# Questions tagged [reference-request]

This tag is used if a reference is needed in a paper or textbook on a specific result.

9,216 questions

**319**

votes

**78**answers

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### Proofs without words

Can you give examples of proofs without words? In particular, can you give examples of proofs without words for non-trivial results?
(One could ask if this is of interest to mathematicians, and I ...

**176**

votes

**12**answers

24k views

### Is there an introduction to probability theory from a structuralist/categorical perspective?

The title really is the question, but allow me to explain.
I am a pure mathematician working outside of probability theory, but the concepts and techniques of probability theory (in the sense of ...

**152**

votes

**48**answers

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### Ways to prove the fundamental theorem of algebra

This seems to be a favorite question everywhere, including Princeton quals. How many ways are there?
Please give a new way in each answer, and if possible give reference. I start by giving two:
...

**110**

votes

**7**answers

12k views

### Topology and the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics

I was very happy to learn that the work which led to the award of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics (shared between David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz) uses Topology. In ...

**107**

votes

**10**answers

15k views

### Do you know important theorems that remain unknown?

Do you know of any very important theorems that remain unknown? I mean results that could easily make into textbooks or research monographs, but almost
nobody knows about them. If you provide an ...

**103**

votes

**4**answers

40k views

### What are “perfectoid spaces”?

This talk is about a theory of "perfectoid spaces", which "compares objects in characteristic p with objects in characteristic 0". What are those spaces, where can one read about them?
Edit: A bit ...

**100**

votes

**14**answers

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### Statistics for mathematicians

I'm looking for an overview of statistics suitable for the mathematically mature reader: someone familiar with measure theoretic probability at say Billingsley level, but almost completely ignorant of ...

**93**

votes

**9**answers

12k views

### On Mathematical Arguments Against Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a very active and rapidly expanding field of research. Many companies and research institutes are spending a lot on this futuristic and potentially game-changing technology. Some ...

**90**

votes

**7**answers

18k views

### Is the boundary $\partial S$ analogous to a derivative?

Without prethought, I mentioned in class once that the reason the symbol $\partial$
is used to represent the boundary operator in topology is
that its behavior is akin to a derivative.
But after ...

**81**

votes

**26**answers

17k views

### Errata for Atiyah-Macdonald

Is there a good errata for Atiyah-Macdonald available? A cursory Google search reveals a laughably short list here, with just a few typos. Is there any source available online which lists inaccuracies ...

**78**

votes

**9**answers

28k views

### Is Mac Lane still the best place to learn category theory?

For a student embarking on a study of algebraic topology, requiring a knowledge of basic category theory, with a long-term view toward higher/stable/derived category theory, ...
Is Mac Lane still ...

**77**

votes

**2**answers

5k views

### Vladimir Voevodsky's works

Vladimir Voevodsky has made several contributions in abstract algebraic geometry, focused on the homotopy theory of schemes, algebraic K-theory, and interrelations between algebraic geometry, and ...

**76**

votes

**4**answers

11k views

### How to find ICM talks?

I am very interested in reading some and skimming through the list of invited talks at the International Congress of Mathematicians. Since the proceedings contain talks supposedly by top experts in ...

**74**

votes

**9**answers

8k views

### Theoretical physics: Why not just R^4?

You and I are having a conversation:
"Okay," I say,"I think I get it. The gauge groups we know and love arise naturally as symmetries of state spaces of particles."
"Something like that"
"...And ...

**72**

votes

**17**answers

9k views

### Examples of algorithms requiring deep mathematics to prove correctness

I am looking for examples of algorithms for which the proof of correctness requires deep mathematics ( far beyond what is covered in a normal computer science course).
I hope this is not too broad.

**69**

votes

**18**answers

19k views

### What programming language should a professional mathematician know? [closed]

More and more I am becoming convinced that one should know at least one programming language very well as a mathematician of this century. Is my conviction justified, or not applicable?
If I am right,...

**69**

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 ...

**69**

votes

**0**answers

10k views

### Hironaka's proof of resolution of singularities in positive characteristics

Recent publication of Hironaka seems to provoke extended discussions, like Atiyah's proof of almost complex structure of $S^6$ earlier...
Unlike Atiyah's paper, Hironaka's paper does not have a ...

