**12**

votes

**19**answers

7k views

### Textbook recommendations for undergraduate proof-writing class

I am teaching the proof-writing class (for the 3rd time) in the Fall and plan to buck the party line and use a different text than the default Bond and Keane. My parameters are as follows:
Logic, ...

**56**

votes

**23**answers

21k views

### What are the most misleading alternate definitions in taught mathematics?

I suppose this question can be interpreted in two ways. It is often the case that two or more equivalent (but not necessarily semantically equivalent) definitions of the same idea/object are used in ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

218 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 ...

**13**

votes

**13**answers

4k views

### Looking for an introductory textbook on algebraic geometry for an undergraduate lecture course

I am now supposed to organize a tiny lecture course on algebraic geometry for undergraduate students who have an interest in this subject.
I wonder whether there are some basic algebraic geometry ...

**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 ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

871 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 ...

**3**

votes

**3**answers

293 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.

**5**

votes

**2**answers

621 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 ...

**5**

votes

**9**answers

999 views

### Suggestions for teaching advanced high school students

Hi all,
I'm a grad student and just joined a mentoring program in which I will visit a group of advanced year ten high school students (around 16 years old) from a group of schools in the area. I ...

**16**

votes

**9**answers

7k views

### Applications of knot theory

An answer of André Henriques' inspired the following closely related CW question. Parts of the following is extracted from his answer and my comments.
I regularly teach a knot theory class. ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

66 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 ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

336 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 ...

**2**

votes

**4**answers

400 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 ...

**11**

votes

**9**answers

1k views

### math circles video lectures for school children?

Hello,
I am from India. I find the mathoverflow amazing.
I have a question: Are there any good quality video lectures on school math topics?
There are a lot of high quality lectures available on ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

492 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 ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Bitcoin Research

I have recently been assigned to advise a student on a senior thesis. She has taken linear algebra, introductory real analysis, and abstract algebra. Her interest is in cryptography. And she has a ...

**2**

votes

**3**answers

620 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 ...

**8**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### The harmonic (series) beetle: live illustrations of mathematical theorems

In my analysis class I use the following problem to illustrate the divergence
of the harmonic series (consider this as a hint for solving it).
Exercise.
A beetle creeps along a 1-meter infinitely ...

**33**

votes

**4**answers

5k views

### Are there any “related rates” calculus problems that don't feel contrived?

I just finished teaching a freshman calculus course (at an American state university), and one standard topic in the curriculum is related rates. I taught my students to answer questions such as the ...

**7**

votes

**5**answers

569 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 ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

284 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 ...

**10**

votes

**3**answers

543 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.
...

**47**

votes

**32**answers

9k views

### Demystifying complex numbers

At the end of this month I start teaching complex analysis to
2nd year undergraduates, mostly from engineering but some from
science and maths. The main applications for them in future
studies are ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

332 views

### Integration in several variables and elementary applications

This fall I'm teaching the "second half" of the standard entry-level undergraduate multivariable calculus course: the focus is on double and triple integrals, path integrals, Green's theorem, Stokes' ...

**3**

votes

**4**answers

795 views

### Another Chicken or Egg: Sequence or Series

This is a side question which is more motivated by teaching than research.
First, I am trying to convince myself that sequences appear before series (as numerical approximations to "interesting" ...

**46**

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 ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

447 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 ...

**8**

votes

**4**answers

857 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 ...

**4**

votes

**3**answers

499 views

### Looking for ideas concerning the teaching of lower-division differential equation courses…

I'm looking for problems/lessons plans that could be used in a lower-division differential equations course that involve discerning properties of solutions of an equation, IVP, or BVP, without looking ...

**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!" ...

**98**

votes

**6**answers

25k views

### Where to buy premium white chalk in the U.S., like they have at RIMS?

While not a research-level math question, I'm sure this is a question of interest to many research-level mathematicians, whose expertise I seek.
At RIMS (in Kyoto) in 2005, they had the best white ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Good chalk in the UK

Sometime ago it was asked in Mathoverflow about good chalk in the US Where to buy premium white chalk in the U.S., like they have at RIMS?. I will be grateful for any recommendations on good chalk in ...

**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

**2**answers

514 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 ...

**3**

votes

**4**answers

398 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 ...

**2**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Best way to introduce the Chinese Remainder Theorem (to a high school student)

What do you think to be the most effective way to teach the Chinese remainder theorem to a smart high school student, which is supposed to only have a soft idea about how modular arithmetic works, and ...

**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 ...

**37**

votes

**10**answers

5k views

### How misleading is it to regard $\frac{dy}{dx}$ as a fraction?

I am teaching Calc I, for the first time, and I haven't seriously revisited the subject in quite some time. An interesting pedagogy question came up: How misleading is it to regard $\frac{dy}{dx}$ as ...

**6**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Help me find good math questions for my students

I am a teacher at 西铁一中。 I teach mathematics in English for students going abroad.
Now this is my problem, there are few mathematics books written in English that are at the level of high school, ...

**31**

votes

**18**answers

8k views

### Interesting Calculus Questions/Exercises

I am in the process of redesigning the calculus course that I have taught five or six times. What I would like to know is if anyone has some really good examples or exercises that I could either do ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

434 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 ...

**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 ...

**5**

votes

**5**answers

895 views

### Topics for a matrix analysis course

I recently taught a new (to my department) course titled "Matrix Analysis". For various reasons that I won't go into here, I was dissatisfied with the textbook I (loosely) followed, and with every ...

**22**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### [STILL OPEN] Why are two notions of Gaussian curvature are the same - what is the simplest & most didactic proof?

This question is still wide open - all of the answers so far rely on magical calculations. I've only accepted an answer because, by bounty rules, otherwise one would be accepted automatically. I can't ...

**16**

votes

**14**answers

2k views

### Teaching a pedagogy course

At my institution incoming graduate students must take a semester long course on pedagogy taught by current grad students. I may soon be in the position of having to teach this course and I'm looking ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

816 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 ...

**17**

votes

**10**answers

46k views

### What are the qualities of a good (math) teacher? [closed]

In forming your answer you may treat the qualifier math or maths as optional, since part of the question is whether there is anything peculiar to the subject of mathematics that demands anything ...

**40**

votes

**44**answers

13k views

### An example of a beautiful proof that would be accessible at the high school level?

The background of my question comes from an observation that what we teach in schools does not always reflect what we practice. Beauty is part of what drives mathematicians, but we rarely talk about ...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

362 views

### Decomposition of $K_{10}$ in copies of the Petersen graph

It is a well-known and cute exercise in algebraic graph theory to show that $K_{10}$ cannot be written as the edge-disjoint union of three copies of the Petersen graph $P$. Indeed, the graph $G$ whose ...

**2**

votes

**4**answers

406 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 ...