**15**

votes

**2**answers

515 views

### Teaching the fundamental group via everyday examples

This is a "prequel" to a similar question about homology. Both questions were inspired by seeing a talk, by Tadashi Tokieda, about the interesting physics that appears in toys.
What stories, ...

**5**

votes

**0**answers

142 views

### Lower semicontinuity of naive fiber size

I would like to present the following result in my algebraic geometry class, but it is seeming much harder than I would expect. Since my class is working with closed points over an algebraically ...

**0**

votes

**2**answers

153 views

### Simple yet interesting applications of Calculus or Linear Algebra to Economics [closed]

This is essentially a vast generalization of my previous question: Examples of separable ordinary differential equations in economics
I'm giving a talk to college-level math teachers on some ...

**20**

votes

**7**answers

1k views

### Conceptual algebraic proof that Grassmannian is closed in Plucker embedding

I'm planning lectures for my intro algebraic geometry course, and I noted something awkward that is coming up. We're starting projective varieties soon. Of course, we'll prove that projective maps are ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

683 views

### Can one live without actual infinity? [closed]

The title of this question is the exact title of one of the sections of a book written by Alexandre Borovik: Mathematics under the Microscope. Under the title, we read:
How should we approach the ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

227 views

### Where can I find resources for creating a mathematics “bridge course”?

My department is in the very early stages of developing a "bridge course" or "introduction to proofs" course, motivated by our lower-level courses not currently doing a good job of preparing our ...

**5**

votes

**2**answers

633 views

### An application of Maschke's theorem

I've been teaching some elementary representation theory to undergraduates, and want to provide applications of Maschke's theorem to complex group algebras to present in class. In particular, I'd like ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

70 views

### Are injective modules flabby on basic open sets?

In order to give a simple proof of a basic fact about quasi-coherent modules (see below), I'm interested in knowing whether the following statement holds:
Statement: If $A$ is a commutative ring and ...

**3**

votes

**4**answers

426 views

### Understanding reasons for best constants in inequalities

Why, in functional analysis, is so important to calculate best constant in an embedding inequality?
Cross-posted from ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

345 views

### Teaching profession:Differential Equations and Mean Value Theorems

Usually I teach Algebra,Algebra and Geometyry, Topology, at various University levels. This semester (Spring 2014) I have to teach Differential Equations to University second year students (4th ...

**3**

votes

**3**answers

300 views

### undergraduate handle decomposition. Reference

As the title says, I'm searching for a nice textbook for introducing the theory of handle decomposition of manifolds to undergraduate students.

**14**

votes

**2**answers

554 views

### How useful/pervasive are differential forms in surface theory?

Every year I teach an introductory class on the differential geometry of surfaces, including numerical aspects (e.g., how to solve PDEs on surfaces). Historically this class has included an ...

**7**

votes

**5**answers

583 views

### Easy to state applications of dimension theory in algebraic geometry

Dimension theory is quite a sophisticated topic (at least for me), it is fully settled in Shafarevich's book on the first 100 pages.
Shafarevich gives two nice applications of the theory. 1) A proof ...

**2**

votes

**3**answers

687 views

### Assessing effectiveness of (epsilon, delta) definitions [closed]

There is much discussion both in the education community and the mathematics community concerning the challenge of (epsilon, delta) type definitions in calculus and the student reception of them. The ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

292 views

### Not quite adjoint functors

What are standard and/or natural examples of pairs of functors $F:C\leftrightarrows D:G$ and unnatural bijections $\hom_D(Fx,y)\to\hom_C(x,Gy)$ for all $x$ and $y$? Can one do this so that the ...

**47**

votes

**15**answers

3k views

### Teaching homology via everyday examples

What stories, puzzles, games, paradoxes, toys, etc from everyday life are better understood after learning homology theory?
To be more precise, I am teaching a short course on homology, from ...

**54**

votes

**10**answers

10k views

### Is Euclid dead? [closed]

Apparently Euclid died about 2,300 years ago (actually 2,288 to be more precise), but the title of the question refers to the rallying cry of Dieudonné, "A bas Euclide! Mort aux triangles!" ...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

517 views

### Can this informal argument (for the fact that almost all reals in the unit interval are irrational) be saved?

In the textbook from which I am teaching a Discrete Math course, the authors propose randomly generating an infinite sequence of decimal digits $d_1, d_2, \dots$. We are to think of this as the ...

