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2
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0answers
41 views

Jacobi triple product for multidimensional lattices

The Jacobi triple product identity gives as a special case a product formula for the theta function of a 1-dimensional lattice. Is there a more general product formula for the theta function of an ...
4
votes
1answer
273 views

Sources of Theorem drafts by the original author

When I look at first time to a theorem and I try to understand it or when I try to memorise a useful theorem I always have difficulties (I am not the only one. For example: I read a question: I always ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

What is an example of a non-axiomatic mathematical system? [closed]

In this wikipedia article on the foundations of mathematics, it says: In practice, most mathematicians ... do not work from axiomatic systems Is this correct? If so, what is an example of this?
31
votes
33answers
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. ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Talking about properties of “random” elements

I asked this in MSE but did not get a satisfying answer. I apologize in advance if this is not appropriate for MO. Suppose that we have some set X and we want to say that a "random" (or generic) ...
10
votes
5answers
592 views

Accessible proofs of contemporary results in mathematics

Are there strong results in contemporary mathematical research (last 20 years) which have a proof which every mathematician (holding a PhD) can completely understand within a few days? -- If yes, ...
2
votes
0answers
244 views

Equal signs with fancy marks

Some people use $\stackrel{\mathrm{def}}{=}$, $:=$ or $\stackrel{\Delta}{=}$ for definitions. In more informal contexts, I have also seen $\stackrel{?}{=}$, for "I wish to prove this equality, which ...
9
votes
3answers
514 views

Is there any monoid in which the product of two non-invertible elements could be invertible?

I think the title speaks for itself. Thus I just explain the story behind the question. Of course, you may want to skip the story. Story: Currently, I teach a course in linear algebra and matrices ...
1
vote
0answers
116 views

Ellipses touching a circle [closed]

This is a crosspost from math.stackexchange, where the question did not find an answer. Given a circle and two points $A$, $B$ in the plane, how do I find an ellipse with focal points $A$ and $B$ ...
14
votes
0answers
330 views

Applications of Lawvere's fixed point theorem

Lawvere's fixed point theorem states that in a cartesian closed category, if there is a morphism $A \to X^A$ which is point-surjective (meaning that $\hom(1,A) \to \hom(1,X^A)$ is surjective), then ...
1
vote
2answers
318 views

Can one branch of mathematics be completely learned from the perspective of another branch of mathematics? [closed]

This arose from a discussion with a friend (people involved are two engineers) who argued that every result in mathematics should be transformable into another branch. For example, he argued that ...
18
votes
5answers
609 views

Online high quality colloquium talks

In my department we're thinking about showing online lectures one day per week at lunch, as sort of a virtual colloquium appropriate to mathematics undergraduates as well as faculty. To start with ...
7
votes
2answers
791 views

How should you respond to a student who asks whether a very nice physical example constitutes a proof? [closed]

"Is this really a proof?" is the exact question e-mailed to me today from an undergraduate mathematics student whom I know as a highly competent student. The one sentence question was accompanied with ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Famous vacuously true statements

I am interested to know other examples vacuously true statements that are non-trivial. My starting example is Turan's result in regards to the Riemann hypothesis, which states Suppose that for each ...
13
votes
1answer
483 views

Relation between math and piano music

What, if any, is the relation between Cantor's function and Ligeti studio: Devil's Staircase?
12
votes
2answers
761 views

What might extraterrestrial mathematics look like? [closed]

In an extensive anthropological joint research project concerning the necessities in the development of life and civilisation my group is concerned with mathematics. This forum seems to be extremely ...
4
votes
5answers
272 views

procedure-based (as opposed to definition-based) concepts

Euler's work on divergent series was guided by computational procedures, rather than any definition of the "value" of such a series. E.g., he was happy to have half a dozen procedures that indicated ...
11
votes
4answers
424 views

Mathematics of privacy?