**68**

votes

**5**answers

7k views

### Are there any serious investigations of whether “mathematicians do their best work when they're young”?

There is no shortage of anecdotes and conjectures on both sides of this widespread belief, but good supporting data either way is harder to find. Can anyone provide any references for serious (...

**65**

votes

**17**answers

8k views

### Mathematical research published in the form of poems

The article
Friedrich Wille: Galerkins Lösungsnäherungen bei monotonen Abbildungen,
Math. Z. 127 (1972), no. 1, 10-16
is written in the form of a lengthy poem, in a style similar to that
of the ...

**65**

votes

**22**answers

9k views

### Essays and thoughts on mathematics

Many distinguished mathematicians, at some point of their career,
collected their thoughts on mathematics (its aesthetic, purposes,
methods, etc.) and on the work of a mathematician in written ...

**63**

votes

**9**answers

6k views

### How does one find out what's happening in contemporary mathematics research?

How does one find out what's happening in contemporary mathematics research?
EDIT: I should have mentioned that I am looking for open access online sources. It so happens that I have been outside ...

**63**

votes

**5**answers

6k views

### What was Hilbert's view of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems?

According to Solomon Feferman, in his slide presentation "Three Problems for Mathematics", Hilbert wrote (in regards to Gödel's second incompleteness theorem):
...the end goal [is] to establish as ...

**63**

votes

**11**answers

8k views

### Deep Learning / Deep neural nets for mathematician

I am interested in finding out the math ideas behind the technologies that are under the umbrella of "Deep Learning" or "Deep neural nets".
Most of the papers/books that are often quoted in papers/...

**62**

votes

**4**answers

9k views

### Nelson's program to show inconsistency of ZF

At the end of the paper Division by three by Peter G. Doyle and John H. Conway, the authors say:
Not that we believe there really are any such things as infinite sets, or that the Zermelo-Fraenkel ...

**62**

votes

**2**answers

6k views

### Has the mathematical content of Grothendieck's “Récoltes et Semailles” been used?

This question is partly motivated by this one.
Motivation
Grothendieck's "Récoltes et Semailles" has been cited on various occasions on this forum. See for instance the answers to this question or ...

**61**

votes

**3**answers

8k views

### Is this differential identity known?

Recently I discovered the differential identity
$$ \frac{d^{k+1}}{dx^{k+1}} (1+x^2)^{k/2} = \frac{(1 \times 3 \times \dots \times k)^2}{(1+x^2)^{(k+2)/2}}$$
valid for any odd natural number $k$; for ...

**57**

votes

**27**answers

11k views

### The concept of Duality

I have been thinking for sometime about asking this question, but because I did not want to have two "big-list" questions open at the same time, I did not ask this one. Now its time has come.
...

**55**

votes

**9**answers

6k views

### What are “classical groups”?

Unlike many other terms in mathematics which have a universally understood meaning (for instance, "group"), the term classical group seems to have a fuzzier definition. Apparently it originates with ...

**54**

votes

**8**answers

4k views

### Fascinating moments: equivalent mathematical discoveries

One of the delights in mathematical research is that some (mostly deep) results in one area remain unknown to mathematicians in other areas, but later, these discoveries turn out to be equivalent!
...

**54**

votes

**15**answers

11k views

### Good introductory references on algebraic stacks?

Are there any good introductory texts on algebraic stacks?
I have found some readable half-finsished texts on the net, but the authors always seem to give up before they are finished. I have also ...

**53**

votes

**4**answers

12k views

### What is a chess piece mathematically?

Historically, the current "standard" set of chess pieces wasn't the only existing alternative or even the standard one. For instance, the famous Al-Suli's Diamond Problem (which remained open for more ...

**53**

votes

**7**answers

5k views

### Status of PL topology

I posted this question on math stackexchange but received no answers. Since I know there are more people knowledgeable in geometric and piecewise-linear (PL) topology here, I'm reposting the question. ...

**53**

votes

**4**answers

7k views

### $C^1$ isometric embedding of flat torus into $\mathbb{R}^3$

I read (in a paper by Emil Saucan) that the flat torus may be isometrically embedded
in $\mathbb{R}^3$ with a $C^1$ map by the Kuiper extension of the Nash Embedding Theorem,
a claim repeated in this ...