**25**

votes

**6**answers

1k views

### Does seeing beyond the course you teach matter? The case of linear algebra and matrices

This question is indeed very important for me. Thus I hope you bear with my subjective explanations for a few minutes. I am an "excellent" lecturer, at least according to course evaluation forms ...

**4**

votes

**4**answers

445 views

### Variation on the Sobolev space $H^1_0$

Let $\Omega\subset\mathbb{R}^n$ be a bounded open set, let
$$
C^1_0(\overline\Omega) = \{u\in C^1(\Omega)\cap C(\overline\Omega):u|_{\partial\Omega}=0\},
$$
and let $C^1_c(\Omega)$ be the space of ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

449 views

### Linear Algebra Text Book

In our department we do not like our current linear algebra book and so we would want to find a better book. This is for the first course in linear algebra and the title of the course is
Elementary ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

842 views

### How should you respond to a student who asks whether a very nice physical example constitutes a proof? [closed]

"Is this really a proof?" is the exact question e-mailed to me today from an undergraduate mathematics student whom I know as a highly competent student. The one sentence question was accompanied with ...

**10**

votes

**3**answers

559 views

### Calculus Teaching: Is it possible or desirable to give a severely abbreviated treatment of series convergence tests?

I will be teaching Calculus 2 this fall at a large U.S. state university. Our incoming students tend to have a limited or inconsistent background, which limits the amount of material we can cover.
...

**23**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Is “problem solving” a subject to be taught?

I am witnessing a new curriculum change in my country (Iran). It includes the change of all the mathematics textbooks at all grades. The peoples involved has sent me the textbook for seven graders (13 ...

**2**

votes

**4**answers

418 views

### Eigenvalues of powers of linear mappings

Let $\tau$ be a linear map on a finite dimensional complex vector space. Clearly, if $\lambda$ is an eigenvalue of $\tau$ then $\lambda^n$ is an eigenvalue of $\tau^n$, for any natural (integer, on ...

**23**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Nearly all math classes are lecture+problem set based; this seems particularly true at the graduate level. What are some concrete examples of techniques other than the “standard math class” used at the *Graduate* level?

In the fall, I am teaching one undergraduate and one graduate course, and in planning these courses I have been thinking about alternatives to the "standard math class". I have found it much easier ...

**21**

votes

**7**answers

1k views

### Pros and cons of math teaching using smartboards

Currently, there is some talk in my university concerning a change in our lecture rooms from blackboards to smartboards (or other alternatives, such as a smart podium). For that reason, I'm interested ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

898 views

### Can the unsolvability of quintics be seen in the geometry of the icosahedron?

Q1. Is it possible to somehow "see" the unsolvability of quintic polynomials
in the $A_5$ symmetries of the icosahedron (or dodecahedron)?
Perhaps this is too vague a question.
Q2. Are there ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

827 views

### What is the best *general triangle*?

During courses on geometry it is sometimes necessary to draw a triangle on the blackboard that can easily be recognized as a general triangle. It must not be rectangular and must not have two or more ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

343 views

### Sierpinski Triangle and the Chaos Game

The chaos game is a way to construct (an approximation) of Sierpinski triangle. It's clear (using Thales' theorem!) that if we begin with a point on the sierpinski triangle, then we will never leave ...

**4**

votes

**4**answers

515 views

### Lecture on Fractals for Middle School Students

I'm going to have a one-hour lecture for middle school students next Monday. It will be about fractals. The students know virtually nothing about this subject.
I'll show some fractal images and a few ...

**0**

votes

**2**answers

387 views

### Correct definition of the sequence of natural numbers with set theory, but without counting or measuring size [closed]

This question may appear banal, but there seems to be more than meets the eye; a common glitch is to explain numbers by the "size" of sets without saying how to measure or compare the size of sets.
...

**0**

votes

**0**answers

196 views

### About the parallel transport and choice of connection

Thought Experiment
Consider a 2-sphere, $S^2$, and let $p$ be a point at the equator.
Case 1
Let us parallel transport a vector, $V$ from $p$ using the recipe:
Move one unit of length East.
Move ...

