**12**

votes

**1**answer

1k 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 ...

**55**

votes

**5**answers

5k 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

**0**answers

242 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

**2**answers

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, ...

**33**

votes

**7**answers

4k 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

**5**answers

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 ...

**19**

votes

**5**answers

2k 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

**2**answers

434 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 ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

203 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

**1**answer

312 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 ...

**25**

votes

**3**answers

1k 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

**2**answers

509 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

**1**answer

420 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

**1**answer

303 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

**0**answers

386 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

**1**answer

178 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

**3**answers

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 ...

**24**

votes

**6**answers

3k 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

**1**answer

179 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
...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

421 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

**1**answer

784 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

**0**answers

114 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 ...

**36**

votes

**6**answers

4k 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

**0**answers

438 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. ...

**18**

votes

**19**answers

6k 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 ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

1k 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 ...

**49**

votes

**5**answers

5k 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 ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

526 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

**0**answers

159 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

**1**answer

324 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

**4**answers

309 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

**12**answers

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 ...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

498 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

**3**answers

413 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

**0**answers

466 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 ...

**-1**

votes

**1**answer

125 views

### CAT spaces and Metric Measure Spaces [closed]

This is very vague question but here it goes: are there any results of analysis on metric spaces in CAT spaces?, for instance as in the paper of Sturm (On the geometry of metric measure spaces) or as ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

135 views

### current status of combinatorial optimization solvers [closed]

What is the current status of the solvers in combinatorial optimization? For example, what is the "usual feasible size" for a traveller sale's man problem, say, how many nodes and edges are "usually ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

319 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

**1**answer

99 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

**4**answers

1k 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

**0**answers

209 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 ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

312 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 ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

336 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 ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

2k 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. ...

**21**

votes

**8**answers

8k 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

**3**answers

338 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

**25**answers

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

**2**answers

921 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

**1**answer

194 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

**0**answers

436 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 ...