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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/

2
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1answer
305 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
1answer
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 ...
25
votes
8answers
4k 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
2answers
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 $(\...
10
votes
2answers
425 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
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3answers
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
3answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
300 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 \...
41
votes
13answers
7k 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
0answers
87 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
4answers
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 ...
61
votes
16answers
5k 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
2answers
233 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
4answers
679 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 ...
219
votes
29answers
80k 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
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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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
490 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
1answer
290 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
3answers
3k 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
0answers
407 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
1answer
1k 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
1answer
200 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
1answer
105 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
1answer
340 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/...
44
votes
14answers
3k 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 ...
84
votes
5answers
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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
714 views

Why isn't mathematics education treated like software development? [closed]

When the assumptions of the Curry-Howard correspondence hold, then mathematical proofs literally are computer programs in a rigorous sense. However, even when that is not the case, it still seems ...
8
votes
1answer
818 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
1answer
397 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?
14
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2answers
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
559 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
0answers
74 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
5answers
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
1answer
938 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
1answer
565 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
2answers
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 ...
68
votes
15answers
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
1answer
132 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
1answer
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
1answer
303 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
15answers
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
24answers
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
0answers
163 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

finding permutation matrix I which minimizes TRACE( I* C*( I^T)* D) matrix

I have a problem that is really important for my thesis and i am not studding math so i will be very glad if you help me in this case... thanks for your help in advance I want to find permutation ...
32
votes
2answers
2k views

When exactly and why did matrix multiplication become a part of the undergraduate curriculum?

The story about Heisenberg inventing matrices and matrix multiplication in 1925 is very well known and well documented. A few weeks later, Born and Jordan read this work and recognized matrix ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Power series with funny behavior at the boundary

Consider a power series $$ \sum_{n=0}^{\infty}a_nz^n $$ where $a_n$ and $z$ are complex numbers. There is radius $R$ of convergence. Let us assume that is a positive real number. It is well known that ...
34
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1answer
3k views

Hilbert's Hotel

Hilbert's Hotel is a famous story about infinity attributed to David Hilbert (1862-1943). Is it documented that Hilbert's Hotel is in fact due to Hilbert, and if yes, where?
1
vote
1answer
157 views

Distance between two distribution of image

I am looking for a common distance method to compare two distribution (ex: histogram of image). Please suggest to me some common method to do it. I found some method ex: Bhattacharyya distance , K-L ...
1
vote
0answers
1k views

Is Independent University of Moscow recognized? [closed]

What graduate schools recognize the degree from Independent University of Moscow? It is not a university strictly speaking and their degree doesn't have any official status in Russia, but they claim ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Assessing effectiveness of (epsilon, delta) definitions [closed]

There is much discussion both in the education community and the mathematics community concerning the challenge of (epsilon, delta) type definitions in calculus and the student reception of them. The ...