28
votes
2answers
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
8answers
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
12answers
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
4answers
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
18answers
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
7answers
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
1answer
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
13answers
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
5answers
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
1answer
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
5answers
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
20answers
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
16answers
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
5answers
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
1answer
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
2answers
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
1answer
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
0answers
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
7answers
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
3answers
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
7answers
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
13answers
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
1answer
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
11answers
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
2answers
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
2answers
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
3answers
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
1answer
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
7answers
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
0answers
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
12answers
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
6answers
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
5answers
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
2answers
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
0answers
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
1answer
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
2answers
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
5answers
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
4answers
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
1answer
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
5answers
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
5answers
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
4answers
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
2answers
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
5answers
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
6answers
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
4answers
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
1answer
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
11answers
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
5answers
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 ...

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