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
256 views

Concise definition of subobjects

Higher category theory tells us that it is a bad idea to identify isomorphic things. Rather, the isomorphism should belong to some additional data. Also, categorification tells us that one should, ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Interpretation of riemannian geodesics in probability

Good morning everybody. My question is, as maybe already hinted in the title, rather philosopic. We know that geometric properties of a riemannian manifold can be interpreted in terms of certain ...
11
votes
4answers
821 views

Soft question: beginners reference to moduli spaces

What is a geometrically intuitive yet reasonably general first introduction to the theory of Moduli spaces? (Possibly introducing stacks also)? I'm looking for something which really gets the pictures ...
0
votes
0answers
190 views

Heuristic probabilistic argument for the Navier-Stokes existence and smoothness conjecture

The Collatz Conjecture is a famous conjecture that has never been proven; nevertheless, there exists a simple heuristic probabilistic argument which supports its truth - in Wikipedia's words, "If one ...
7
votes
0answers
247 views

Why is the Dynamical Mordell-Lang conjecture interesting?

The gist of the Dynamical Mordell-Lang conjecture is: Let's say you have a set $S$. Inside $S$, you have a point $x$ where you start off at. Now, you also have a function $f: S \rightarrow S$ (is ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Models for events where position and time are correlated

Apologies in advance if this question is not sufficiently research-level: What are the standard models that are used to describe phenomena in which events that occur at the same time are likely to be ...
2
votes
1answer
288 views

Is the identification between symmetric tensors and homogeneous polynomials useful?

The general question: Given an $n$-dimensional vector space $V$ over a field $k$, there exists an identification $$\mathrm{Sym}^d(V) \sim k[x_1, \dots, x_n]_d$$ between the space of symmetric order ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

(Very) High dimensional manifolds

Usually one regards manifolds up to dimension 4 as a part of low dimensional topology. There are plenty of various results which work only in low dimensional topology; especially in dimension 4. ...
19
votes
8answers
6k views

Why have mathematicians used differential equations to model nature instead of difference equations

Ever since Newton invented Calculus, mathematicians have been using differential equations to model natural phenomena. And they have been very successful in doing such. Yet, they could have been just ...
5
votes
3answers
307 views

A. Markov's papers?

A. Markov published several papers on his chains, starting in 1906, so it is written, in the journal: (1) Извѣстія Физико-математического общества при Казанском университете I am surprised by the ...
70
votes
25answers
10k views

What is the most useful non-existing object of your field?

When many proofs by contradiction end with "we have built an object with such, such and such properties, which does not exist", it seems relevant to give this object a name, even though (in fact ...
13
votes
2answers
866 views

What justification can you give for the fact that “most ODEs do not have an explicit solution”?

What justification can you give for the fact that "most ODEs do not have an explicit solution"?
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Sites for seeking possible collaborations

As a material scientist, I have recently constructed algorithms for solving ground state of arbitrary cluster interactions models and prepared publications in the field of physics and material ...
6
votes
0answers
402 views

Any reason to believe that $NP \neq P$ is unprovable in ZFC

We know $NP \neq P$ from a lot of point of view like empirical reason,or theoretical reasons such as finite model theory or descriptive complexity.Although we find so many reasons to believe $NP \neq ...
2
votes
0answers
337 views

Cases of Mathematical Fraud [closed]

Are there any cases of Mathematical Fraud? Analogous to other sorts of "scientific misconduct" it could be intentional [1], unintentional [2] or other [4]. [1]: Schoen Scandal ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Software producing complex trees

Does anyone know any kind of graph software that could produce graphs like this for publication? Those links and crosses and numbers actually needs to be presented…. Thank you:) One small update, ...
25
votes
9answers
1k views

Continuous relations?

