# Tagged Questions

**30**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Hilbert's Hotel

Hilbert's Hotel is a famous story about infinity attributed to David Hilbert (1862-1943).
Is it documented that Hilbert's Hotel is in fact due to Hilbert, and if yes, where?

**16**

votes

**12**answers

1k views

### Insightful books about elementary mathematics

What are some books that discuss elementary mathematical topics ('school mathematics'), like arithmetic, basic non-abstract algebra, plane & solid geometry, trigonometry, etc, in an insightful ...

**2**

votes

**3**answers

298 views

### Good Books on the history of Zero

I am looking for books that discuss the origins of the zero, specifically the differences in the use and concept of the zero number among different civilizations (considering also the Mesoamerican ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

667 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 ...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### What is the history of $\sqrt{}$

Why we use the symbol $\sqrt{}$ when we take square roots ? Anybody knows the history ?

**11**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Is there evidence whether undergraduate math courses improve problem-solving?

The most commonly stated reason for why mathematics should be a required condition for graduating is }to improve problem-solving skills". Usually it's taken for granted that taking a mathematics ...

**195**

votes

**72**answers

78k views

### Video lectures of mathematics courses available online for free

It can be difficult to learn mathematics on your own from textbooks, and I often wish universities videotaped their mathematics courses and distributed them for free online. Fortunately, some ...

**33**

votes

**5**answers

4k views

### Is the boundary $\partial S$ analogous to a derivative?

Without prethought, I mentioned in class once that the reason the symbol $\partial$
is used to represent the boundary operator in topology is
that its behavior is akin to a derivative.
But after ...

**17**

votes

**6**answers

1k views

### Uppercase Point Labels in High-School Diagrams: from Euclid?

I wonder if the convention of labeling points in geometric
diagrams with uppercase symbols ultimately derives from
Greek mathematics, which was originally written in
"majuscule" (uppercase) Greek ...

**4**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Less-known conjectures of significant influence and the contrary

In mathematics, it is common that theorems/results and problems appearing dull in one generation get revitalized and become the center of research in another one.
Sometimes conjectures that are ...

**8**

votes

**10**answers

1k views

### A place to find original papers

I currently use scholar.google.com to find papers in cases like Sophus Lie's original papers on "Transformation Groups". Does anyone know of other places that collect original works like this, i.e. ...

**11**

votes

**10**answers

3k views

### Math History books

I'm teaching a course over the summer (it's a sort of make-your-own course for non-majors) and I'm planning on organizing it as a math history course, hitting on major threads through about 1900, and ...