**36**

votes

**4**answers

3k views

### What is the source of this famous Grothendieck quote?

I've seen the following quote many times on the internet, and have used it myself. It is usually attributed to Grothendieck.
It is better to have a good category with bad objects than a bad category ...

**22**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### The Erdős-Turán conjecture or the Erdős' conjecture?

This has been bothering me for a while, and I can't seem to find any definitive answer. The following conjecture is well known in additive combinatorics:
Conjecture: If $A\subset \mathbb{N}$ ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

219 views

### History of the characterization of commutative Artin rings

When it comes to the world of "classical" (pre-homological) Noetherian commutative algebra, I tend to think of most of the results (Krull's intersection theorem, the principal ideal theorem, etc.) as ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

232 views

### Historical precursor for Peano's axioms of a linear space?

Peano is typically credited with giving the first abstract definition of a vector space (1888):
http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/HistTopics/Abstract_linear_spaces.html
Apparently, Peano credits ...

**7**

votes

**7**answers

1k views

### famous papers/results by non professional mathematicians [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate:
What recent discoveries have amateur mathematicians made?
Dear overflowers
Out of curiosity: do you know any famous papers and/or results by non professional ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

406 views

### Unpublished Lecture Notes

Hi, Overflowers
There was a time (not so long ago) where lecture notes were not published, not commonly at least, and their reproduction was expensive. In my case, that was precisely the time when ...

**19**

votes

**1**answer

400 views

### Biholomophic non-Algebraically Isomorphic Varieties

Recently, when writing a review for MathSciNet, the following question arose:
Is it true that two smooth complex varieties that are biholomorphic are algebraically isomorphic? The converse is true ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

579 views

### Why did Bourbaki not use universal algebra?

I have seen a discussion about Bourbaki’s usage of categories before. So let me ask a different question: why did he not use universal algebra?
Well, universal algebra is not much older than category ...

**18**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Why did Bourbaki ignore the theory of categories? [closed]

QUESTION
They had plenty of time to adopt the theory of categories. They had Eilenberg, then Cartan, then Grothendieck. Did they feel that they have established their approach already, that it's too ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

405 views

### Generalization of the Lefschetz fixed point theorem

I have encountered a certain generalization of the Lefschetz fixed point theorem as folklore, and I am hoping that someone out there knows its provenance or can otherwise refer me to a source where it ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

443 views

### Reference/quote request: “All of combinatorics is the representation theory of $S_n$”

I think I remember reading somewhere a glib (or is it deep?) quote, perhaps due to Rota?, which was something like
"All of combinatorics is essentially [or can be reduced to?] the representation ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

226 views

### Did Smith correctly state the mass formula?

Did Smith correctly state the mass formula?
H.J.S. "normal form" Smith was the first, in 1867, to state the mass formula for integral quadratic forms in a genus of 4 or more variables. This was ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

135 views

### Reference for original paper (but translated to English) of Matiyasevich's proof of Fibonacci relation being Diophantine?

Hello. I am a maths undergraduate. I am doing a project about history of mathematics. I am looking for the original solution to Hilbert's 10th problem, or at least the theorems that is accessible to ...

**11**

votes

**3**answers

792 views

### The role of the Automatic Groups in the history of Geometric Group Theory

What is the role of the theory of Automatic Groups in the history of Geometric Group Theory?
Motivation:
When I read through the "Word Processing in Groups" I was amazed by the supreme beauty and ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

450 views

### What is Quillen's contribution to index theorem?

In the book "Heat Kernels and Dirac Operators" by Berline, Getzler and Vergne it is said that "Our book is based on a simple principle, which we learned from D. Quillen: Dirac operators are a ...

