...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Duality of eta product identities: a new idea?

Looking at the collection of Eta Function Product Identities by Michael Somos, it seems like generally those identities come in pairs:
let's call two eta product identities $\sum\limits_{i=1}^r ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

204 views

### Finite subgroups of the unimodular group

This is related to this MO question (and others as well).
Hoping that this will not turn out to be too broad, I would like to know about the 'state of the art' of:
1) The problem of classifying ...

**2**

votes

**1**answer

454 views

### Is there a well defined subset of the integers that cannot be defined as a property of a recursive process or Turing Machine?

Is there a well defined subset of the integers that cannot be defined as a property of a recursive process or Turing Machine?
I have long been intrigued by the observation that much of mathematics ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

582 views

### Why are some q-analogues more canonical than others?

It is striking that some q-analogs of functions, operators, identities and especially whole theorems seem quite "canonical", e.g.
the factorial and the q-Gamma function
the basic hypergeometric ...

**44**

votes

**6**answers

5k views

### What is the significance of non-commutative geometry in mathematics?

This is a question that has been winding around my head for a long time and I have not found a convincing answer. The title says everything, but I am going to enrich my question by little more ...

**1**

vote

**2**answers

1k views

### Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic [closed]

Undoubtedly, these terms play essential roles in (pure) mathematics. My problem is that I have feelings what they mean in different fields, such as, differential geometry (abstract manifolds vs. ...

**1**

vote

**2**answers

1k views

### An undergraduate's guide to the foundational theorems of logic [closed]

How would you explain one of these theorems in the foundations of mathematics to a fellow colleague outside the field of logic (or rather to an undergraduate mathematics student) handwaving over the ...