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Questions tagged [reference-request]

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

319
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78answers
144k views

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
12answers
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
48answers
53k views

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
7answers
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
10answers
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
4answers
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
14answers
22k views

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
9answers
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
7answers
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
26answers
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
9answers
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
2answers
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
4answers
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
9answers
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
17answers
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
18answers
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
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 ...
69
votes
0answers
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
5answers
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
17answers
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
22answers
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
9answers
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
5answers
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
11answers
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
4answers
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
2answers
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
3answers
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
27answers
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
9answers
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
8answers
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
15answers
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
4answers
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
7answers
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
4answers
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
6answers
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
6answers
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
16answers
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
13answers
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
6answers
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
1answer
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
10answers
15k views

Video lectures for Algebraic Geometry

Are there any good video lectures for studying Algebraic geometry?
50
votes
5answers
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
1answer
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
30answers
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
2answers
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
7answers
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
8answers
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
5answers
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
7answers
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
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6answers
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 ...