Questions that are about research in mathematics, or about the job of a research mathematician, without being mathematical problems or statements in the strictest sense. In other words, questions that can be answered without making computations or applying theorems and axioms.

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1
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1answer
147 views

Are reduced residue systems relative primorials an active area of research? If not, why not?

As a math amateur, I am finding the study reduced residue systems relative a primorial a very interesting way to understand the distribution of primes. For example, it is fascinating to me that it is ...
2
votes
0answers
185 views

random category theory

This question is in some sense dual to the one asked in Is there an introduction to probability theory from a structuralist/categorical perspective? since contrary to the OP who asks for references ...
-1
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0answers
54 views

Difficult examples of invertible differentiable functions [on hold]

Give an example of: 1)$f:\mathbb R^2 \to \mathbb R^2$ such that $f$ is invertible in some neighbourhood of $x_0$ (that is $f$ is locally invertible) but $|Jf(x)|=0$ (jacobian determinant) $\forall x$ ...
2
votes
0answers
115 views

When is it appropriate to name something a 'fundamental lemma'? [on hold]

The term 'fundamental lemma' refers to many results in mathematics. I don't know too many results referred to by that name, but I am familiar with, for example, the 'fundamental lemma of sieve theory' ...
10
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3answers
395 views

Mathematical difference between entropy and energy

I have a rather soft question. Let's assume that we consider the heat equation posed in $S^1$: $$ \partial_t u=\partial_x^2u. $$ It is well known that if we define the functionals $$ ...
7
votes
2answers
435 views

Understanding Faltings's Theorem

I am soon to become a graduate student and so I started a personal project; I want to understand Faltings's proof of the Mordell conjecture. I want to get into arithmetic geometry (since I always ...
-6
votes
1answer
204 views

What's the minimum amount of knowledge to start doing research? [closed]

There are cases in which you have too much knowledge of something to do anything interesting ,and cases in which a lack of experience with a problem (and the prejudices about it) helps someone solve ...
7
votes
1answer
262 views

“Thin film evolution” (Reference request)

Ok this is my first$^*$ question on overflow, my apologies if this is not the right place to ask what follows! I observed the following phenomenon: I put a (vitamin) tablet into water, then after a ...
9
votes
0answers
404 views

What was the answer to this paradox before Cantor? [migrated]

I do not remember the name/source of this paradox,but I remember I have discussed this with mathematicians and non mathematicians at least 5 times. It goes like this: "Every point of a line has ...
11
votes
4answers
865 views

“Epicycles” (Ptolemy style) in math theory?

By analogy: The epicycles of Ptolemy explained the known facts in the sun system and in this sense were not "wrong". But they distracted from a better insight. From another viewpoint, everything fell ...
5
votes
0answers
243 views

Have topographs been studied before?

This is my first post on MO so I hope this question is suitable. I have quite a few definitions which I will need to state before my questions at the end of this post. Please let me know if anything ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

number theory which is close to analysis

I have basic training in Fourier and Harmonic analysis. And wanting to enter and work in area of number theory(and which is of some interest for current researcher) which is close to analysis. ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Two equivalent descriptions of a physical system yielding a non-trivial mathematical formula

First I would like to admit that this question may not be entirely appropriate for this site, but I will give it a go none the less. One often hears stories about how string dualities lead to highly ...
17
votes
3answers
866 views

Which way for reading the proofs?

I am a master student in mathematics. For me a large part of doing mathematics is thinking about, reading and verifying the proof of theorems that I find them in my field of study. I can do this ...
28
votes
8answers
5k views

Uninteresting questions with interesting answers [closed]

What are best examples of questions in mathematics that are not interesting until one knows the answers, whose answers themselves are what is interesting? The thing that prompts me to post this is ...
3
votes
3answers
184 views

Are linearizations of involutive PDEs locally solvable?

