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13
votes
12answers
2k views

Excellent uses of induction and recursion

Can you make an example of a great proof by induction or construction by recursion? Given that you already have your own idea of what "great" means, here it can also be taken to mean that the chosen ...
23
votes
11answers
2k views

Interesting conjectures “discovered” by computers and proved by humans?

There are notable examples of computers "proving" results discovered by mathematicians, what about the opposite: Are there interesting conjectures "discovered" by computers and proved by humans? ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Arithmetic geometry examples

(This is inspired by Algebraic geometry examples.) I want to collect here (counter)examples in arithmetic geometry. Curves violating the Hasse principle: The Selmer curve $3X^3 + 4Y^3 + 5Z^3 = 0$. ...
41
votes
28answers
4k views

What are some examples of ingenious, unexpected constructions?

Many famous problems in mathematics can be phrased as the quest for a specific construction. Often such constructions were sought after for centuries or even millennia and later proved impossible by ...
7
votes
1answer
332 views

Mean value property with fixed radius

Let $f$ be a continuous function defined on $\mathbb{R^n}$. It is well known that both the spherical mean value property (MVP) of $f$, i.e. $$f(x)=\frac{1}{|\partial B(x,r)|}\int_{\partial B(x,r)}f,\ ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Easy and Hard problems in Mathematics [closed]

Modified question: I would like to know some examples of problems in Mathematics, for pedagogical purposes, which do not involve difficult techiques to solve the problem but with a change of context ...
3
votes
0answers
183 views

Seek “typical examples” for the structure of spaces with two-sided Ricci bounds

By a 1990 paper of Michael Anderson, the following is true: Theorem. Let the metric space $(X,d,p)$ be a pointed Gromov-Hausdorff limit of a sequence of complete pointed Riemannian manifolds ...
12
votes
2answers
725 views

A simplicial complex which is not collapsible, but whose barycentric subdivision is

Does anyone know of a simplicial complex which is not collapsible but whose barycentric subdivision is? Every collapsible complex is necessarily contractible, and subdivision preserves the ...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

“Highly balanced” periodic functions

The function $f(x) = e^{2\pi ix}$ on the domain $\mathbb{R}/\mathbb{Z}$ has the property that, for every $n > 1$ and every $x$, $\displaystyle \sum_{i = 0}^{n-1} f(x + \frac{i}{n}) = 0$. Other ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

When are technical assumptions critical? [closed]

Apart from their technical statement and proof, a usual presentation of theorems is by leading up to them with a definite motivation or intuition, for example putting the results in the wider context ...
8
votes
1answer
316 views

Examples of exotic modules for the additive group

Let $k$ be an algebraically closed field of positive characteristic $p > 0$, and let $X$ be an intedeterminate over $k$. I am interested in the additive group scheme $\mathbb{G}_a$, that is, the ...
14
votes
1answer
592 views

What are “good” examples of string manifolds?

Based on this mathoverlow question, I would like to have a similar list for the case of string manifolds. An $n$-dim. Riemannian manifold $M$ is said to be string, if the classifying map of its bundle ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

What are “good” examples of spin manifolds?

I'm trying to get a grasp on what it means for a manifold to be spin. My question is, roughly: What are some "good" (in the sense of illustrating the concept) examples of manifolds which are spin ...
5
votes
3answers
199 views

two essentially different concretizaions

It is sometimes emphasized that a "concrete category" is not a property of a category $C$, but rather a structure, i.e. a faithful functor from $C$ to $Set$. Thus, When people talk about a concrete ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Non-uniruled variety with level one Hodge structure.

