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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7
votes
2answers
222 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
293 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
98 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
442 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
407 views

Do hom-sets really live in the category Set?

This isn't really a research-level question (sorry!), but I asked on math.se (link), and though the question was upvoted a few times, I didn't get any answers. So since there may well be more ...
16
votes
8answers
913 views

Examples of categorical adjunctions in analysis, Lie theory, and differential geometry?

In introductory texts on category theory, it seems like the majority of examples come from algebraic topology, algebra, and logic. Are there any good examples of adjunctions in analysis, Lie theory, ...
0
votes
1answer
247 views

What would undergraduate research consist of? [closed]

For undergraduate mathematics students looking to go to grad school, what kind of opportunities are open for research? I would assume undergrads would not be under any pressure or obligations to write ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Survey on functional equations and inequalities

Where can I find a comprehensive survey monograph on functional equations and inequalities from sketch to current research trends with some focus on applications (both inside and outside mathematics)? ...
-3
votes
1answer
231 views

How many of Ramanujan's discoveries have had a practical application? [closed]

I was reading about the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan who, before dying at the age of 32, independently compiled nearly 3900 results (this is from Wikipedia). So based on this he seems to ...
21
votes
1answer
626 views

Which properties of a variety are detected by its derived category of coherent sheaves?

Context: I'm giving an informal seminar/reading group collection of talks on derived categories, following on from earlier talks giving the abstract definition. I am starting to talk about ...
11
votes
2answers
633 views

What is the longest recorded gap between “proof” of a “theorem” and discovery that the result is false [duplicate]

I hope this question is not a duplicate. I am motivated by wondering when widely accepted results may be considered have a secure place in the mathematical literature. The question is intended to ...
-5
votes
2answers
333 views

Are there any with Erdös number 1 on mathoverflow? [closed]

I learned today that one of my professors wrote a paper with Erdös and Sós back in 1985, thus granting him the honor of having his Erdös number equal 1. I was wondering - did any of the ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

Heat Equation on LCA Group

I am reading The Laplacian on A Riemannian Manifold. In the book, author defines the heat equation on manifold. In the situation $\mathbb R$ and $\mathbb S$, people often use Fourier transformation ...
9
votes
3answers
648 views

How to refer to plural of mathematical symbols - with or without an apostrophe [closed]

Which one is correct, $x_i$s or $x_i$'s? Example sentence: The $x_i$s form a sequence. The $x_i$'s form a sequence.
8
votes
1answer
721 views

Research and exposition: how does writing “basic” books affect your “serious” research work?

I can see the benefit of writing a mathematical monograph: you revise and organize your own work and recollect the key ideas of your own research. But this applies only to books aimed at researchers ...
51
votes
5answers
4k views

Are there any serious investigations of whether “mathematicians do their best work when they're young”?

There is no shortage of anecdotes and conjectures on both sides of this widespread belief, but good supporting data either way is harder to find. Can anyone provide any references for serious ...
1
vote
0answers
231 views

On the remainder term in Taylor's formula [closed]

(1) What are the main differences, in terms of "usefulness" while solving problems (even at research level), among Cauchy, Lagrange, and Schlömilch's forms of the remainder in Taylor's formula? Could ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

New research and re-discovering classic results in “basic” real analysis

Sometimes, it happens that researchers publish a new proof of an old well-known result in "basic real analysis" (I'm referring to what some American people may call "honors calculus"). For instance, ...
31
votes
7answers
3k views

Companion to theoretical physics for working mathematicians

In the Princeton Companion to Mathematics one reads that even pure mathematicians should know some theoretical physics and applied mathematics. What are some well-organized comprehensive companions to ...
25
votes
5answers
2k views

Collaboration or acknowledgment?