**4**

votes

**3**answers

513 views

### Higher dimensional Bezout via Hilbert polynomials: a reference

For the purposes of teaching my elementary course in algebraic geometry I am looking for a reference (or notes) that contains a complete proof of a higher-dimensional weak Bezout theorem. I only want ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

982 views

### Research level applications of “row rank = column rank”?

No less an authority than Gilbert Strang frames "row rank equals column rank" (and a couple of other facts) as "The Fundamental Theorem of Linear Algebra."
I'd simply like to assemble (for teaching ...

**8**

votes

**4**answers

883 views

### “Classical” consequences of Bezout's theorem in dimensions $>2$

By Classical I mean something that could have been found before 1900 (say).
A well known consequence of Bezout's theorem for plane curves is Pascal's theorem ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

929 views

### Good examples of random variables whose image is not a measurable set?

Are their simple/natural examples of real-valued Borel-measurable random variables whose image is not a Borel set? Something that occurs "naturally"?
I am teaching Doob's lemma (for two real-valued ...

**22**

votes

**13**answers

2k views

### Elementary applications of linear algebra over finite fields

I'm teaching axiomatic linear algebra again this semester. Although the textbooks I'm using do everything over the real or complex numbers, for various reasons I prefer to work over an arbitrary ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

578 views

### Teaching stacks to differential geometry students

Does anyone have any experience teaching stacks over the category of manifolds to students whose background is, say, a semester-long course on manifolds? Does anyone know of any publicly available ...

**0**

votes

**2**answers

238 views

### Lines on degree 2n-3 Fermat hypersufaces

It is well known that a generic hypersurface of degree $2n-3$ in $\mathbb CP^n$ has finite number of lines. I would like to ask a couple of questions about lines on Fermat hypersurfaces and their ...

**9**

votes

**4**answers

868 views

### Integrating Powers without much Calculus

I'll jump into the question and then back off into qualifications and context
Using the definition of a definite integral as the limit of Riemann sums, what is the best way (or the very good ways) ...

**11**

votes

**2**answers

937 views

### There are two points on the Earth's surface that … ?

At every moment in time, there are two points on the Earth's surface that have the same $\lbrace x, y, z, ... \rbrace$...?
What is the strongest, most impressive statement one can make here? The ...

**1**

vote

**3**answers

412 views

### Continuous change of basis (and on the definition of determinant) [closed]

Let $(u_1, \ldots, u_n)$ and $(v_1, \ldots, v_n)$ be two ordered bases of $\mathbb R^n$. The orientation of the first basis is defined as the sign of the determinant of $[u_1 \cdots u_n]$, and ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Examples of separable ordinary differential equations in economics

I'm currently teaching an integral calculus course for business students, and we're just about to discuss differential equations. They've worked hard, and I'd like to reward them with some economic ...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

386 views

### Surface Laplace-Beltrami without coordinates, exterior calculus?

Let $f: M \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^3$ be an immersion of a surface $M$. For pedagogical purposes (i.e., I'm teaching a class!) I am looking for an expression for the scalar Laplace-Beltrami operator ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### The function $\sum_{0}^{\infty} x^n/n^n$

The function $F(x) = \sum_{0}^{\infty} x^n/n^n$ may be familiar to many readers as an example sometimes used when teaching tests for absolute convergence of entire functions defined by power series. I ...

**15**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Is $x \, \tan(x)$ integrable in elementary functions?

I'm teaching Calculus and my students asked me to calculate the integral of $x \, \tan(x)$.
I spent quite a lot of effort to do this, but I'm now even not sure if the integral could be presented in ...

**63**

votes

**20**answers

7k views

### “Mathematics talk” for five year olds

I am trying to prepare a "mathematics talk" for five year olds from my daughter's elementary school. I have given many mathematics talks in my life but this one feels
very tough to prepare. Could the ...

**8**

votes

**9**answers

2k views

### Topics for an Undergraduate Expository Paper in Number Theory

I am teaching an undergraduate course in number theory and am looking for topics that students could take on to write an expository paper (~10 pages). No new results are expected of them. Many of the ...

**5**

votes

**4**answers

535 views

### Multivariable Calculus Lecture Ideas

I am teaching a course in multivariable calculus this semester. We are covering the basics about $\mathbb{R}^n$, including dot products and cross products, curves, and quadric surfaces. After that ...