**23**

votes

**0**answers

580 views

### History of the Proj construction in algebraic geometry

Projective geometry was introduced by fifteenth century Renaissance painters (like Alberti, da Vinci and Dürer) in the guise of perspective theory, although one could argue that Pappus was already ...

**23**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Name of amateur who gave a new proof of the Ramanujan-Nagell theorem?

In an article by George Johnson in the New York Times back in 1999, it says that an amateur mathematician from India once sent Ian Stewart a proof of the Ramanujan-Nagell theorem that the Diophantine ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Origins of the Nerve Theorem

Recently, I've read two papers which have cited the Nerve Theorem, one crediting Borsuk with the result and another Leray. Here is the question:
Who was the first to prove the Nerve Theorem?

**13**

votes

**0**answers

566 views

### Where might I find a scanned handwritten copy of Ramanujan's second letter to Hardy?

I am giving a lecture to undergraduates on the lovely identity $$1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + \cdots = -\frac{1}{12}.$$
Ramanujan wrote in his second letter to Hardy (courtesy Wikipedia),
"Dear Sir, I am very ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

260 views

### Grothendieck on polyhedra over finite fields

In Grothendieck's Sketch of a Programme he spends a few pages discussing polyhedra over arbitrary rings and concludes with some intriguing remarks on specializing polyhedra over their "most singular ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

215 views

### Who first showed that $SL(n,O_K)$ is a lattice for a number ring $O_K$?

Let $O_K$ be the ring of integers in an algebraic number field $K$. Assume that $K$ has $r$ real embeddings and $s$ pairs of complex conjugate complex embeddings. There is then an injective ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

495 views

### How come Cartan did not notice the close relationship between symmetric spaces and isoparametric hypersurfaces?

Elie Cartan made fundamental contributions to the theory of Lie groups and their geometrical applications. Among those, we can list the introduction of the remarkable family of Riemannian symmetric ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

270 views

### Who stated and proved the “Hopf lemma” on bilinear maps?

If $A\otimes B\rightarrow C$ is a nondegenerate linear map, where $A, B, C$ are vector spaces over an algebraically closed field, then $\dim C\ge \dim A + \dim B -1$.
Nondegenerate here means ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

418 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 ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

259 views

### Why is a matrix pencil called a pencil?

I'm trying to understand the historical context behind the word pencil in matrix pencils, or pencil of curves so on.
I am aware that even Gantmacher 1959 has this terminology however I don't know ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

635 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 ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

901 views

### Galois theory timeline (II)

This question is a sequel. I structured the previous one around Emil Artin's classic treatment of Galois theory from the 1940s, though making clear some reservations of my own about whether Artin ...

**10**

votes

**0**answers

298 views

### What is the history of the notion of subdivision of categories?

A recent answer by Peter May prompts me to ask a question which I have been considering to ask for several months. (The reason why I have not asked it before is that it is not directly related to my ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

250 views

### From Frege to Gödel - German equivalent?

I know this question does not quite fit here, but I felt it could best be answered here. I recently stumbled upon the book From Frege to Gödel, which is a sourcebook containing some of the most ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

461 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 ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

163 views

### History of preservation theorems in forcing theory

For my honours thesis, I am studying a general preservation theorem using a framework provided by Shelah. I am mainly concerned about revised countable support iteration of $\dot{S}$-semiproper ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

511 views

### Has anyone pursued Frege's idea of numbers as second-order concepts?

Gottlob Frege was a pivotal figure in the history of mathematical logic. He gave an analysis of numbers that proceeded along roughly the following lines, in his books "The Foundations of Arithmetic" ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

234 views

### First Table of Random Numbers

What was the first table of random numbers of any sort?
The best I can do is Tippett and Pearson's Random Sampling Numbers of 1927.
Can anybody identify an earlier table?
Thanks for any ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

200 views

### Reference Request: Topological h-cobordism theorem in higher dimensions

I think this question on math.stackexchange is more appropriate on mathoverflow. Correct me, if you don't think so.
The h-cobordism theorem is true in the topological and in the smooth category in ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

224 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 ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

453 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 ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

223 views

### What is the historical connection between Zeeman's twist spinning and Fox's Examples?

Both Ralph Fox and (at that time, yet to be knighted) Sir Christopher Zeeman attended the 1961 Georgia topology conference. Fox's paper from that conference was his seminal work, "A Quick Trip through ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

212 views

### what's the role of $H^{p}(\mathbb{R}^{n})$ in modern (harmonic) analysis?

The classical theory of $H^p$,due to it's heavy dependence on the complex function theory(such as Blaschke products), seemed to have an insurmountable obstacle barrying its extension to several ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

638 views

### Innovations in deformation theory

I've been trying to get into deformation theory lately, and I became thirsty for a bit of context.
Has Deformation Theory seen a lot of development since its inception? If I read Michael Artin's ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

609 views

### Original references for the homotopy groups pi_5 of SU(3) and pi_4 of SU(2)?

For revision of a paper (http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.1189), I'd like to
correct my references to the original work on aspects of the homotopy
groups pi_5 of SU(3) and pi_4 of SU(2). I'm not a ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

266 views

### What is the reason that $\sigma$-algebra replaced $\sigma$-ring in introductory measure theory?

May I ask what is the (historical) reason we adopted the $\sigma$-algebra rhetoric instead of $\sigma$-rings (like used in Halmos)? To my knowledge almost all modern measure theory or real analysis ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