**62**

votes

**24**answers

7k views

### Modern Mathematical Achievements Accessible to Undergraduates

While there is tremendous progress happening in mathematics, most of it is just accessible to specialists. In many cases, the proofs of great results are both long and use difficult techniques. Even ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

339 views

### What is the oldest known evidence of application of mathematics?

According to Wikipedia the Lebombo bone (age 35 KY) and the Ishango bone (age at least 20 KY) presently are believed to show the first evidence for application of mathematics by humans. (Possibly ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

421 views

### Discrete Morse theory and chess

There are many mathematical objects that are similar to groups and Cayley graphs of groups but lack homogeneity in some sense. Graphs of webpages with edges corresponding to links are one example. ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Hahn's Embedding Theorem and the oldest open question in set theory

Hans Hahn is often credited with creating the modern theory of ordered algebraic systems with the publication of his paper Über die nichtarchimedischen Grössensysteme (Sitzungsberichte der ...

**10**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### History of the high-dimensional volume paradox

Inscribe an $n$-ball in an $n$-dimensional hypercube of side equal to 1, and let $n \rightarrow \infty$. The hypercube will always have volume 1, while it is a fun folk fact (FFF) that the volume of ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

219 views

### What is flexible about flexible algebras?

A possibly non-associative algebra is flexible if it satisfies the identity $$(xy)x=x(yx).$$ This is clearly a very weak form of associativity —and obviously an associative algebra is flexible— but it ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

148 views

### Who first observed that Conjugate Gradient for Symmetric Positive Definite linear systems is a Krylov method?

Conjugate gradient was originally presented in the 50's before the modern understanding of Krylov subspaces (and the resulting iterative methods) was fully realized. As such, the method was derived ...

**28**

votes

**13**answers

2k views

### Great mathematics books by pre-modern authors

Last summer, I read Euclid's Elements, and it was an eye-opening experience; I had assumed that three thousand years' difference would make the notation incomprehensible and the reasoning alien, but ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

689 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 ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

315 views

### Newton integration without integration

Consider a function f continuous on a compact interval.
Approximate it by a sequence of polygonal functions (you can).
Then consider a sequence of primitives of the polygonal functions (you can).
...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

228 views

### Does the vanishing of the Poisson bracket on $S(\mathfrak{g})^{\mathfrak{g}}$ inspire the disover of Duflo's isomorphism theorem?

For any finite dimensional Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$, we know that the universal enveloping algebra $U(\mathfrak{g})$ is a deformation of the symmetric algebra $S(\mathfrak{g})$. In fact let's define
...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

240 views

### Was Desargues more an Euclid or an Eudoxos?

In the course of preparing lessons on projective geometry I want to give an account on the historical development. It is easy to obtain an overview of the history starting with G. Desargues. And with ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Euler's mathematics in terms of modern theories?

Some aspects of Euler's work were formalized in terms of modern infinitesimal theories by Laugwitz, McKinzie, Tuckey, and others. Referring to the latter, G. Ferraro claims that "one can see in ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

121 views

### Citation for subset complement result

Let $S=\lbrace s_1,\ldots,s_n \rbrace \subset \lbrace1,\ldots,2n\rbrace$. Consider two operations on $S$: the complement $C(S)=\lbrace 1,\ldots,2n \rbrace \setminus S$ and a reflection* ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

380 views

### Has the controversy about *fiducial distribution* been settled? [closed]

Has the controversy about the correct meaning of Fisher's notion fiducial distribution meanwhile been settled? And are there newer applications than quoted in the following literature?
G.P. Klimov: ...

**3**

votes

**3**answers

700 views

### Lapses of “the early proponents of the doctrine of limits”

I have a question that I have been wondering about for a long time without finding any answer. Concerning the period around 1900, Robinson commented in his 1966 book that "there is in the writings of ...

**8**

votes

**3**answers

882 views

### who invented projective space $\mathbb{P}^n$?

Who invented projective space $\mathbb{P}^n$ as an extension of the usual affine space $\mathbb{A}^n$?
Who was the first person to consider projective closure of
plane affine algebraic curves (curves ...

**18**

votes

**9**answers

3k views

### Was the early calculus inconsistent?

This question does NOT concern the RIGOR, or lack thereof, of the early calculus. Rather the question is of its CONSISTENCY.
George Berkeley wrote in 1734 with reference to the early calculus that ...