This post is a sequel of: When should a supervisor be a co-author? This time the topic is about the interaction between two professional mathematicians (in particular junior-senior, but not ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

Collection of conjectures and open problems in graph theory

Is there something similar to the Kourovka Notebook for graph theory (or anyway an organized, possibly commented, collection of conjectures and open problems)?
6
votes
2answers
408 views

Generalization of Sylvester-Gallai theorem

The Sylvester-Gallai theorem states that it is not possible to arrange a finite number of points so that a line through every two of them passes through a third unless they are all on a single ...
5
votes
1answer
181 views

Survey paper on isoperimetry

I am searching for a comprehensive survey article (or more different articles) on the subject of isoperimetric problems from ancient Greece to modern mathematical physics. Could you point out some ...
6
votes
1answer
275 views

Is there a “good” reason that the universal central extension of $SL(2,\mathbb Z)$ is $Br_3$?

Let $$ Br_3 := \langle \tau_1,\tau_2\ :\ \tau_1 \tau_2 \tau_1 = \tau_2 \tau_1 \tau_2 \rangle $$ be the braid group on three strands, and consider the surjection $$\phi : Br_3 \twoheadrightarrow ...
23
votes
3answers
931 views

Graduate program applications that require questionnaires and other non-letter material

In the December 2014 AMS Notices, a letter to the editor (http://www.ams.org/notices/201411/rnoti-p1311.pdf) by Deconinck and Medlock addresses the problem of (math) graduate programs requiring letter ...
3
votes
2answers
483 views

Is a particular type of question about certain infinite sets still being asked?

I apologize in advance if this question is thought to be too soft or otherwise inappropriate for mathoverflow.net. Let M be the infinite set of all homeomorphism types of finite dimensional ...
11
votes
1answer
347 views

What are the current views on consistency of Reinhardt cardinals without AC?

It's well known that Reinhardt cardinals are inconsistent, provided that we have access to axiom of choice, but, as far as I know, we are clueless about this when we don't assume choice. For me, the ...
4
votes
1answer
239 views

Decidability of Frankl's union-closed sets conjecture

Is it conceivable that Frankl's union closed sets conjecture is undecidable in $\mathsf{ZFC}$, or is this quite implausible, perhaps due to the "finitistic" nature of the statement, or for some other ...
3
votes
0answers
359 views

Well-known or prolific mathematicians that have never written a sole-author article? [closed]

Dear mathoverflow community, I have a junior colleague who will be coming up for tenure and who has written many articles, but all of them as a co-author. I don't see this as a problem (after all, ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

What can be said about graphs if there are homomorphisms in both directions?

Let $G,H$ be simple undirected graphs without loops such that there are graph homomorphisms $f_1:G\to H$ and $f_2: H\to G$. An easy argument shows that we have $\chi(G) = \chi(H)$, even for graphs ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

The resolution of which conjecture/problem would advance Mathematics the most? [closed]

This is an impossibly broad question, and makes the unwarranted assumption that Mathematics is a uniform field. It might make more sense to ask the same question restricted to, say, Mathematical ...
22
votes
7answers
2k views

What problem would you base your mathcoin on?

Recently, a variant of electronic currency, based on prime sextuplets, broke the record in generating the largest known set of six primes, packed as closely as possible, that is, a sextuple ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Axiomatization of Degree Theory

I am reading Ruiz's Mapping Degree Theory, and find an axiomatization of degree theory of $\mathbb R^n$ in P38. It says that there exists a unique map $d(f,D,y)\in\mathbb Z$ satisfies Normality ...
5
votes
0answers
256 views

Etale Slice Theorem

I found the Luna's Slice Theorem very Technical. It will be helpful if someone illustrates the geometry involved in the theorem. Also why this theorem so useful? This is Luna's Slice theorem from a ...
16
votes
1answer
752 views

What makes the amenability of Thompsons group $F$ such a tricky problem?