**52**

votes

**6**answers

7k views

### What is the significance of non-commutative geometry in mathematics?

This is a question that has been winding around my head for a long time and I have not found a convincing answer. The title says everything, but I am going to enrich my question by little more ...

**52**

votes

**6**answers

6k views

### Maryam Mirzakhani's works

Maryam Mirzakhani has made several contributions to the theory of moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces.
Mirzakhani was awarded the Fields Medal in 2014 for "her outstanding contributions to the dynamics ...

**52**

votes

**16**answers

5k views

### What are examples of books which teach the practice of mathematics?

One may classify the types of mathematics books written for students into two groups: books which merely teach mathematics (i.e., they present theorems and proofs, ready-made, as it were) and those ...

**52**

votes

**13**answers

16k views

### A reading list for topological quantum field theory?

Can you suggest a reading list, or at least a few papers that you think would be useful, for a beginner in topological quantum field theory? I know what the curvature of a connection is, know basic ...

**51**

votes

**6**answers

5k views

### Is the Mendeleev table explained in quantum mechanics?

Does anybody know if there exists a mathematical explanation of the Mendeleev table in quantum mechanics? In some textbooks (for example in "F.A.Berezin, M.A.Shubin. The Schrödinger Equation") the ...

**51**

votes

**1**answer

4k views

### What were the main ideas and gaps in Yoichi Miyaoka's attempted proof (1988) of Fermat's Last Theorem?

Out of sheer curiosity I have been reading Stewert and Tall's "Algebraic Number Theory and Fermat's Last Theorem" (2001). As it contains various bits of history, I found out to my own shame that I was ...

**50**

votes

**10**answers

15k views

### Video lectures for Algebraic Geometry

Are there any good video lectures for studying Algebraic geometry?

**50**

votes

**5**answers

5k views

### The Logic of Buddha: A Formal Approach

Buddhist logic is a branch of Indian logic (see also Nyaya), one of the three original traditions of logic, alongside the Greek and the Chinese logic. It seems Buddha himself used some of the features ...

**50**

votes

**1**answer

4k views

### Probability that a stick randomly broken in five places can form a tetrahedron

Edit (June 2015): Addressing this problem is a brief project report from the Illinois Geometry Lab (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), dated May 2015, that appears here along with a foot-...

**49**

votes

**30**answers

7k views

### Fundamental problems whose solution seems completely out of reach [closed]

In many areas of mathematics there are fundamental problems that are embarrasingly natural or simple to state, but whose solution seem so out of reach that they are barely mentioned in the literature ...

**48**

votes

**2**answers

7k views

### What is a good roadmap for learning Shimura curves?

I am interested in learning about Shimura curves. Unlike most of the people who post reference requests however (see this question for example), my problem is not sorting through an abundance of books ...

**47**

votes

**7**answers

4k views

### Applications of Grothendieck-Riemann-Roch?

I am currently trying to learn a bit about Grothendieck-Riemann-Roch...
To try to get a better feeling for it, I am looking for examples of nice applications of GRR applied to a proper morphism $X \...

**47**

votes

**8**answers

5k views

### Natural transformations as categorical homotopies

Every text book I've ever read about Category Theory gives the definition of natural transformation as a collection of morphisms which make the well known diagrams commute.
There is another possible ...

**47**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Tetris-like falling sticky disks

Suppose unit-radius disks fall vertically from $y=+\infty$,
one by one, and create a random jumble of disks above the $x$-axis.
When a falling disk hits another, it stops and sticks there.
Otherwise, ...

**46**

votes

**7**answers

11k views

### Mathematician trying to learn string theory

I'm a mathematician. I want to be able to read recent ArXiv postings on high energy physics theory (String theory) (and perhaps be able to do research). I want to understand compactifications, ...

**46**

votes

**6**answers

6k views

### Which nonlinear PDEs are of interest to algebraic geometers and why?

Motivation
I have recently started thinking about the interrelations among algebraic geometry and nonlinear PDEs. It is well known that the methods and ideas of algebraic geometry have lead to a ...