**27**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### What is the difference between an automorphic form and a modular form?

This is more of a question about terminology than about math.
The term "automorphic form" is clearly a generalization of the term "modular form." What is not clear is exactly which generalization it ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

215 views

### Where was the arithmetic zeta function of a scheme first defined?

Let $X$ be an arithmetic scheme, that is, a scheme of finite type over the integers. We denote the set of closed points of $X$ by $|X|$. For every $x\in|X|$, write $N(x)$ for the cardinality of the ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

220 views

### origin of the notion of “network” in graph theory

In current graph theory, a "network" is a precisely defined object: It is a directed graph associated with a function, the "capacity", which is defined on the edge set and has certain specific ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Similarities between Post's Problem and Cohen's Forcing

Remark: I have since learned that G.H. Moore addresses this question in the third reference listed at the end of this post, beginning on p. 157 in which he cites a letter from Kreisel to Gödel dated ...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

181 views

### local subrings of matrix ring

When is the subring (containing 1) of a matrix ring $M_n(k)$ over a field $k$
is local?
I would be grateful for every reference concerning this matter,
Thank you!

**19**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### The role of ANR in modern topology

Absolute neighborhood retracts (ANRs) are topological spaces $X$ which, whenever $i\colon X\to Y$ is an embedding into a normal topological space $Y$, there exists a neighborhood $U$ of $i(X)$ in $Y$ ...

**20**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### Modern developments in finite-dimensional linear algebra

Are there any major fundamental results in finite-dimensional linear algebra discovered after early XX century? Fundamental in the sense of non-numerical (numerical results, of course, are still ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

310 views

### First mention of the fundamental bigroupoid of a space?

The fundamental bigroupoid $\Pi_2(X)$ of a space $X$ was independently described by Hardie, Kamps and Kieboom (paywall) and Stevenson (arXiv) around the year 2000. HKK cite Baez-Dolan's seminal HDA0, ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

682 views

### Mendelson's *Mathematical Logic* and the missing Appendix on the consistency of PA

A very soft question, but I hope not out of order here.
In the first edition of Elliott Mendelson's classic Introduction to Mathematical Logic (1964) there is an appendix, giving a version of ...

**39**

votes

**19**answers

6k views

### Mathematicians whose works were criticized by contemporaries but became widely accepted later

Gauss famously discarded Abel's proof that an algebraic equation of degree five or more cannot have a general solution (Abel himself had rejected divergent series as the work of the devil). Cantor's ...

**4**

votes

**3**answers

403 views

### Biographical Information Concerning Henry Sherwin

Henry Sherwin's Mathematical Tables achieved some popularity. The first edition was published ~1706 and the fifth and last in 1771. Some editions were more erroneous than others and the error rate was ...

**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, ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

656 views

### Ancient method to study Archimedean spiral

It is well-known the properties of Archimedean spiral ($\rho = k\phi$) which is the locus of points corresponding to the locations over time of a point moving away from a fixed point with a constant ...

**1**

vote

**3**answers

1k views

### Who invented the expression “pairwise different” and what is its advantage over “different”

There are many applications of "pairwise", for instance different, disjunct, orthogonal, independent, intersecting, connected, and many more. Some of them like "pairwise intersecting" or "pairwise ...

**35**

votes

**31**answers

6k views

### Trichotomies in mathematics

Added. Thanks to all who participated! Let me humbly apologize to those who were annoyed (quite understandably) by this thread, deeming it nothing more than an exercise in futility. If you thought the ...

**24**

votes

**6**answers

949 views

### Concise model of modern fiat money and its non-conservation

A confession: I have never really understood the basic model of fiat money and central banking, by which a central bank controls the money supply. By the standards of someone trained in mathematics, ...

**1**

vote

**2**answers

264 views

### What are Normal Sets (Fréchet)?

In 1913, LEJ Brouwer started a new approach to give a topologist's definition of the notion dimension ("Über den natürlichen Dimensionsbegriff", Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik, 142, ...