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95k views

Do good math jokes exist? [closed]

Have a good joke? Share. I know this is subjective, but the principle "should be of interest to mathematicians" trumps. (I hope.)
212 views

Is the field of invariants $k(V)^G$ purely transcendental over $k$?

Reference: http://www.math.u-psud.fr/~colliot/mumbai04.pdf Proposition 4.3. on page 18 in the above reference reads as follows: Assume $k = \overline{k}$. If $V$ is a finite dimensional vector space ...
31k views

Fundamental Examples

It is not unusual that a single example or a very few shape an entire mathematical discipline. Can you give examples for such examples? (One example, or few, per post, please) I'd love to learn about ...
18k 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 ...
9k views

Mistakes in mathematics, false illusions about conjectures

Since long time ago I have been thinking in two problems that I have not been able to solve. It seems that one of them was recently solved. I have been thinking a lot about the motivation and its ...
109k 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 ...
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What are types of coalgebras that are more naturally described by cooperads?

Some background. Let $\mathsf{C}$ be a symmetric monoidal category. An object $X \in \mathsf{C}$ has two operads "naturally" (the two constructions aren't functorial) associated to it: the operad of ...
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Applications of the Weak and Weak$^*$ topologies to PDEs?

Chapter $3$ of Functional Analysis, Sobolev Spaces and Partial Differential Equations by Haim Brezis constructs and explains the Weak and Weak$^*$ topologies over a Banach Space $E$. The most ...
53k 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 ...
50 views

Problems and Algorithms Requiring Non-Bipartite Matching

While the importance of the non-bipartite matching problem itself from an algorithmic and complexity point of view is well known, applications of non-bipartite matching are hard to find. I did an ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
374 views

Densest Graphs with Unique Perfect Matching

Given a graph $G$ with $n$ vertices, that has a perfect matching $M$, what is the maximal number of edges that $G$ can have without contradicting the uniqueness of $M$? Are examples of such extremal ...
955 views

What's the use of Malgrange preparation theorem?

The Malgrange preparation theorem,which is the $C^{\infty}$ version of the classical Weierstrass preparation theorem,says that if $f(t,x)$ is a $C^{\infty}$ function of $(t,x)\in\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ near ...
2k 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, ...
19k 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 ...
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Looking for a Collection of Examples and Counter Examples for Assumptions about the Properties of Planar Euclidean TSP Instances?

Where can I find example and counter examples to seemingly plausible assumption about the properties of optimal solutions of planar euclidean TSP instances? The reason for asking is that the ...
3k views

$A$ is isomorphic to $A \oplus \mathbb{Z}^2$, but not to $A \oplus \mathbb{Z}$

Are there abelian groups $A$ with $A \cong A \oplus \mathbb{Z}^2$ and $A \not\cong A \oplus \mathbb{Z}$?
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uniqueness of a limit of a pseudo convergent set

Is there an example of valued field in which any pseudo convergent set has a limit and such that this limit is unique?
3k views

Vector spaces without natural bases

Does anyone know any nice examples of vector spaces without a basis that is in some sense "natural". To clarify what I mean, suppose we look at $\mathbb{R}^2$. We define $\mathbb{R}^2$ as pairs of ...
30k views

What are the most misleading alternate definitions in taught mathematics?

I suppose this question can be interpreted in two ways. It is often the case that two or more equivalent (but not necessarily semantically equivalent) definitions of the same idea/object are used in ...
306 views

Examples of étale covers of arithmetic surfaces

Define an arithmetic scheme $X$ to be a separated, integral scheme, flat and finite type over $\mathbb{Z}$. I am interested in obtaining examples of finite étale covers of arithmetic schemes. I am ...
3k views

Does any method of summing divergent series work on the harmonic series?

It's sort of folklore (as exemplified by this old post at The Everything Seminar) that none of the common techniques for summing divergent series work to give a meaningful value to the harmonic series,...
142 views

Uniquely ergodic and strongly mixing transformation

Is there an example of a non-trivial measure preserving transformation that is uniquely ergodic and strongly mixing (in the measure theoretic sense)? This was asked here, but with no answer.
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Riemannian surfaces with an explicit distance function?