What might it mean for a relation $R\subset X\times Y$ to be continuous? In topology, category theory or in analysis? Is it possible, canonical, useful? I have a vague idea of the possibility of ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

Where to find (personal) motivation [closed]

I think it would be appropriate to make this question CW... It is likely that this question will not survive here on MO for long, but I do hope that the community gives it a chance. I also hope to ...
-4
votes
1answer
436 views

Publishing problem [closed]

First, I want appreciate your work on this platform, as I have been getting very helpful advice even though I am not a member. My problem is that I have been working on-off on a famous math problem ...
4
votes
1answer
372 views

Lower bound on the irrationality measure of $\pi$

There seems to be a lot of work on the upper bound for the irrationality measure of $\pi$, but I could not find anything on a lower bound except the general $\mu(\pi)\geq2$. Looks like it is the best ...
4
votes
2answers
510 views

Why considering schemes over discrete valuation rings?

For many times, I find people working on schemes over DVRs, and prove theorems on such setting. For example, my latest experience is the "semi-stable reduction theorem" by Kempf, Knudsen, Mumford and ...
8
votes
1answer
233 views

Construction of the Lie functor: left vs. right invariant vector fields on Lie groups and Lie groupoids

When constructing the Lie algebra $L(G)$ of a Lie group $G$, one usually uses the identification of the tangent space $T_1 G$ with left invariant vector fields $\mathcal{V}^l(G)$ to construct the Lie ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

ICM 2014 streaming video

Is there a possibility to watch ICM 2014 opening ceremony and the big talks online? I hope there is since it was possible for the previous meeting.
5
votes
2answers
742 views

Salvaging Leibnizian formalism?

Can one justify Leibniz's formalism in a suitable algebraic or topological context? We have published some papers recently where we argue that Leibniz's formalism for the calculus wasn't ...
106
votes
22answers
24k views

Examples of unexpected mathematical images

I try to generate a lot of examples in my research to get a better feel for what I am doing. Sometimes, I generate a plot, or a figure, that really surprises me, and makes my research take an ...
31
votes
1answer
3k views

A topologist is not a mathematician - a small question

Years ago I read about a topologist who was to enter the states as an immigrant and was asked a question about his profession. He indicated he was a topologist, but as this was not included on the ...
14
votes
5answers
894 views

Examples of research on how people perceive mathematical objects

What examples are there on research related to human perception and mathematical objects? For example, the shape of a beer glass influences drinking habits, since people are bad at integrating. ...
0
votes
0answers
120 views

Looking for rapidly converging series for the reciprocal gamma and/or gamma function

There are rapidly converging infinite series for Pi and the such but it is difficult to locate those for either the gamma or reciprocal gamma function. I am searching for rapidly converging series ...
26
votes
15answers
5k views

Examples of famous 'workhorse' theorems

I use the term 'workhorse' to describe a theorem which is technically challenging to prove, perhaps very deep, but the statement is either uninteresting at first glance or too imposing to be ...
2
votes
4answers
419 views

Should all equations which appear in a thesis be numbered?

I was just wondering if there is any sort of consensus on the topic of when to number math expressions. For example different lines in a proof, these should be tagged or not tagged?
31
votes
6answers
2k views

Negative impact of wrong or non-rigorous proofs

The recent talks of Voevodsky (for example, http://www.math.ias.edu/~vladimir/Site3/Univalent_Foundations_files/2014_IAS.pdf), which describe subtle errors in proofs by him as well as others, as well ...
12
votes
3answers
979 views

Proof correctness problem

I was watching this talk by Vladimir Voevodsky which was given at the Institute of Advanced Study in 2006. In his talk the first slide he shows has the following written on it: ...
5
votes
0answers
416 views

Refereeing a paper containing strong statements about other papers

The title says it all. Suppose you are refereeing a paper where the author A makes strong statements about other papers by a different author B, like: the proof of Theorem 1 in paper [B] is wrong and ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

Countable model theory for $\omega$-stable theories?

This is a bit of a fishing expedition, because I'm not sure what I'm looking for. Very vaguely stated, here's the driving question: What conditions on an $\omega$-stable theory make the class of ...
3
votes
4answers
277 views

Which fields could be applied to neurosciences?

