# Questions tagged [motivation]

The motivation tag has no usage guidance.

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### Why study finite topological spaces?

In rereading Thurston's essay On Proof and Progress in Mathematics I ran across this passage:
… this means that some concepts that I use freely and naturally in
my personal thinking are foreign to ...

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### Ultraproducts of Banach spaces versus model theoretic ultraproduct

Reading about ultraproducts in model theory and in Banach spaces leads to two distinct definitions. E.g., for an ultrapower given by an ultrafilter $\mu$ on $\mathbb{N}$, both notions of ultrapower ...

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### What's the use of group cohomology for class field theory?

I'm a graduate student studying now for the first time class field theory.
It seems that how to teach class field theory is a problem over which many have already written on MathOverflow.
For example ...

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### Simple motivation to study arithmetic geometry

Is there a simple-to-understand diophantine equation (in the sense that it's easy to explain to a child) that has a positive integer solution, but to prove that such a solution exists and to find it ...

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### Are large cardinals about more than just consistency?

The other day, I was reading the preface of Kanamori's The Higher Infinite and noticed that he says large cardinals provide a useful 'measuring stick' for consistency. That raised the question of ...

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### Books/websites which have motivating stories of mathematicians overcoming hardships in life

Edit 1: I have received a lot of great answers. I am not accepting any answer because I think there might be in future that some user want to contribute any new answer, as in my opinion some users ...

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### Where does this clever choice of differential come from? (calculating $\mathrm{H}^1_{\mathrm{dR}}(E/k))$

In these notes of Kedlaya, he calculates the de Rham cohomology of an affine part $X$ of an elliptic curve $E$ over a field $K$, given by $y^2 = P(x) = x^3 + ax + b$.
He uses these relations:
$0 = y^...

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### What is the natural motivation for smooth/étale/unramified morphisms restricting from formally smooth/étale/unramified morphisms?

(I asked it first in MathStackExchange but I haven't get an answer yet)
Smooth (resp. étale) morphisms are just locally finitely presented + formally smooth (resp. étale) morphisms.
For unramified ...

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### What is the significance of Friedlander-Iwaniec and related theorems?

On p.177 of Number Theory Revealed: A Masterclass by Andrew Granville, the author states that "One can ask for prime values of polynomials in two or more variables." (though he later ...

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### Motivation for relative schemes: why should one work with schemes over a ringed topos?

Recently I've been trying to learn more about relative schemes. These were developed in M. Hakim's thesis Topos annelés et schémas relatifs under Grothendieck's guidance and appear in many of later ...

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### Why to believe the Fargues geometrization conjecture?

In the study of the arithmetic local Langlands correspondence, there is a conjecture that was recently (in this decade) formulated by Fargues.
I can't even concisely state the conjecture so I will ...

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### Motivating derived stacks via Euclidean geometry

Here (see Section 3) triangles in Euclidean plane are used to motivate the notion of DM stack (an equilateral triangle has more symmetries than a generic triangle).
Can something similar be done to ...

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### Commutative rings : Topoi = Fields :?

The following is probably a bad question, but hopefully, it might have a very good answer.
In category theory there is a quite famous analogy between topoi and commutative rings, I was never ...

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### What are hyperkähler metrics used for?

It seems that a lot of effort has been devoted to endow holomorphic-symplectic manifolds with hyperkähler metrics. It started with Calabi [4] with $T^*\mathbb{CP}^n$. Other examples include coadjoint ...

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### Why did Voevodsky consider categories "posets in the next dimension", and groupoids the correct generalisation of sets?

Earlier today, I stumbled upon this article written by V. Voevodsky about the "philosophy" behind the Univalent Foundations program. I had read it before around the time of his passing, and one ...

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### Relative cohomology in algebraic topology vs algebraic geometry

There is a notion of relative cohomology in both algebraic topology and algebraic geometry and the flexibility granted by this relative viewpoint is quite powerful in both cases. However, the two ...

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### Why did Euler consider the zeta function?

Many zeta functions and L-functions which are generalizations of the Riemann zeta function play very important roles in modern mathematics (Kummer criterion, class number formula, Weil conjecture, BSD ...

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### Why study orbifolds? [closed]

Question is as in the title.
Why study orbifolds?
I study orbifolds as locally compact Hausdorff spaces $X$ having an orbifold structure, i.e., there exists an orbifold groupoid (proper foliatio. ...

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### Entering to the K-theory realm

I am looking for a guidance in $K$-theory. My master thesis was in the field of Algebraic K-theory and its relation
and interaction with the field of Algebraic Topology. I mainly had
concentrated on ...

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### Intuition behind the diagonal lemma while proving Tarski's theorem about truth [duplicate]

Let $F$ be a first order logic theory with a set of axioms that are primitively recursive and are supposed to capture arithmetic (in particular, we can define a Gödel number. Let $\mathbb N$ be the ...

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### Why the circle for Pontryagin duality? [duplicate]

For a locally compact group $G$, we define the Pontryagin dual as $\hat G = Hom(G,\mathbb T)$ where $\mathbb T$ is the circle group and the homomorphisms are continuous group maps. This duality has a ...

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### What motivations for automorphic forms?

Automorphic forms are ubiquitous in modern number theory and stands as a mysterious Graal lying at the intersection of many fields, if not building valuable bridges between them. However, since this ...

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### Bounded cohomology motivation

May I ask what is the basic motivation behind studying bounded cohomology?
Is there a simple reason why bounded cohomology is more interesting / useful than usual cohomology?
Also, is bounded ...

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### Motivation for studying group of homeomorphisms of topological spaces [closed]

Currently I am reading a paper titled "On the Group of Homeomorphisms of an Arc" by N.J Fine and G.E. Schweigert, that was published by Annals of Mathematics in 1955. This paper talks about the group ...

