# All Questions

**28**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Everywhere differentiable function that is nowhere monotonic

It is well known that there are functions $f \colon \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ that are everywhere continuous but nowhere monotonic (i.e. the restriction of $f$ to any non-trivial interval $[a,b]$ is ...

**38**

votes

**8**answers

3k views

### A sudden smiley? :-)

This is a vague question, and I will no doubt be (properly!) chastised for posing it.
I would like to generate a set $S$ of points in $\mathbb{R}^3$—$|S|$ finite or infinite—which
has the ...

**18**

votes

**12**answers

6k views

### 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 ...

**14**

votes

**4**answers

4k views

### Rankings of mathematical conferences and journals

Just to keep it simple: What rankings of mathematical conferences and journals are available in the internet?
(I'm only interested in rankings, not about any discussion about rankings.)

**66**

votes

**18**answers

15k views

### Depressed graduate student. [closed]

How does a depressed graduate student go about recovering his enthusiasm for the subject and the question at hand?
Edit: I am not that grad student; it is a very talented friend of mine.
Moderator's ...

**58**

votes

**7**answers

8k views

### Lost soul: loneliness in pursing math. Advice needed. [closed]

This is a atypical question for the forum. I'd like to get some advice on whether I should keep pursuing Math in the traditional route, i.e. get a PhD, do research & teach, etc.
Due to financial ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

199 views

### Find a maximizing solution to an ODE which depends on a paramater function

(For the physical meaning of this problem see http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/122818/how-should-i-throttle-my-rocket-to-reach-highest-altitude).
Given $g \in (0,\infty), k \in C^1( [0, ...

**27**

votes

**13**answers

6k views

### Examples of using physical intuition to solve math problems

For the purposes of this question let a "physical intuition" be an intuition
that is derived from your everyday experience of physical reality. Your
intuitions about how the spin of a ball affects ...

**60**

votes

**5**answers

6k views

### how does one understand GRR? (Grothendieck Riemann Roch)

I tried to answer an earlier question as to uses of GRR, just from my reading, although i do not understand GRR. Today i tried to understand the possible idea behind GRR. After editing my answer ...

**2**

votes

**1**answer

306 views

### Name search for special Linear Integer Program

I am looking for a name for the following question in literature!
(and if you know it, then it would be great)
I couldn't find it and due to wide audience here, presumably you know more. Thank you
...

**26**

votes

**5**answers

10k views

### Advice for pure-math Phd students [closed]

Pursuing a Phd in pure math can be a daunting task. A number of students who begin a Phd in pure math don't complete it, and there are high-quality dissertations and those which are not so high ...

**54**

votes

**20**answers

8k views

### What should we teach to liberal arts students who will take only one math course?

Even professors in academic departments other than mathematics---never mind other educated people---do not know that such a field as mathematics exists. Once a professor of medicine asked me whether ...

**93**

votes

**16**answers

22k views

### How do you keep your research notes organized? [closed]

One of the things I struggle with most in doing research is keeping my notes organized. Since research tends to do a lot of branching, keeping notes in a linear fashion seems useless to me. On the ...

**92**

votes

**5**answers

5k views

### Gaussian prime spirals

Imagine a particle in the complex plane, starting at $c_0$, a Gaussian integer,
moving initially $\pm$ in the horizontal
or vertical directions. When it hits a Gaussian prime, it turns left ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

314 views

### discrete group cohomology vs continuous group cohomology for profinite groups

Let $G$ be a profinite group and $M$ be a finite $G$-module. I can compute the cohomology of $G$ with coefficients in $M$ either as a topological group or as a discrete group. There is an obvious map ...

**1**

vote

**2**answers

135 views

### Software for noncommutative Groebner bases over rational function fields

I am wondering whether there is any software package that can compute Groebner bases for noncommutative algebras defined over the field of rational functions $\mathbb{Q}(q)$.
I have tried the GAP ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

252 views

### Variety of nilpotent Lie algebras or $p$-groups

Here's a couple of analogous questions, one in terms of finite-dimensional complex Lie algebras and one in terms of finite $p$-groups; I'd be interested in an answer to either:
1) Let $\mathcal{L}$ ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

114 views

### How many facets can $\{\|D^T x\|_1\leq 1\}$ have?

$\newcommand{\RR}{\mathbb{R}}$Consider $x\in\RR^n$ and $D\in \RR^{n\times p}$ with $p\geq n$ and full rank. My question is:
How many facets can the polytope $ \{x\in\RR^n\ :\ \|D^T x\|_1\leq 1\}$ ...