I have a friend who wants to study something applied to neurosciences. He is going to begin his grad studies in mathematics. He asked me which areas of mathematics could be applied to neurosciences. ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Reading Papers in a Language you don't Speak

First, I apologize if I'm posting this to the wrong place, but it seems correct. My adviser sent me the SGA text of Grothendieck which is in French. Though I can piece together parts of the text, I'm ...
8
votes
0answers
160 views

Literature that helps explain what the theory of numerosities contributes with

Since 2003 a group of Italian mathematicians (Benci, Di Nasso and Forti) has developed a new measure for infinite sets that satisfies the Euclidian principle: The whole is greater than the part. The ...
3
votes
0answers
64 views

Almost everywhere in a rectangle [duplicate]

I would like to ask a question about the product (Lebesgue) measure on rectangle. I tried to solve the problem but I couldn't. Let $S$ be a subset of a region, say $R$ which is enclosed by a ...
87
votes
17answers
7k views

How does one justify funding for mathematics research?

G. H. Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology provides an answer as to why one would do mathematics, but I'm unable to find an answer as to why mathematics deserves public funding. Mathematics can be ...
37
votes
8answers
3k views

What recent programmes to alter highly-entrenched mathematical terminology have succeeded, and under what conditions do they tend to succeed or fail?

I think we all occasionally come across terminology that we'd like to see supplanted (e.g. by something more systematic). What I'd like to know is, under what circumstances is it reasonable to believe ...
7
votes
1answer
449 views

Differences in philosophy between Lie Groups and Differential Galois Theory

As far as I have heard,Sophus Lie's aim was to construct an analogue of galois theory for differential galois theory. I am familiar with lie group but not with differential galois theory. What is the ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

Do's and don'ts of writing survey papers

I am not sure if this is the appropriate forum to ask as it is not directly related to a research level (math) problem, but I figured it was worth a try. I recently attended a conference and felt that ...
4
votes
0answers
187 views

Why is the density function of a sum of many iid random variables (i.e., the Gaussian) self-dual?

In the usual proof of the central limit theorem via characteristic functions, we note that if $X_1, \dots, X_n$ are independent and identically distributed, with probability density function $f(x)$, ...
22
votes
0answers
544 views

Good ways to organize old personal mathematical resources

I am wondering how the other Mathematicians organize their old mathematical resources, like calculation drafts, class and seminar notes etc. These old resources may be related to a wide range of ...
28
votes
26answers
4k views

Mathematicians who made important contributions outside their own field? [closed]

It is often said that scientists who cross disciplinary borders can make unexpected discoveries thanks to their fresh view of the problems at hand. I am looking for mathematicians who did just that. ...
0
votes
1answer
220 views

What do Hilbert and Bernays mean when they say “finitist number theory”? [closed]

Perhaps it is not a fair question to be addressed here. Anyway, when I read that Hilbert and Bernays develop finitist number theory. What does "finitist number theory" mean here?
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Optical methods for number theory?

I found a paper: 'A New Method of Finding the Distribution of Prime Number', saying We stack discs and annuluses with certain rules then turn on the light to illuminate. The projection of ...
28
votes
9answers
4k views

Why differential forms are important?

Importance of differential forms is obvious to any geometer and some analysts dealing with manifolds, partly because so many results in modern geometry and related areas cannot even be formulated ...
6
votes
2answers
349 views

Are there any organized websites for seminar/conference videos?

These days, there are many conference centers and universities recording seminars and conference talks and make them available on the web. Some examples: http://www.fields.utoronto.ca/video-archive ...
100
votes
10answers
6k views

What non-categorical applications are there of homotopical algebra?

(To be honest, I actually mean something more general than 'homotopical algebra' - topos theory, $\infty$-categories, operads, anything that sounds like its natural home would be on the nLab.) More ...