I wonder if there exists one example of non-uniruled algebraic variety with level one Hodge structure.
2
votes
2answers
565 views

Non-split groups

I am looking for a reference with definitions on what it means for an algebraic group to be split, quasi-split, and non-split. I would like to see some examples of the different "types". Thanks, Tom
3
votes
2answers
886 views

Is beauty at the high school level even possible? [closed]

This question is a follow up to 74841, and follows from a suggestion by Gian-Carlo Rota that beauty as judged by the educated public differs from that experienced by mathematicians (he gives Euclidean ...
32
votes
22answers
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 ...
40
votes
44answers
12k 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 ...
40
votes
27answers
4k views

Examples where it's useful to know that a mathematical object belongs to some family of objects

For an expository piece I'm writing, it would be useful to have good examples of the following phenomenon: (1) ${\cal X}$ is a parameterized family of somethings. (Varieties, schemes, manifolds, ...
26
votes
3answers
2k views

Wanted: example of a non-algebraic singularity

Given a finitely generated $\def\CC{\mathbb C}\CC$-algebra $R$ and a $\CC$-point (maximal ideal) $p\in Spec(R)$, I define the singularity type of $p\in Spec(R)$ to be the isomorphism class of the ...
0
votes
0answers
209 views

Example of function with a certain behavior.

Let $f: R \rightarrow R$. Consider the following properties: $(1)$ - There are positive constants $a$ and $r$ such that $\forall x, y$ $$|f(x)-f(y)|\leq a(1 + |x|^r+|y|^r)|x-y|.$$ $(2)$ - There is a ...
3
votes
1answer
318 views

Examples of “inner products” of parallel morphisms in a dagger category

There is a very interesting abstract notion of the trace of an endomorphism $f : c \to c$ of an object $c$ in a braided monoidal category (although the symmetric case is easier): see, for example, ...
3
votes
2answers
418 views

higher order structure by higher order derivatives

Anyone recall a structure determined by a 3rd order partial derivative? not the general nth order of recent Baranovsky
5
votes
2answers
627 views

The rank of a not necessarily finitely generated module.

This question is motivated by this one. The main point of the question (was) to try to weaken the notion of rank. After the answers and comments, it seems this is not a good way to do it, but perhaps ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

An example of a rank one projective R-Module that is not invertible

Let $R$ be a commutative noetherian ring. I know that an $R$-module is invertible iff it is finitely generated and locally free of rank one. I presume then that there are examples of non-finitely ...
5
votes
0answers
416 views

Principal $G$-bundles as fully extended TQFTs, and $n$-representations

This is a follow up to this MO question: Fully dualizable objects in classical field theories Assuming the notation there (which in turn come from Topological Quantum Field Theories from Compact Lie ...
45
votes
6answers
3k views

Simplest examples of nonisomorphic complex algebraic varieties with isomorphic analytifications

If they are not proper, two complex algebraic varieties can be nonisomorphic yet have isomorphic analytifications. I've heard informal examples (often involving moduli spaces), but am not sure of the ...
6
votes
2answers
332 views

Cohen-Macaulay domain with non-Cohen-Macaulay normalization?

Is the normalization of a Cohen-Macaulay domain necessarily Cohen-Macaulay? I suspect that the answer is no, but I don't have a counterexample. I am most interested in "geometric" situations, so one ...
10
votes
2answers
848 views

Families of curves for which the Belyi degree can be easily bounded

I know (edit: three) families of smooth projective connected curves over $\bar{\mathbf{Q}}$ for which the Belyi degree is not hard to bound from above. The modular curves $X(n)$. They are ...
3
votes
3answers
706 views

Algebraic structures of greater cardinality than the continuum?

Are there interesting algebraic structures whose cardinality is greater than the continuum? Obviously, you could just build a product group of $\beth_2$ many groups of whole numbers to get to such a ...
4
votes
5answers
788 views

Appearances of 'exotic' compact Lie Groups

The structure theorem for compact Lie Groups states that all compact Lie groups are finite central quotients of a product of copies of $U(1)$ and simple compact Lie groups. And yet, as easy as ...
4
votes
1answer
628 views