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### Why is the definition of the higher homotopy groups the "right one"?

If someone asked me the question for the fundamental group, I would answer as follows:
The connection to classification of covering spaces.
The fundamental group of many spaces is an object of ...

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### Motivations for the study of dual connections

I am intrigued by the notion of dual connections: two affine connections $\nabla$ and $\nabla^*$ are called dual if they satisfy $$X(g(Y,Z))=g(\nabla_XY,Z)+g(Y,\nabla^*_XZ)$$
for a given (pseudo)-...

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### Why symplectic geometry gives Poisson geometry

One way I've learned to understand Poisson geometry is to consider it as symplectic geometry with no open conditions - i.e. no condition of nondegeneracy. This idea can be applied to many other ...

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### Applications of Iss'sa's theorem on homomorphisms between algebras of meromorphc functions

In Remmert's book Funktionentheorie II, the following theorem, apparently due to Hironaka under the pseudonym Iss'sa, is proved:
Let $U,V \subseteq \mathbb{C}$ be open subsets. Every $\mathbb{...

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### Why do we study symplectic geometry? [closed]

What is the motivation behind studying smooth manifolds with a non-degenerate closed two-form?
The subject certainly originated from physics, but is there a deeper reason for why it is still an ...

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### Examples of high level math that can be motivated to laypeople

One of the difficulties of mathematics over other sciences is that our problems are harder to motivate to a general audience. A biologist studying a particular pathway in the body can say that he's ...

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### Motivation for equivariant homotopy theory?

I'm in the process of learning equivariant homotopy theory, so I was wondering: what is the importance of equivariant homotopy theory, and what has it been applied to so far? I know of HHR's solution ...

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### applications of Berkovich spaces

What are applications of the theory of Berkovich analytic spaces? The analytification $X \mapsto X^{\mathrm{an}}$

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### How to understand a rooting of a dessin d'enfant?

As I understand it, rooted maps on surfaces were first introduced in enumerative combinatorics because they are easier to count than unrooted maps, which can have non-trivial symmetries. A map is a ...

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### Why localize spaces with respect to homology?

A basic construction in algebraic topology is the localization of spaces or spectra with respect to a homology theory: one formally inverts the $E$-homology isomorphisms, reflecting each space into ...

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### Motivation for the Preprojective Algebra

Let $Q=(Q_0,Q_1)$ be a quiver and $k$ a field. We construct a new quiver $\bar{Q}$ in the following way. Let the vertices of $\bar{Q}$ be the same as the vertices of $Q$, and let the arrows of $\bar{Q}...

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### Fundamental motivation for several complex variables [closed]

I have 3 general abstract reasons to care about complex analysis in a single variable:
The laplacian is, up to a constant multiple, the only isometry invariant PDO in the plane, and so it is ...

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### Why doesn't this group have a name?

$$\{A\in GL_n(\mathbb{C}) : |det(A)|=1\}$$ This seems to me to be a perfectly natural group to study; it is easy to define and contains $U(n), SL_n$, and all the torsion. Is there any good reason ...

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### Philosophy behind Mochizuki's work on the ABC conjecture

Mochizuki has recently announced a proof of the ABC conjecture. It is far too early to judge its correctness, but it builds on many years of work by him. Can someone briefly explain the philosophy ...

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### Why are Galois Representations so important in Number theory ?

Dear everyone,
Motivation :
From the past few days, I have been reading about the Galois Representations . I was really amazed to see that every seminal idea in the theory of elliptic curves have ...

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### Snazzy applications of Several Complex Variables techniques

I am starting to dive into a study of Several Complex Variables. I would like to have a few guiding examples of "big payoffs". These should be very natural sounding theorems which depend on a lot of ...

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### Why tropical geometry?

Tropical geometry can be described as "algebraic geometry" over the semifield $\mathbb{T}$ of tropical numbers. As a set, $\mathbb{T}=\mathbb{R}\cup \{ -\infty\}$; this is endowed with addition being ...

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### Are quivers useful outside of Representation Theory?

There is a trend, for some people, to study representations of quivers. The setting of the problem is undoubtedly natural, but representations of quivers are present in the literature for already >...

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### What motivates modern algebraic geometry for a combinatorial/constructive algebraist?

This is, basically, me trying to generalize "Why should I care for sheaves and schemes?" into a reasonable question. Whether successfully, time will tell, but let me hope that if not the question, ...

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### Is modern computability theory "really" about algorithms?

Apologies if my question seems overly naive, but I haven't seen/heard/read any good answers.
What is modern computability theory "really" about? The study of feasible(even remotely feasible) ...

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### Nice application of generalized smooth spaces

I am a fan of category theory in general, and I appreciate that various brands of generalized smooth spaces (Diffeological spaces, Chen spaces, Frolicher spaces ...) form much nicer categories of ...

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### applications of Tate-Poitou duality

What are nice applications of Tate-Poitou duality?

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### How do you decide whether a question in abstract algebra is worth studying?

Dear MO-community, I am not sure how mature my view on this is and I might say some things that are controversial. I welcome contradicting views. In any case, I find it important to clarify this in my ...

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### motivation for compactness [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate:
How to understand the concept of compact space
Hello,
I am learning some analysis on my own and
what is the motivation to consider compactness?
eg. I do not understand why ...

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### How to understand the concept of compact space [closed]

the definition of compact space is: A subset K of a metric space X is said to be compact if every open cover of K contains finite subcovers. What is the meaning of defining a space is "compact". I ...

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### Are rings really more fundamental objects than semi-rings?

The discovery (or invention) of negatives, which happened several centuries ago by the Chinese, Indians and Arabs, has of course be of fundamental importance to mathematics.
From then on, it seems ...