A possibly soft question for you guys and gals. Say a system of analytic PDEs has been completed to involution (in the sense that it's geometric symbol has a Pommaret basis, or has vanishing ...
0
votes
0answers
101 views

seminar about the strong multiplicity one for the Selberg class

Very recently, a seminar took place in Seoul with Haseo Ki as an invited speaker to talk about the strong multiplicity one theorem for the whole Selberg class that he did manage to prove. I would like ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Famous examples of PhD advisors younger than their student [closed]

What are the most famous examples of PhD advisors in mathematics, younger than their student? (if possible put the date of birth and/or the difference in age).
1
vote
1answer
159 views

soft copy of Ottmar loos's book on “symmetric spaces”

Is anyone in posssesion of the Ottmar Loos's old books on "Symmetric Spaces" . I have consulted Ottmar Loos himself as well as other experts like Prof.Parameshwaran Shankaran about the book. In their ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Explicit Solution of Bessel Process

I am trying to write an find an explicit solution (Bessel process) of following SDE: for $S\ge 0$, $df(S)=\mu dt+\sqrt{1+\alpha f(S)}dW_t$, $\alpha>0$, and $1+\alpha f(S)\ge 0$ and $W_t$ is the ...
1
vote
0answers
140 views

How the exceptional simple Lie groups/ algebras were first discovered and by whom?

I am wondering whether exceptional simple Lie groups/ algebras were first discovered in order to obtain a complete list of such objects, or they appeared as answers to completely different questions. ...
46
votes
17answers
9k views

Parodies of abstruse mathematical writing

Perhaps under the influence of a recent question on perverse sheaves, in conjunction with the impending $\pi$-day (3/14/15 at 9:26:53), I recalled a long-ago parody of abstruse mathematical language ...
2
votes
0answers
104 views

algorithm to find a new point of small height in a number field extension

By the height of an algebraic number $\alpha$, I mean the absolute, logarithmic (additive) Weil height $h(\alpha)$; e.g. $h(2^{1/n}) = (\log 2)/n.$ If $K$ is a number field, let $\delta(K)$ denote ...
7
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0answers
234 views

Use of an appendix in a long paper

I am writing a long paper (around 100 pages). I would consider 50 pages of it interesting in that it solves a problem of some significance in my field and contains an number of difficult ideas in the ...
3
votes
0answers
81 views

Looking for a natural definition of certain polynomials associated with skew Young diagrams

Consider a connected skew Young diagram in the English notation and then rotate it counterclockwise by $\pi/4$. This rotation can be avoided by simply replacing "rows" by "diagonals" in the below, but ...
1
vote
2answers
339 views

More recently published comprehensive reference on inequalities in the spirit of Hardy-Littlewood-Pólya

Is there a comprehensive reference book on inequalities in the spirit of the one written by G.H. Hardy, J.E. Littlewood, and G. Pólya(*), but more up-to-date (i.e., published in more recent years and ...
17
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2answers
1k views

Philosophical arguments in defense (or against) large cardinals

The question is essentially what is asked in the title. I split it into two parts (A) (Arguments supporting the existence of large cardinals) What are the main philosophical arguments in defense ...
1
vote
2answers
537 views

Numbers greater than Skewes's whose existence can be found in number theoretic proofs

Skewes has proved (without assuming RH) that $\pi(x)<Li(x)$ is violated below $e^{e^{e^{e^{7.705}}}}$ which is clearly a very large number.I was wondering if somewhere else some greater number than ...
1
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0answers
48 views

Convention on Clifford Product

When studying the Clifford Algebra associated to some $(V,Q)$, one finds two basic identities differing by a sign: $vv=Q(v)$ (see, for instance, Wikipedia) $vv=-Q(v)$ (see, for instance, MathWorld ...
1
vote
0answers
150 views

“For sufficiently large” vs. “For all sufficiently large” [closed]

A purely grammatical question: Do people generally prefer: "For sufficiently large x,..." or "For all sufficiently large x,..." or not care? Or might you use either according to context? The meaning ...
1
vote
1answer
168 views

Yang-Mills Functional and Energy

I have a question about the meaning of Yang-Mills Functional. It is stated everywhere that the Yang-Mills Functional is a measure of energy. But the formal definition of the Yang-Mills Functional is: ...
6
votes
2answers
746 views

Publication in proceedings

Why and how publishing a paper in proceedings? What are the difference with a "classical" journal? What's the list of the main proceedings in which one can publish? Do proceedings papers (never, ...
8
votes
3answers
230 views

How do small central extensions drop the dimension of a faithful representation?