**20**

votes

**7**answers

1k views

### Computer package for representation theory of the symmetric group

Is there a computer algebra package in which I can compute the following for representations of a specific symmetric group (e.g. $S_7$):
(1) $V \otimes W$
(2) $S_\lambda V$, where $S_\lambda$ is a ...

**17**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Famous vacuously true statements

I am interested to know other examples vacuously true statements that are non-trivial. My starting example is Turan's result in regards to the Riemann hypothesis, which states
Suppose that for each ...

**14**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### Bijection between irreducible representations and conjugacy classes of finite groups

Is there some natural bijection between irreducible representations and conjugacy classes of finite groups (as in case of $S_n$)?

**34**

votes

**13**answers

2k views

### Equality vs. isomorphism vs. specific isomorphism

This question prompted a reformulation:
What is a really good example of a situation where keeping track of isomorphisms leads to tangible benefit?
I believe this to be a serious question because ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

601 views

### Probability a random Toeplitz matrix is singular

Consider Toeplitz matrices where the entries in the first row and column (which define the whole matrix) are independently chosen to be either $1$ or $0$ with probability $1/2$. Define $p_n$ to be the ...

**25**

votes

**11**answers

6k views

### Categories First Or Categories Last In Basic Algebra?

Recently, I was reminded in Melvyn Nathason's first year graduate algebra course of a debate I've been having both within myself and externally for some time. For better or worse, the course most ...

**5**

votes

**2**answers

401 views

### What is natural about the well-known bijection between conjugacy classes and irreps of a symmetric group?

Symmetric groups possess a well-known bijection between conjugacy classes and irreducible representations. More precisely, both sets are indexed by Young diagrams.
Question: To what extent is this ...

**28**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### The probability for a symmetric matrix to be positive definite

Let me give a reasonable model for the question in the title. In ${\rm Sym}_n({\mathbb R})$, the positive definite matrices form a convex cone $S_n^+$. The probability I have in mind is the ratio ...

**134**

votes

**3**answers

6k views

### A Game on Noetherian Rings

A friend suggested the following combinatorial game. At any time, the state of the game is a (commutative) Noetherian ring $\neq 0$. On a player's turn, that player chooses a nonzero non-unit element ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

398 views

### Permutation Group Question

A question about permutation groups: I wonder if someone
who is expert in permutation group theory could answer the
following question.
Let $x \in S_n$ (the symmetric group) be an involution which
...

**30**

votes

**7**answers

3k views

### Why are free groups residually finite?

Why is it that every nontrivial word in a free group (it's easy to reduce to the case of, say, two generators) has a nontrivial image in some finite group? Equivalently, why is the natural map from a ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

166 views

### Tannakian formalism for topological Hopf algebras

Tannaka-Krein duality allows, under the appropriate assumptions, to reconstruct a Hopf algebra from its category of modules. This method was found to be powerful for instance in the work of ...

**38**

votes

**12**answers

5k views

### Cures for mathematician's block (as in writer's block) [closed]

What kind of things do you find that help you get the "creative juices flowing," to use a tired cliche, when you're stuck or burnt out on a problem? I've read about some studies that suggest listening ...

**30**

votes

**6**answers

3k views

### Intuition for the last step in Serre's proof of the three-squares theorem

Serre's A Course in Arithmetic gives essentially the following proof of the three-squares theorem, which says that an integer a is the sum of three squares if and only if it is not of the form 4^m (8n ...

**44**

votes

**5**answers

4k views

### Does anyone know a polynomial whose lack of roots can't be proved?

In Ebbinghaus-Flum-Thomas's Introduction to Mathematical Logic, the following assertion is made:
If ZFC is consistent, then one can obtain a polynomial $P(x_1, ..., x_n)$ which has no roots in the ...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

196 views

### Finitely generated projective = finitely presented flat over a noncommutative Noetherian ring

Let $R$ be a possibly noncommutative left Noetherian ring and $M$ an $R$-module. I am looking for a reference or a proof for the following fact: $M$ is finitely generated and projective if and only if ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

157 views

### numerical method (implicit , backward difference or forward difference) for nonlinear pde

$\newcommand{\lbar}{\underline{\lambda}}$
In this linear PDE:
\begin{cases}
B_t+b^Q(r,t)B_r+\frac{1}{2}d^2(r,t)B_{rr}+(\mu(\lambda,t)+\alpha \sigma (t))(\lambda -\lbar)B_{\lambda} \\ ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

150 views

### In the definition of the Heegard Floer surgery exact triangle, what exactly is the correspondence between Whitney triangles and periodic domains?