I wonder to which extent the current public debate on privacy issues (not only by state sniffing, but e.g. by microtargetting ads too an issue) offers interesting questions in mathematics? Can we ...
2
votes
4answers
894 views

When did you “meet Polya”? [closed]

I guess most of us didn't meet Polya in person (this is the answer to the title)! Perhaps, it is much easier to guess that most of us have met one of his writings (or alike) on problem solving, and ...
15
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3answers
1k views

What would remain of current mathematics without axiom of power set? [closed]

The power set of every infinite set is uncountable. An infinite set (as an element of the power set) cannot be defined by writing the infinite sequence of its elements but only by a finite formula. By ...
-4
votes
3answers
640 views

Where is the belly button of the Universe? [closed]

It's fine and nice and wonderful when a part of learning mathematics is chaotic, ad hoc, spontaneous, social, ... However it would be perhaps of fundamental value to know a very central point of ...
11
votes
2answers
647 views

Anything special (historical?) about surface $x\cdot y\cdot z\ +\ x+y+z=0$?

QUESTION I wanted to introduce and develop the complex logarithm from scratch. As the result I've arrived a couple of months ago at the following identity after which the road to complex logarithm is ...
22
votes
15answers
1k views

objects which can't be defined without making choices but which end up independent of the choice

It happens a lot of times that when one defines a new object (ring, module, space, group, algebra, morphism, whatever) out of given data one first chooses some additional structure. And sometimes ...
36
votes
19answers
4k views

Are there proofs that you feel you did not “understand” for a long time?

Perhaps the "proofs" of ABC conjecture or newly released weak version of twin prime conjecture or alike readily come to your mind. These are not the proofs I am looking for. Indeed my question was ...
0
votes
1answer
136 views

link to a paper by Ramanujan

Hi friends, Does anybody know of a pdf version of the following paper ? Ramanujan, S. “Modular Equations and Approximations to Pi.” Quart. J. Pure Appl. Math. 45, 350-372, 1913-1914. It's ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

Reference needed for: Automatic generation of relevant mathematical exercises (similar to ones written by human) with the help of machine learning

I am doing research on automatic generation of relevant mathematical exercises (similar to ones written by human) with the help of machine learning. I have found several research papers on ...
3
votes
2answers
253 views

Asymptotics of a function

I hope this question is not too simple, but I would like to know the asymptotic behaviour of the following function $f: \mathbb{N}^{+} \rightarrow \mathbb{Q}$ where $$ f(n) = \sum_{i=1}^{n} ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What does a mathematician expect from mathematics education? [closed]

Consider that my question is not a personal and/or subjective question. Perhaps, you have hired a mathematics educator in your department and you are interested in finding a way to communicate with ...
5
votes
1answer
630 views

Why do mathematicians prefer one definition over the other when they both define the same concept?

Here is a basic, though very important, example: Hilbert takes as primary the notion of “congruence” (or “equal”) between segments. His first axiom of congruence “requires the possibility of ...
31
votes
15answers
7k views

Is rigour just a ritual that most mathematicians wish to get rid of if they could?

"No". That was my answer till this afternoon! "Mathematics without proofs isn't really mathematics at all" probably was my longer answer. Yet, I am a mathematics educator who was one of the panelists ...
2
votes
3answers
325 views

Strong notions of general position

Hi! I am looking for notions of general position that are stronger than linear general position. To illustrate, 3 points in linear general position don't lie on a line. I want a notion that would ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

List of Charlatans in Mathematics [closed]

Recently, while looking for articles and documents to learn about the Riemann Hyopthesis, I came across a strange funny document of a chinese "mathematician" called Jiang Chun-Xuang who claimed to ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

How to refer to a theorem that you have shown to be wrong

I am writing a paper about a flaw that I found in a published paper. There, the statement is called “Theorem 2”. In my paper, I am reproducing the other paper’s definitions, and steps leading towards ...
4
votes
1answer
350 views

Characterise all pairs of n/m stars that have the same inner radius

Geometry, algebra, and examples Let n and m be integers, with 2 ≤ m < n/2. Consider the bounding polygon of an n/m star (that is, a star with n points each of which connects to the two points ±m ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

Asymptotic inverses of asymptotic functions

The prime number theorem states that two functions are asymptotic. Their inverses (as functions of an integral variable) are also asymptotic. In general, under what conditions are the inverses of ...
7
votes
3answers
596 views

Formal writing: numbers under 10

I've been tasked with proofreading an Engineering/Mathematics thesis paper. I was always told that numbers under 10 should be spelled out (one, two, three, ...) but I was wondering if this rule holds ...
4
votes
4answers
411 views

Why do we choose the standard total order on the integers?