Apologies in advance that this is a very soft question. I might be talking complete nonsense. But I hope I am talking about something that has even been studied... I am interested in the phenomenon ...
28
votes
2answers
680 views

Different styles of writing/reading articles

Recently, I discovered a rather unexpected thing. We are writing an article in collaboration and we permanently have some discussions about how to write, in which order, how to organize material etc. ...
1
vote
0answers
185 views

Intuitive Approach to Sheaf and Cech Cohomology [closed]

Sheaf and Cech cohomology $H^*(X,\mathcal{F})$ (which give the same result when applied to good enough topological spaces) are a useful generalisation of the concepts of de Rham and Dolbeault ...
5
votes
2answers
345 views

Applications of cohomology to probability and statistics

Are there interesting/useful applications of cohomology (and homological algebra in general) to probability and statistics, or information theory? By "interesting/useful", I mean "not merely ...
5
votes
3answers
328 views

Need examples of homotopy orbit and fixed points

I am no expert in equivariant homotopy theory. Let's say, I am planing to give a talk on homotopy fixed points and orbits. My audience will be graduate students who are doing algebraic topology or ...
1
vote
1answer
252 views

How to decide whether the journal is pure or applied?

I am a beginner in research and have draft ready for my first article. I have a little confusion about the pure and applied journal in Mathematics. My work belongs to pure mathematics(I think). And ...
9
votes
0answers
550 views

How to approach the stigma of not having a math degree? [closed]

I am a faculty member in a department that is not mathematics, but is highly-ranked in my field. I greatly enjoy working with mathematicians, and have had a number of successful collaborations. ...
3
votes
1answer
431 views

Mathematics of Computer science and AI [closed]

Computer science and Artificial Intelligence have been fertile grounds for research for decades, not only for Engineers but particularly for Mathematicians. What kinds of Mathematics have emerged ...
3
votes
3answers
336 views

Reference request: a guide through quantum probability

Could you point out a comprehensive reference book (or more than one, if it is the case) on Quantum Probability that introduces the subject and then gradually builds up to the edges of contemporary ...
2
votes
2answers
236 views

Heuristics for 2-morphisms of (algebraic) stacks

For topological spaces and simplicial sets one can consider each pair of parallel morphisms $f,g:X\rightrightarrows Y$ as equipped with a set of 2-morphisms given by homotopies $H:f\simeq g$ (let's ...
5
votes
2answers
905 views

Physicist trying to understand modern mathematics

I'm a physicist trying to gain a deep understanding of mathematics that is required for my work.I intend to specialize in string theory which is a very math intensive branch of theoretical physics ...
2
votes
2answers
447 views

Popular books written by great mathematicians [closed]

I read: H. Poincare. Value of science F. Klein. Development of Mathematics in the 19th Century J.E. Littlewood. A Mathematicians Miscellany G.H. Hardy. A Mathematician’s Apology R. Courant, ...
8
votes
2answers
823 views

Surveys of the items of Erdős' “toolbox”

Could you point out some survey papers and monographs that highlight the kernel of tricks, techniques, and tools that Paul Erdős employed the most in his research work (in particular in graph theory, ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Reference for exercises with solutions for affine Lie algebras

I am doing self-study of affine Lie algebras, and while I have all recommended reference material, I find it hard to prepare for the exam. It was quite easy to study finite-dimensional simple Lie ...
7
votes
2answers
218 views

Recent trends in effective analysis

The references listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computable_analysis have all been published 30-15 years ago. Are the approaches which these references expose still up-to-date and relevant to the ...
3
votes
3answers
282 views

Survey papers of results (relevant to mathematics) produced during research on the relationship between mathematics and music theory

It is well-known that there is a relationship between music and mathematics, and there are many references that explore this topic (for example, Benson's book). However, I would like to ask if there ...
1
vote
0answers
92 views

Why are they called 'pernicious' numbers?

The definition of a pernicious number: In number theory, a pernicious number is a positive integer where the Hamming weight (or digit sum) of its binary representation is prime. The meaning of ...
8
votes
1answer
431 views

Open access journals in number theory

I'm a phd student in number theory, and I'm required (by the funding council) to publish any article I write in open access journals. The problem is that all journals I can find are either out of my ...