I'm reading Osváth-Szabó's notes on Heegard Floer homology, in particular about the surgery exact triangle.
On page 14 (numbered 42 on the document), they describe an isomorphism between the space of ...

**30**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Number of elements in the set $\{1,\cdots,n\}\times\{1,\cdots,n\}$

Let $A_n=\{a\cdot b : a,b \in \mathbb{N}, a,b\leq n\}$. Are there any estimates for $|A_n|$? Will it be $o(n^2)$?

**49**

votes

**5**answers

9k views

### Inaccessible cardinals and Andrew Wiles's proof

In a recent issue of New Scientist (16 Aug 2010), I was surprised to read that a part of Wiles' proof of Taniyama-Shimura conjecture relies on inaccessible cardinals.
Here's the link:
...

**21**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### The role of ANR in modern topology

Absolute neighborhood retracts (ANRs) are topological spaces $X$ which, whenever $i\colon X\to Y$ is an embedding into a normal topological space $Y$, there exists a neighborhood $U$ of $i(X)$ in $Y$ ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

191 views

### Lyndon-Schützenberger for torsion-free hyperbolic groups

Given a torsion-free hyperbolic group $G$, does there exist a number $n(G)$ such that for any $x,y,z\in G$, $x^n y^n z^n =1$ implies that $x$, $y$, and $z$ commute pairwise?
Some musings/questions...
...

**20**

votes

**5**answers

741 views

### Bass' stable range of $\mathbf Z[X]$

Let $n$ be a positive integer and $A$ be a commutative ring. The ring $A$ is said to be of Bass stable range $\mathrm{sr}(A)\leq n$ if for $a, a_1, \dots, a_n \in A$ one has the following implication:
...

**13**

votes

**5**answers

895 views

### Is the following invariant of rooted trees a complete invariant?

Recall that rooted trees may be generated by starting with a trivial rooted tree (just a vertex), along with the operations of grafting a number of trees (identify their roots) and adding a new vertex ...

**21**

votes

**4**answers

24k views

### Eigenvalues of Matrix Sums

Is there a relationship between the eigenvalues of individual matrices and the eigenvalues of their sum?
What about the special case when they are Hermitian and positive-definite?
I am investigating ...

**11**

votes

**2**answers

752 views

### Sums of Squares

Every prime $p = 4k + 1$ can be uniquely expressed as sum of two squares, but for which
integers $x$ is $x^2 + y^2 =$ some prime $p$? Stated differently, does the square of
every positive integer ...

**64**

votes

**5**answers

4k views

### Is there a sheaf theoretical characterization of a differentiable manifold?

I'm going through the crisis of being unhappy with the textbook definition of a differentiable manifold. I'm wondering whether there is a sheaf-theoretic approach which will make me happier. In a ...

**55**

votes

**6**answers

16k views

### What are Jacob Lurie's key insights?

This question is inspired by this Tim Gowers blogpost.
I have some familiarity with the work of Jacob Lurie, which contains ideas which are simply astounding; but what I don't understand is which key ...

**29**

votes

**4**answers

7k views

### Is the Jaccard distance a distance?

Wikipedia defines the Jaccard distance between sets A and B as $$J_\delta(A,B)=1-\frac{|A\cap B|}{|A\cup B|}.$$ There's also a book claiming that this is a metric. However, I couldn't find any ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

390 views

### Which finite groups are not the automorphism group of some rooted finite tree?

The question is as given in the title:
Which finite groups are not the automorphism group of some rooted finite tree?
A rephrasing could be: Is any finite group representable as the automorphism ...

**24**

votes

**11**answers

6k views

### Switching Research Fields

I am a recent PhD specializing in algebraic geometry. But I also want to do research in some other areas of math (e.g. quantum computation, compressed sensing, and PDE's). What would be a good way of ...

**49**

votes

**5**answers

5k views

### Changing field of study post-PhD

I am doing my PhD in algebraic graph theory, for not much more reason than that was what was available. However, I love deep structure and theory in mathematics, and I do not particularly want to be ...