# Questions tagged [mathematics-education]

For questions in Mathematics Education as a scientific discipline. For more hands-on questions on teaching Mathematics, please use the tag teaching. There is also a Stack Exchange community http://matheducators.stackexchange.com/

248
questions

**-4**

votes

**0**answers

320 views

### Are any mathematicians (or mathematics teachers) on record saying that we should phase out the notation $\{f(x) : x \in X\}$? [on hold]

Hopefully this is on topic. I've been thinking for awhile that phasing out the notation $\{f(x) : x \in X\}$ might be a good idea. My reasons are twofold:
Motivation 1. Pedagogy. It's similar to the ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

87 views

### Generalized Fourier integral and steepest descent path, saddle point near the endpoints

I am looking forward to solving the integration in the following equation with the assumption that $ka$ is very large
\begin{align}
H = 2jka\int_{-\pi/2}^{\pi/2}\cos{(\varphi-\phi)}e^{jka[\cos{\...

**18**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Why is the standard definition of a $(p, q)$-tensor so bizarre?

At time of writing the first definition of a $ (p, q) $-tensor on the Wikipedia page is as follows.
Definition. A $ (p, q) $-tensor is an assignment of a multidimensional array $$ T^{i_1\dots i_p}_{...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

628 views

### Books on the History of math research at European universities

Are there good books that cover the history of math and mathematical science (ex. physics, chemistry, computer science) PhD programs in the Occident? My primary motivation is to figure out how the PhD ...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

446 views

### Constructivist defininition of linear subspaces of $\mathbb{Q}^n$?

Let me preface this by saying I'm not someone who has every studied mathematical logic or philosophy of math, so I may be mangling terminology here (and the title is a little tongue in cheek).
I (and ...

**5**

votes

**9**answers

2k views

### Applications of basic linear algebra concepts to computer science? [closed]

I'm trying to explain linear algebra to some programmers with computer science backgrounds. They took a course on it long ago, but don't seem to remember much. They can follow basic formalism, but ...

**47**

votes

**6**answers

8k views

### Why isn't integral defined as the area under the graph of function?

In order to define Lebesgue integral, we have to develop some measure theory. This takes some effort in the classroom, after which we need additional effort of defining Lebesgue integral (which also ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

175 views

### Do cocycles “break” symmetry?

In an article by A. Borovik, “Is mathematics special?”, he talks about the fact that carrying is a cocycle. He then says
[A student] discovered that carry is doing what cocycles frequently do: they ...

**2**

votes

**1**answer

332 views

### Why is $n_{n^2-1}$ the smallest graph that clearly shows the structure of multiplication by $n$?

Initially, I wanted to ask this question as a puzzle.
Consider a regular $m$-gon. Let $0$ be the lower corner and count the corners clockwise.
Let $n_m$ be the multiplication-by-$n$-graph of $...

**109**

votes

**1**answer

7k views

### What happened to Suren Arakelov? [closed]

I heard that Professor Suren Arakelov got mental disorder and ceased research. However, a brief search on the Russian wikipedia page showed he was placed in a psychiatric hospital because of political ...

**28**

votes

**9**answers

5k views

### How to explain to an engineer what algebraic geometry is?

This question is similar to this one in that I'm asking about how to introduce a mathematical research topic or activity to a non-mathematician: in this case algebraic geometry, intended as the most ...

**29**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Why did Dedekind claim that $\sqrt{2}\cdot\sqrt{3}=\sqrt{6}$ hadn't been proved before?

In a letter to Lipschitz (1876) Dedekind doubts that $\sqrt{2}\cdot\sqrt{3}=\sqrt{6}$ had been proved before:
quoted from Leo Corry, Modern algebra, German original:
Why did Dedekind doubt that $(\...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

471 views

### What kind of computer tools topologists/geometrists use to visualize the objects they deal with?

I have recently started to read a bit about geometry and topology. Hopf fibration, Lense spaces, CW complexes, stuff that are discussed in Hatcher's Algebraic Topology and other things that require ...