On the Existence of Certain Fourier Series

Is there an $f\in L^{1}(T)$ whose partial sums of Fourier series $S_{n}(f)$ satisfies $\|S_{n}(f)\|_{L^{1}(T)} \rightarrow \|f\|_{L^{1}(T)}$ but $S_{n}(f)$ fails to converge to $f$ in $L^1$-norm ?
7
votes
3answers
292 views

Non-trivial integral forms of algebras

Suppose $\mathcal{A}$ is a $\mathbf{C}$-algebra then an integral form would be a subring $\mathcal{B} \subset \mathcal{A}$ such that the canonical map $\mathcal{B} \otimes_{\mathbf{Z}} \mathbf{C} ...
8
votes
5answers
646 views

Spaces of filters

This question arose more from curiosity than from an actual problem. There are situations when you embed some space $X$ in a set of filters on $X$, which inherits properties of $X$ or has even better ...
2
votes
6answers
561 views

Examples of “Unusual” Classifications

When one says "classification" in math, usually one of a handful of examples springs to mind: -Classification of Finite Simple Groups with 18 infinite families and 26 sporadic examples (assuming one ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Examples of naturally occurring Quadratic forms or quadrics.

I am always fascinated when a quadratic form (or a quadric) arises naturally. I have some elementary examples, but most of all, I want to learn more examples. I hope this question isn't considered too ...
8
votes
2answers
489 views

Statements forced by one condition of a poset, but not the whole thing

In order to get the relative consistency of some statement, it suffices to find a notion of forcing, and a condition $p$ in that forcing, such that $p$ forces the desired statement. It seems to be ...
4
votes
4answers
609 views

Examples of $G_\delta$ sets

Recall that a subset A of a metric space X is a $G_\delta$ subset if it can be written as a countable intersection of open sets. This notion is related to the Baire category theorem. Here are three ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Applications of the notion of of Gromov-Hausdorff distance

I am looking for applications of the notion of Gromov-Hausdorff convergence to prove theorems that a priori have nothing to do with it. Examples that I am aware of (thanks to wikipedia and google): ...
43
votes
29answers
9k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Simple bijection between reals and sets of natural numbers

Using the Cantor–Bernstein–Schröder theorem, it is easy to prove that there exists a bijection between the set of reals and the power set of the natural numbers. However, it turns out to be difficult ...
10
votes
4answers
872 views

Exotic principal ideal domains

Recently I realized that the only PIDs I know how to write down that aren't fields are $\mathbb{Z}, F[x]$ for $F$ a field, integral closures of these in finite extensions of their fraction fields that ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

Is there a category with a subobject classifier but which is not finitely complete?

This is a reverse of the question “Is there a finitely complete category with terminal object but NO subobject classifier?” From “An informal introduction to topos theory” by Tom Leinster I learned ...
3
votes
4answers
937 views

Interesting examples of flasque sheaves?

Does anyone know any interesting examples of flasque sheaves? Ideally, I would like to see one that both arises naturally and is geometric in some sense. On the other hand, I know so few examples ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Example of a projective module which is not a direct sum of f.g. submodules?

This semester I am teaching a graduate course in commutative algebra, and I have been taking the occasion to try to look at the proofs of some the results in my basic source material (Matsumura, ...
68
votes
6answers
4k views

Counterexamples in algebraic topology?

In this thread Books you would like to read (if somebody would just write them...), I expressed my desire for a book with the title "(Counter)examples in Algebraic Topology". My reason for doing so ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

Nonfree projective module over a regular UFD?

What is the simplest example of a domain $R$ which is regular (in particular Noetherian) and factorial which admits a finitely generated projective module that is not free? In fact I'll be at least ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Locally compact Hausdorff space that is not normal

What is a good example of a locally compact Hausdorff space that is not normal? It seems to be well-known that not all locally compact Hausdorff spaces are normal (and only a weaker version of ...
5
votes
9answers
1k views

Examples of two different descriptions of a set that are not obviously equivalent?

I am teaching a course in enumerative combinatorics this semester and one of my students asked for deeper clarification regarding the difference between a "combinatorial" and a "bijective" proof. ...