I'm looking for explicit examples of Riemannian surfaces (two-dimensional Riemannian manifolds $(M,g)$) for which the distance function d(x,y) can be given explicitly in terms of local coordinates of ...
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Example request: seriously deficient homogeneous spaces

In a previous post, I cite a dimension condition commonly satisfied by homogeneous spaces and claim that a counterexample must have deficiency at least $3$. For convenience, I reproduce the definition ...
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Some intuition behind the five lemma?

Slightly simplified, the five lemma states that if we have a commutative diagram (in, say, an abelian category) \require{AMScd} \begin{CD} A_1 @>>> A_2 @>>> A_3 @>>> A_4 @...
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Applications of systems with multiple time

A dynamical system with multiple time is an action of a group $\mathbb{Z}^d$ or $\mathbb{R}^d$ on a metric space. I am interested in informative examples and applications of such systems. I know ...
8k views

Examples of using physical intuition to solve math problems

For the purposes of this question let a "physical intuition" be an intuition that is derived from your everyday experience of physical reality. Your intuitions about how the spin of a ball affects ...
8k views

What's a groupoid? What's a good example of a groupoid? [closed]

Or more specifically, why do people get so excited about them? And what's your favorite easy example of one, which illustrates why I should care (and is not a group)?
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Problems which use S₄ → S₃

I need examples of problems which use, directly or indirectly, the homomorphism $S_4\to S_3$ in the solution (its kernel is $\mathbb{Z}_2\oplus\mathbb{Z}_2$). Obvious candidates: Lagrange resolvent ...
9k views

Examples of theorems with proofs that have dramatically improved over time

I am looking for examples of theorems that may have originally had a clunky, or rather technical, or in some way non-illuminating proof, but that eventually came to have a proof that people consider ...
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Groups with probability measures

Are there algebraic structures that integrate groups with probability measures? For instance, can the closure operation on a group be assigned a probability that says "how much" a member belongs to ...
3k views

Difficult examples for Frankl's union-closed conjecture

Frankl's well-known union-closed conjecture states that if F is a finite family of sets that is closed under taking unions (that is, if A and B belong to the family then so does $A\cup B$), then there ...
20k views

Jokes in the sense of Littlewood: examples? [closed]

First, let me make it clear that I do not mean jokes of the "abelian grape" variety. I take my cue from the following passage in A Mathematician's Miscellany by J.E. Littlewood (Methuen 1953, p. 79): ...
6k 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 ...
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$R$ is isomorphic to $R[X,Y]$, but not to $R[X]$

Is there a commutative ring $R$ with $R \cong R[X,Y]$ and $R \not\cong R[X]$? This is a ring-theoretic analog of my previous question about abelian groups: In fact, in any algebraic category we may ...
42 views

Test Instances for Perfect Matchings in Graphs

Are there any graphs with a known set of perfect matchings and other predefined properties, such as vertex connectivity, which can be used for testing the implementation of matching algorithms? ...
6k views

Finite extension of fields with no primitive element

What is an example of a finite field extension which is not generated by a single element? Background: A finite field extension E of F is generated by a primitive element if and only if there are a ...
11k 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 ...
213 views

Bialgebras with Hopf restricted duals

It is known from the general theory that, given a bialgebra (over a field $k$) $$\mathcal{B}=(B,\mu,1_B,\Delta,\epsilon)$$ the Sweedler's dual $\mathcal{B}^0$ (called also ...
4k views

What is Yoneda's Lemma a generalization of?

What is Yoneda's Lemma a generalization of? I am looking for examples that were known before category theory entered the stage resp. can be known by students before they start with category theory. ...
44k 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.
209 views

simple and non nuclear $C^*$-algebra

Is there an example of simple and non-nuclear(non-amenable) $C^*$-algebra?
587 views

obstruction to smooth lifting of smooth schemes

According to general theory, for a square zero thickening defined by an ideal I: SpecA -> SpecA', there is an obstruction of lifting a smooth scheme X over A to a smooth scheme over A' living in H^2(X,...
389 views

Vector field on a K3 surface with 24 zeroes

In http://mathoverflow.net/a/44885/4177, Tilman points out that one can use a $K3$ surface minus the zeroes of a generic vector field to build a nullcobordism for $24[SU(2)]$. Given that a) this is a ...
10k 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 ...
190 views

Examples when one can use the the symmetric power $L$-functions to study topics related to the number theory

"The symmetric power $L$-functions are a powerful tool for studying algebraic or geometric objects through analytic methods." I read this sentence in the introduction of a Master thesis. I want to ...