**13**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Teaching Prime Number Theorem in a Complex Analysis Class for Physicists

This is a question about pedagogy.
I want to sketch the proof of the prime number theorem or any other application of complex analysis to number theory in a single lecture, in a complex analysis ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Where can I read reviews of mathematical theories? [closed]

I'm really enjoying the AMS column "What is ..." (http://arminstraub.com/math/what-is-column) and The Princeton Companion to Mathematics.
I am looking for something similar. I'd like to acquire some ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

319 views

### De-Nesting Absolute Value Function into Linear Combination of Absolute Value Functions

Context: In formulating problems for secondary school mathematics teachers (and students) about absolute value functions, which we define as functions $\mathbb{R} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ that send $x \...

**45**

votes

**13**answers

8k views

### PhD dissertations that solve an established open problem

I search for a big list of open problems which have been solved in a PhD thesis by the Author of the thesis (or with collaboration of her/his supervisor).
In my question I search for every possible ...

**5**

votes

**0**answers

93 views

### Is there Cauchy-Goursat for $1$-cycles without invoking winding numbers?

Depending on one's approach to Complex Analysis in One Variable, Cauchy's Integral Theorem is one of the first interesting results about holomorphic functions in any course. There are several related ...

**14**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Which edition of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica of Isaac Newton would you recommend to me?

I'm searching for a good edition of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica of Isaac Newton in English. Which edition of the Principia can you suggest me? If it's possible, cheap and similar to ...

**69**

votes

**16**answers

6k views

### Short papers for undergraduate course on reading scholarly math

(I know this is perhaps only tangentially related to mathematics research, but I'm hoping it is worthy of consideration as a community wiki question.)
Today, I was reminded of the existence of this ...

**9**

votes

**2**answers

268 views

### Axioms for constructive Euclidean geometry

In the summer I will be teaching a course in (plane) Euclidean geometry to future high school teachers and I am looking for a suitable axiom system (unlike College (Euclidean) geometry textbook ...

**19**

votes

**4**answers

738 views

### Problems for developing mathematical visualization expertise

Einstein stated that he often explored and reasoned visually and spatially, and only after achieving understanding cast his insights into algebraic form. He could just "see" the answer. There are ...

**231**

votes

**29**answers

81k views

### Mathematical games interesting to both you and a 5+-year-old child

Background: My daughter is 6 years old now, once I wanted to think on some math (about some Young diagrams), but she wanted to play with me...
How to make both of us to do what they want ? I guess ...

**12**

votes

**4**answers

831 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 ...

**1**

vote

**3**answers

646 views

### How to be a Great mathematician in prison/without a master? [closed]

Is it possible to be a great mathematician in our home with a laptop+poor internet+electronic books+some books+a little food +a little money or not? without having a constant job
without studying P.H....

**-1**

votes

**1**answer

306 views

### Are manifolds typically taught to undergraduates outside mathematics (and possibly theoretical physics) tracks? [closed]

I'm writing my dissertation on symplectic structure-preserving algorithms for Hamiltonian systems simulation, and I'm trying to figure out how much exposition is necessary for it to be readable by ...

**0**

votes

**3**answers

4k views

### How can I combine my interests for pure mathematics and computer science in college? [closed]

I’m a high school senior who's gone through quite the self-introspection the past few months while applying for college, and I have a bit of a dilemma. All my life, I've loved & excelled at ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

424 views

### How necessary is the knowledge of Lebesgue integral for non-analysts? [closed]

Recently I have learned that at some math department the introductory course to Lebesgue integration not obligatory. Thus in another course on introduction to Hilbert spaces the $L^2(0,1)$ space is ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### What areas of algebra could be interesting to probability theorists?

I would like to find some topic of algebra (beyond linear algebra; algebraic number theory is fine) that would be interesting both to a student that wants to specialize in probability theory and to me ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

208 views

### Five cubes, Hadamard and Shklyarskiy

Here is my(=bad) translation of from the paper about Shklyarskiy by Golovina:
... in 1937/38 Dodik presented to school students a complete proof of Abel's theorem about equations of degree 5. He ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

107 views

### Expectation of changing the gift choice [closed]

Suppose we are given two boxes, with one of gift valued $n$ dollars and the other one valued twice as much. We can pick a box, and after open it we have the choice of switching to another box. Shall ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

378 views

### A proof without derivatives that a real polynomial of degree $n$ has at most $n-1$ local extrema

This question is about math education and is not research level, so do not hesitate to delete it if it feels inappropriate.
I already asked it here a year ago:
https://math.stackexchange.com/...

