188
votes
16answers
38k views

What elementary problems can you solve with schemes?

I'm a graduate student who's been learning about schemes this year from the usual sources (e.g. Hartshorne, Eisenbud-Harris, Ravi Vakil's notes). I'm looking for some examples of elementary self-...
38
votes
8answers
6k views

A down-to-earth introduction to the uses of derived categories

When I was learning about spectral sequences, one of the most helpful sources I found was Ravi Vakil's notes here. These notes are very down-to-earth and give a kind of minimum knowledge needed about ...
41
votes
9answers
3k views

Journals and other sources with “easy reading” papers?

Some time ago the journal "Algebra and Analysis" (English translation is published in "St. Petersburg Mathematical Journal") had a special section which was called "easy readings for professional ...
43
votes
5answers
3k views

Explaining the Main Ideas of Proof before Giving Details

I'll be the first to admit that this is a risky question to try to get away with on math overflow, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. Roughly speaking, the question is this: Is it good to try to ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

Elementary Proof of Riemann-Roch for Compact Riemann Surfaces

I am supposed to give a talk about the Riemann-Roch theorem to a seminar of first and second year graduate students. I want to do Riemann-Roch for compact Riemann surfaces, but I am open to perhaps ...
70
votes
1answer
11k views

What is an étale theta function?

Let me start out by urging you to take seriously that whatever I write about the papers surrounding IUTT really are questions. If you would like to use it as a guide to the mathematics in any way, ...
28
votes
4answers
1k views

Expert, Intuitive, Organizing Analogies

In learning a new area it is very helpful to have high-level intuitive analogies that keep track of the various parts of an important argument or strategy. Experts have a store of such things, and ...
29
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do we use $\epsilon$ and $\delta$?

My understanding (from a talk by Rob Bradley) is that Cauchy is responsible for the now-standard $\epsilon{-}\delta$ formulation of calculus, introduced in his 1821 Cours d’analyse. Although perhaps ...
12
votes
4answers
814 views

Source for analysis of identification of structures in learner's mind and mathematical structures?

Concerning the structure of the learner's mind, psychologist Piaget claimed that There exists, as a function of the development of intelligence as a whole, a spontaneous and gradual construction ...
11
votes
3answers
918 views

Cops, Robbers and Cardinals: The Infinite Manhunt

Cops & Robbers is a certain pursuit-evasion game between two players, Alice and Bob. Alice is in charge of the Justice Bureau, which controls one or more law enforcement officers, the cops. Bob ...
7
votes
1answer
564 views

Sources of Theorem drafts by the original author

When I look at first time to a theorem and I try to understand it or when I try to memorise a useful theorem I always have difficulties (I am not the only one. For example: I read a question: I always ...