# Tagged Questions

For questions related to teaching mathematics. For questions in Mathematics Education as a scientific discipline there is also the tag mathematics-education. Note you may also ask your question on http://matheducators.stackexchange.com/.

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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### How to motivate the skein relations?

I am teaching an advanced undergraduate class on topology. We are doing introductory knot theory at the moment. One of my students asked how do we know to use this skein relation to compute all these ...
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### 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 ...
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### proof without words for logarithms [closed]

Does anyone know of any PROOF WITHOUT WORDS for logarithmic functions? The only one I've seen in calculus based and I need one for high school math kids in MATH 1,2,3. Any suggestions would be ...
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### Languages beyond enumerable

A language is a set of finite-length strings from some finite alphabet $\Sigma$. It is no loss of generality (for my purposes) to take $\Sigma=\{0,1\}$; so a language is a set of bit-strings. ...
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### Collecting proofs that finite multiplicative subgroups of fields are cyclic

I teach elementary number theory and discrete mathematics to students who come with no abstract algebra. I have found proving the key theorem that finite multiplicative subgroups of fields are cyclic ...
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### How do you mentor undergraduate research?

Lets say you had an undergraduate who wanted to do some advanced work and some research, possibly for a thesis, or things like that. There are two slightly more specific groups of questions I have ...
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### Is Galois theory necessary (in a basic graduate algebra course)?

By definition, a basic graduate algebra course in a U.S. (or similar) university with a Ph.D. program in mathematics lasts part or all of an academic year and is taken by first (sometimes second) ...
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### Applications of the Cayley-Hamilton theorem

The Cayley-Hamilton theorem is usually presented in standard undergraduate courses in linear algebra as an important result. Recall that it says that any square matrix is a "root" of its own ...
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### Endpoints as relative extrema (differences in definition in a freshman calculus course)

I'm currently teaching an applied calculus course for freshmen. The textbook I'm using (Lial, Greenwell, and Ritchey's "Calculus with Applications") defines relative maxima and minima in the usual way ...
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### What are fun elementary subjects in probability?

I have to read several lectures on probability or applications of probability for high school students (of high level). There is no necessary part I must lecture, that is, my aim is just advertisement....
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### Technical issue in the approach to Lie groups taken in a book

I'm teaching Lie groups and Lie Algebras out of Brian C. Hall's book (Lie Groups, Lie Algebras, and Representations: An Elementary Introduction, Springer), which I've enjoyed using. I'm confused about ...
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### 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, ...
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### 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 ...
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### What (fun) results in graph theory should undergraduates learn?

I have the task of creating a 3rd year undergraduate course in graph theory (in the UK). Essentially the students will have seen minimal discrete math/combinatorics before this course. Since graph ...
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### “Homotopy-first” courses in algebraic topology

A first course in algebraic topology, at least the ones I'm familiar with, generally gets students to a point where they can calculate homology right away. Building the theory behind it is generally ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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. ...
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### Advantages of the sequence definition of limits

I will be teaching an introductory analysis course in the coming semester. In it the students will learn about limits of real sequences, and then will learn about limits of functions in terms of ...
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### teaching higher algebra

Has anyone ever (successfully or unsuccessfully) taught a course in higher algebra (in the $\infty$-categorical sense)? I'm asking out of curiosity (and also hoping for more resources). The kind ...
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### Pedagogical question on Lie groups vs. matrix Lie groups

There are two common approaches taken in introductory texts on Lie groups: studying all Lie groups, or focusing only on matrix Lie groups. The main advantage of the latter approach is that one can ...
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### Not especially famous, long-open problems which anyone can understand

Question: I'm asking for a big list of not especially famous, long open problems that anyone can understand. Community wiki, so one problem per answer, please. Motivation: I plan to use this list ...
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### Where to buy premium white chalk in the U.S., like they have at RIMS? [closed]

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 ...
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### Teaching statements for math jobs?

What is the purpose of the "teaching statement" or "statement of teaching philosophy" when applying for jobs, specifically math postdocs? I am applying for jobs, and I need to write one of these ...
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My first PhD student is having his viva tomorrow. Hence, I began contemplating a bit about the whole process of supervising. One thing I realized is that while there seems to be plenty of advice for ...
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### Not especially famous, long-open problems which higher mathematics beginners can understand

This is a pair to Not especially famous, long-open problems which anyone can understand So this time I'm asking for open questions so easy to state for students of subjects such as undergraduate ...
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### 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 ...
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### Math History Question about the exponential function

While tutoring a student recently, I have come across the situation of explain logarithms by first introducing functions of the form $$f(x)= a^x$$ where $a \ge 0,x\in \mathbb{R}$. My student then ...
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### Real analysis has no applications?

I'm teaching an undergrad course in real analysis this Fall and we are using the text "Real Mathematical Analysis" by Charles Pugh. On the back it states that real analysis involves no "applications ...
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### 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 ...
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### The Matrix-Tree Theorem without the matrix

I'm teaching an introductory graph theory course in the Fall, which I'm excited about because it gives me the chance to improve my understanding of graphs (my work is in topology). A highlight for me ...
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### 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) ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### How to draw knots with Latex?

I am writing an exam for my students, and the topic is intro knots theory. I have no idea how to put knots into the file, but I know many MO users who can draw amazing diagrams in their papers. Can ...
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### Interesting applications (in pure mathematics) of first-year calculus

What interesting applications are there for theorems or other results studied in first-year calculus courses? A good example for such an application would be using a calculus theorem to prove a ...
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### Textbook for undergraduate course in geometry

I've been assigned to teach our undergraduate course in geometry next semester. This course originally was intended for future high-school teachers and focused on axiomatic, Euclid-style geometry (...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### How to teach generalizing the induction hypothesis? [closed]

I just finished teaching a class on using proof assistants (in this case, Agda) to write provably correct programs. Reflecting on how it went, the biggest difficulty I noticed the students having was ...
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### How seriously should a graduate student take teaching evaluations?

Pretty much the question in the title. If a grad student gets bad reviews as a TA, how much does that hurt them later? How much do good reviews help? What if the situation is more complex? (For ...
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### Historical (personal) examples of teaching-based research

The phrase "teaching-based research" brings to mind research about teaching, though important, it is not what I mean. Unfortunately, I couldn't come up with a better phrase, thus please bear with me ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Fun applications of representations of finite groups

Are there some fun applications of the theory of representations of finite groups? I would like to have some examples that could be explained to a student who knows what is a finite group but does not ...
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### 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, ...
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### Permission to use Online Notes

I am a new professor in Mathematics and I am running an independent study on Diophantine equations with a student of mine. Online I have found a wealth of very helpful expository notes written by ...