I understand why the set of natural numbers $\mathbb N = \{ 0, 1, 2, \cdots \}$ is equipped with a total order. Indeed, every monoid has a pre-order, where $$n' \succeq n \quad \mathrm{if~and~only~if} ...
1
vote
1answer
331 views

Any recommendations on good papers I should read? [closed]

I am a high school student with a particular interest in mathematics and computer science. I have always been intrigued by recreational mathematics (who hasn't been?) and more advance concepts, ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Multivariate expansion in terms of single variate products: what is the name for this?

In some situations we have access to a representation like this: $ f(x,y) = \sum_i u_i(x) v_i(y) $ What is this called? (I know when you jam this into PDE get to call it 'separation of variables' ...
10
votes
0answers
304 views

Which limit to take as a key applied math decision

The Borel-Kolmogorov paradox refers to situations where non-uniqueness in the notion of conditioning on a set of measure zero leads to apparent contradictions. As a formal matter, one requires ...
16
votes
2answers
945 views

Center of mass from the abstract point of view, or could the ancient Greeks invent modern analysis?

This is a very open-ended question, which may or may not have a perfect answer, and for which I have a few ideas but nothing like a clear picture. However, I guess it won't hurt to ask to see if ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

On similar concepts in mathematics whose similarity is a non-trivial fact.

Recently, while undertaking a study of commutative algebra, I learned three concepts: (i) a local ring, (ii) a regular local ring and (iii) a regular ring. At the end, I found myself asking this ...
2
votes
1answer
295 views

Integer triangle

Is there a triangle whose vertices, as well as the four classical points, the centroid, the orthocenter, the incenter, and the circumcenter, all have integer coordinates?
7
votes
1answer
294 views

Experimental mathematics: how are floating point equations discovered/converted to exact equations?

the 2005 AMS article/survey on experimental mathematics[1] by Bailey/Borwein mentions many remarkable successes in the field including new formulas for $\pi$ that were discovered via the PSLQ ...
2
votes
2answers
535 views

Has the notion of “space” been reconsidered in 20th century?

The original title, "has the bases of geometry been reconsidered in 20th century" of this question refers to Riemann's paper "On the Hypotheses which lie at the Bases of Geometry", an English version ...
0
votes
2answers
485 views

What constitutes the division between discrete and non-discrete math? Are there any math subject where it's being blurred? [closed]

I often heard about this division but always in a non-formal manner. What constitutes it? Is it a limit operation? Or a fundamental distinction between countable and uncountable sets? And what math ...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

Computer algebra system (CAS) with good re-presenting or transformation support

Such heavy-weight transformations as expanding or factoring are provided by most of CAS-es, but what about light-weight, but a useful transformations, like "reorder some terms to make expression more ...
6
votes
9answers
1k views

Beautiful theorems with short proof [closed]

I like to ask for beautiful mathematical theorems with short proof. A proof is short in my sense if it is at most one page assuming basic notations and very basic results a second year student will ...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

Distance calculation in metric space

Dear All, I want to calculate the distance between two sets in which the maximum distance between the sets are minimized. Formally problem defined as, $\displaystyle \min_{a \in A} \max_{b \in B}$ ...
3
votes
4answers
788 views

Another Chicken or Egg: Sequence or Series

This is a side question which is more motivated by teaching than research. First, I am trying to convince myself that sequences appear before series (as numerical approximations to "interesting" ...