An open problem that seems to get a lot of attention every once in a while is the amenability of Thompsons group $F$. The problem seems to generate both proofs and disproofs at a fairly high rate, ...
0
votes
0answers
99 views

Degree of Map between Pseudomanifold

There are two different ways to define a degree of map. Let $M$, $N$ be smooth, and $M$ is compact, $N$ is connected. If $f\in C(M,N)$, we define $\deg f$ by smooth approximation. [Milnor/Topology ...
0
votes
0answers
103 views

Proof of Faà di Bruno's formula with convolution identity

Faa di bruno's formula can be expressed as follows $$ \frac{d^n}{dx^n}[f(g(x))] = \sum_{k=1}^{n}f^{(k)}(g(x)) B_{n,k}(g'(x),....,g^{(n-k+1)}(x)) $$ On this Wikipedia page, there is a convolution ...
30
votes
6answers
3k views

Synthetic vs. classical differential geometry

To provide context, I'm a differential geometry grad student from a physics background. I know some category theory (at the level of Simmons) and differential and Riemannian geometry (at the level of ...
8
votes
0answers
382 views

How much algebraic geometry do I need to study complex geometry?

As one can deduce from the questions I have asked on MO, I'm interested in complex geometry. I am aware that there are many facets to the field, some of which I am more comfortable with than others. ...
17
votes
19answers
4k views

Math books for advanced high school students

I'm working in a program for teaching a group of students selected in a Olympiad competition. The program is aimed to acquaint the students with the diverse aspects of higher mathematics in a way ...
12
votes
1answer
899 views

Any reason I should join ResearchGate? [closed]

I am getting "invitations" to join ResearchGate. I am not a member of any other social network, as I consider it a waste of time. Are there good reasons for a mathematician to join ResearchGate? Can ...
40
votes
5answers
4k views

Why higher category theory?

This is a soft question. I am an undergrad and is currently seriously considering the field of math I am going into in grad school. (perhaps a little bit late, but it's better late then never.) I ...
13
votes
2answers
490 views

Who first noticed that Stirling numbers of the second kind count partitions?

When the Stirling numbers of the second kind were introduced by James Stirling in 1730, it was not combinatorially; rather, the numbers ${n \brace k}$ were defined via the polynomial identity $$ x^n = ...
4
votes
0answers
153 views

Is the ISC kaput [closed]

The very useful Inverse Symbolic Calculator is showing me this What's up? multiple choice (a) No, it's fine at that address: idiot Edgar did something wrong... (b) It is off-line at that ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

Disruptive innovations in mathematical notations [closed]

I am wondering whether there are examples of mathematical notations that, once introduced, have drastically changed or simplified the way to address a problem or a mathematical area, or that have ...
4
votes
4answers
292 views

Are there examples of families of objects which are canonically isomorphic, but where diagrams of canonical isomorphisms don't commute?

Specifically, are there "nice" (ie, not too obscure or contrived) examples of families of objects, where say for each objects $A,B,C$ in the family, the canonical isomorphism from $A\rightarrow C$ is ...
12
votes
12answers
2k views

Obscure Names in Mathematics [closed]

I recently stumbled over the "Happy Ending Problem" (cf e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Ending_problem), which made we wonder, if there are other conjectures, theorems or problems, whose names ...
3
votes
2answers
465 views

Intuition behind $\zeta(2) = \frac{\pi^2}{6}$ [closed]

In literature, there are many proofs of the well-known result $$\zeta(2) = \frac{\pi^2}{6}.$$ However, as far as I know, they do not offer an intuitive explanation of why this result should be true. ...
2
votes
3answers
397 views

How did the summation operation come into use? [closed]

So we've been using summations at least since the dawn of calculus. I'm wondering how the process of summing a function came to be known? Are there events that led to the invention of the summation ...
8
votes
0answers
443 views

Number Theory over $\mathbb{F}_q [t]$, why is it important/interesting?

This is something I was curious about, but not really sure why. I was hoping maybe someone could give me a good explanation. I understand that there are similarities between $\mathbb{Z}$ and ...