218 views

### When did “Betti cohomology” come to be used the way it is today? (and how is it used)

This is sort of a mixture of a math and history question.
First the math part: thinking about it, I do not actually know how to properly use the term "Betti cohomology". I know I should, but I ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

234 views

### Silver's unpublished work on reverse Easton iteration

Silver was the first person who used the method of reverse Easton iterations in connection with large cardinals, and used it to force the failure of $GCH$ at some measurable cardinal.
At most papers ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

145 views

### Origin of Lie Product Formula

I'm interested in where Lie wrote down the Lie Product formula (for finite matrices)
(the precursor of the Trotter product formula; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lie_product_formula). With a ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

331 views

### Why the $M$ for Thom spaces?

I've heard $E$ is for entire space, $B$ is for base space, so what is $M$ for?

**6**

votes

**0**answers

472 views

### functor before cat?

As i read the literature, derived functors were there several years before derive categories - right?

**6**

votes

**0**answers

286 views

### Cutting and pasting in Galois theory

I want to ask who was the first to use cut-paste construction in Galois theory.
This question is motivated from the trend in contemporary Galois theory to use patching methods to construct Galois ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

404 views

### Does mathematical fecundity ever deviate from its applicability?

We are all familiar with Wigner's "unreasonable effectiveness
of mathematics" thesis (1), and of Hardy's opinion
that "the great bulk of higher mathematics is useless" (2).
I am wondering if there are ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

460 views

### Historical and terminological questions about Dan Kan's Ex functor and its relation to the classical case of simplicial complexes

Recall that we may define a functor $\xi:\Delta\to \operatorname{Poset}$ sending a simplex $[n]$ to the set of monotone injections $[k]\hookrightarrow [n]$ for $k\geq 0$ (effectively, $k\leq n$ as ...

**5**

votes

**0**answers

486 views

### Define “Mathematics Colloquium”?

I'm now a member of my department's colloquium committee. Our task is to make a great colloquium series. I thought that the first step would be to come up with an appropriate definition of ...

**5**

votes

**0**answers

141 views

### Reference to forcing with a sigma ideal $\cong$ Cohen forcing

This is a historical question: Who was the first person to notice the following?
If $V \models \kappa$ is measurable and $P$ adds $\kappa$ Cohen reals, then in $V^P$, letting $\hat{I}$ to be the ...

**5**

votes

**0**answers

141 views

### Link between abelian groups and endomorphisms

When teaching Algebra, I try to share my fascination about two apparently unrelated questions, which turn out to involve the same theory:
classifying the finitely generated abelian groups,
...

**5**

votes

**0**answers

184 views

### Did the notion of “angle” originate with Thales?

Thales (circa 600BC—roughly 50 years before Pythagoras, 200 years before Plato,
and 300 years before Euclid)
certainly knew and reasoned with the concept of a planar angle.
Are there earlier ...

**5**

votes

**0**answers

267 views

### Sophus Lie on the symplectic foliation theorem

Given a Poisson manifold $(P,\{\cdot,\cdot\})$, its characteristic distribution $\mathcal C$ is the singular tangent distribution on $M$ generated by the Hamiltonian vector fields,i.e.
$$\mathcal ...

**5**

votes

**0**answers

256 views

### Proof of Lomnicki and Ulam on Infinite Product Probability Spaces

Given an arbitrary, nonempty family $(\Omega_i,\Sigma_i,\mu_i)_{i\in I}$ of probability spaces, there exists a probability measure $\mu$ on $\otimes_i\Sigma_i$ such that for every finite set ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

260 views

### Reference request : Grothendieck's topological space valued integral

As I am learning the different kind of Banach space valued integrals (Pettis, Bochner), I know that Grothendieck made a "mémoire" in his youth about this topic, but I don't know if it is available ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

224 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

227 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 ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

434 views

### sine and Archimedes' derivation of the area of the circle

The elementary "opposite over hypotenuse" definition of the sine function defines the sine of an angle, not a real number. As discussed in the article "A Circular Argument" [Fred Richman, The College ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

805 views

### What did Hilbert do on Hilbert spaces to deserve his name?

This question is just curiosity. When I had my first course in Functional Analysis, most of basic theorems about Banach spaces were presented to me as attributed to Banach (Hahn-Banach, ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

249 views

### Galois correspondence subgroups/subsystems

In this paper (1998) by M. Izumi, R. Longo, S. Popa, there is the following result (page 49) on compact groups:
Lemma 3.16. Let $G$ be a compact group and $Rep(G)$ the category of finite ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

154 views

### Continuous extension of Riemann maps and the Caratheodory-Torhorst Theorem

If $G\subsetneq\mathbb{C}$ is a simply-connected plane domain, then by the Riemann mapping theorem there is a conformal isomorphism $\newcommand{\D}{\mathbb{D}}\varphi:\D\to G$, where $\D$ is the unit ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

156 views

### History of limit point compact -/-> compact example

A standard example in elementary topology (e.g. Munkres) of a space which is limit-point compact (every infinite subset of the space has a limit point) but not compact is the minimal uncountable ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

123 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* ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

282 views

### A Question Regarding Boolean-valued Models

What were the intuitions motivating the creation (or discovery, if you will) of Boolean-valued models? I have searched for the Scott-Solovay paper on the subject, but to no avail. There also seems to ...