**47**

votes

**3**answers

4k views

### What is the status of the Gauss Circle Problem?

For $r > 0$, let $L(r) = \# \{ (x,y) \in \mathbb{Z}^2 \ | \ x^2 + y^2 \leq r^2\}$ be the number of lattice points lying on or inside the standard circle of radius $r$. It is easy to see that $L(r) ...

**49**

votes

**29**answers

30k views

### Why do we teach calculus students the derivative as a limit?

I'm not teaching calculus right now, but I talk to someone who does, and the question that came up is why emphasize the $h \to 0$ definition of a derivative to calculus students?
Something a teacher ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Definition of Function

What is authoritative canonical formal definition of function?
For example,
According to Wolfram MathWorld,
$$isafun_1(f)\;\leftrightarrow\;
\forall a\in f\;(\exists x\exists y \;\langle x,y\rangle ...

**29**

votes

**37**answers

21k views

### What is your favorite “strange” function? [closed]

There are many "strange" functions to choose from and the deeper you get involved with math the more you encounter. I consciously don't mention any for reasons of bias. I am just curious what you ...

**11**

votes

**5**answers

4k views

### If d/dx is an operator, on what does it operate?

If $\frac{d}{dx}$ is a differential operator, what are its inputs? If the answer is "(differentiable) functions" (i.e., variable-agnostic sets of ordered pairs), we have difficulty distinguishing ...

**6**

votes

**7**answers

3k views

### Freshman's definition of sin(x) ?

I would like to know how you would rigorously introduce the trigonometric funcions ($sin(x)$ and relatives) to first year calculus students. Suppose they have a reasonable definition of $\mathbb{R}$ ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

546 views

### Independence of Leibniz rule and locality from other properties of the derivative?

The following is meant to be an axiomatization of differential calculus of a single variable. To avoid complications, let's say that $f$, $g$, $f'$, and $g'$ are smooth functions from $\mathbb{R}$ to ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### The non-traveling mathematician problem

This is a career question. I have just begun a research postdoc position in Southern California. It has been hard, but I've enjoyed teaching my first graduate courses and working on research and ...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

482 views

### Rain droplets falling on a table

Suppose you have a circular table of radius $R$. This table has been left outside, and it begins to rain at a constant rate of one droplet per second. The drops, which can be considered points as they ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

446 views

### Showing a filter with a certain property on the power set of $\mathbb{Z}$ is a one point filter

Let $\mathcal{P}_0(X)$ the Power set of $X$ without the empty set and let $\dot{x}:=\{A\subseteq X: x \in A\}$ the one point filter generated by $x$. Furtermore let $$ \mathcal{A} := \{ f \in ...

**5**

votes

**2**answers

951 views

### Construction of Serre Spectral Sequence

I'm trying to follow Hopkins' construction of the Serre Spectral Sequence, but some "obvious" things are not that obvious to me.
He starts with considering a double complex $C_{\bullet,\bullet}$ with ...

**4**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Does the derivative of log have a Dirac delta term?

Dirac writes down the following formula on page 61 of his "Principles of quantum mechanics":
$\frac{d}{dx}\log x = \frac{1}{x} -i\pi\delta(x)$, see http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1947pqm..book.....D ...

**9**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### What is the definition of continuity of set-valued functions?

According to the wiki of Kakutani's fixed-point theorem, A set-valued mapping $\varphi$ from a topological space $X$ into a powerset $\wp(Y)$ called upper semi-continuous if for every open set $W ...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

708 views

### When does a a rational function have infinitely many integer values for integer inputs?

Consider rational functions $F(x)=P(x)/Q(x)$ with $P(x),Q(x) \in \mathbb{Z}[x]$. I'd like to know when I can expect $F(k) \in \mathbb{Z}$ for infinitely many positive integers $k$. Of course this ...

**7**

votes

**4**answers

453 views

### Trig functions based on convex curves

Pardon my naivety, but I wonder if
much use has been found for
trigonometric functions
defined in terms of a centrally symmetric convex curve $K$ replacing
the circle $C$.
For example, here is the ...

**4**

votes

**3**answers

257 views

### Operation on Isospectral graphs

Suppose $G$ and $H$ are two isospectral connected graphs. Can we say anything about isospectrality of graphs that obtain by binary operation between $G$ and $H$?
For example,in special case, is ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

378 views

### Connecting points on a variety by the image of a nonsingular curve

In Hartshorne's proof of a result of Igusa (see III, 9.13 of Hartshorne) he claims without proof that any two closed points on a variety can be connected by the image of a nonsingular curve, or by a ...