**45**

votes

**14**answers

4k views

### Interactive model of the hyperbolic plane for a general public lecture

The following is not quite a research level question, but I still find this site appropriate for asking it. I hope I get it right here.
I am preparing a talk for a general public and I want to ...

**86**

votes

**5**answers

5k views

### Is there a database for tracking the dependencies of mathematical theorems?

Given a proof for a result, one could denote the proof as a node on a graph, and then draw arrows to the node from axioms and previous results that the proof uses, and then draw arrows from the node ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Is there a way to embed Clifford algebras into the corresponding tensor algebra?

$\newcommand{\talg}{\mathcal{T}(V)}$$\newcommand{\clalg}{\mathcal{Cl}_q(V)}$$\newcommand{\qalg}{\mathcal{I}_q(V)}$Is there a way to embed Clifford algebras into the corresponding tensor algebra?
...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

464 views

### Cambridge Mathematical Tripos papers from late 19th century

Are the scanned images of Cambridge Mathematical Tripos papers from late 19th century available anywhere on Internet?

**15**

votes

**2**answers

3k views

### A certain mathematical competition in the UK

There is a foreword, written by professor Snow, to the book A mathematician's apology.
In the foreword, it is written some thing like the following:
"Hardy was opposed to a certain mathematical ...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

574 views

### Math and social commitment [closed]

I am a master's student and am looking for ways that link a certain social commitment with serious math. Since I have not found such an overview yet and in order to raise public awareness of such ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

79 views

### Discrete Mathematics Uses [closed]

I am trying to explain how and why discrete maths is used in areas such as programming, correctness, data types, state transistion and conditionals. I'm having a really hard time articulating it ...

**41**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### 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 ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Everyday, real-life applications of mathematical concepts, and human intuition vs mathematical analysis [closed]

I'm working on an educational project about the applications of reasonably 'lofty', high-ish-level mathematical concepts in the real world. I've already scoured these links (1) (2) (3) after ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

575 views

### Problems which use S₄ → S₃

I need examples of problems which use, directly or indirectly, the homomorphism $S_4\to S_3$ in the solution (its kernel is $\mathbb{Z}_2\oplus\mathbb{Z}_2$).
Obvious candidates:
Lagrange resolvent (...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

403 views

### A logarithmic cotangent inequality

I must be a terrible googling searcher but I cannot find a reference to the following inequality:
$$ \forall_{\phi\in(0;\frac \pi 4)}\ \ln(\cot(\phi)))\, <\, \cot(2\!\cdot\!\phi) $$
I have just ...

**70**

votes

**15**answers

7k views

### Sophisticated treatments of topics in school mathematics

Sophisticated mathematical concepts typically shed light on sophisticated mathematics. But in a few cases they also apply to elementary mathematics in an interesting way. I find such examples ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

138 views

### Numerical equality testing

I am working on developing an online homework system.
One thing I would like to have is something which compares a student's answer (like $2\sin(x)\cos(x)$) with the intended answer (maybe $\sin(2x)$)...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

445 views

### What questions should -ologists of mathematics ask, in order to improve maths researcher training? [closed]

This question is part of a project funded by the International Council for Science, supported by the IMU (among other bodies). Answers gathered here on mathoverflow may be included in the final ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

313 views

### 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 ...

**32**

votes

**15**answers

3k views

### 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 ...

**74**

votes

**24**answers

16k views

### Parodies of abstruse mathematical writing

Perhaps under the influence of a recent question
on perverse sheaves,
in conjunction with the impending $\pi$-day (3/14/15 at 9:26:53),
I recalled a long-ago parody of abstruse mathematical language
...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

171 views

### Applications of Freiman's theorem?

What are some interesting applications of Freiman's theorem or, better-yet, its recent generalizations (eg Green-Ruzsa) that could be included in a graduate course in additive combinatorics?
I'm ...