This tag is to be used only when re-tagging highly(!) off-topic questions where none of the actual tags would make sense; all actual tags the questioner has used are removed and something is needed to have some tag, which is enforced by the software, so this tag is used. However note that this tag ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

48
votes
3answers
5k 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) ...
25
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a finite family of functions such that the max of any two functions can be dominated by a third?

Is it true that for every $t$ there is an $n$ and there exists a finite function family, $\cal F$, whose members are from $[n] \to \mathbb N$ (taking all different values) and for any $f_1, \ldots, ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
35
votes
37answers
28k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
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
2answers
615 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
2answers
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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
2answers
504 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
513 views

Is the hyperspace of the Hilbert cube homeomorphic to the Hilbert cube

Question: Is the hyperspace of the Hilbert cube $H=[0,1]^\mathbb {N}$ homeomorphic to $H$? Remarks and definitions: 1) The Hilbert cube $H$ is a compact metric space, where the metric is given by ...
7
votes
4answers
526 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
1answer
317 views

Homotopy groups of K3

Let X be a K3 surface and $Y=X/\mathbb{Z}_2$, an Enrique surface. Long exact sequence of homotopy groups corresponding to fiberaion $\pi:X\to Y$, says that $\pi_2(X)=\pi_2(Y)$, while we know $H_2(X)$ ...
3
votes
1answer
448 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
290 views

Name convention for the composition of the preimage of a function and the function itself

Hi, given a function $f:X \rightarrow Y$, not necessarily invertible, is there a conventional name for the function $$g_f := f^{-1} \circ f:X \rightarrow \mathcal{P}(X),$$ where $\mathcal{P}(X)$ ...