Questions that are about research in mathematics, or about the job of a research mathematician, without being mathematical problems or statements in the strictest sense. In other words, questions that can be answered without making computations or applying theorems and axioms.

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4
votes
1answer
170 views

soft: Reference/ Suggested Read: Homological Algebraic techniques in PDEs

I was reading this article on wikipiedia and was interested by the apparent link between Homological Algebra and PDEs. What is an accessible reference which showcases the link between these topics? ...
2
votes
0answers
127 views

Why only Normed Linear Spaces? [on hold]

It is well known that "Norm on a vector space can be used to obtain a metric on that space." I think easily we can generalize the notion of norms to groups and rings. My questions are, Why ...
10
votes
0answers
365 views

Which journals publish applied mathematics with mostly pure mathematics content?

In the spirit of Which journals publish expository work? please advise: What consistently high quality journals$^1$ today publish results that would otherwise go to a pure mathematics journal if ...
3
votes
0answers
21 views

Characterization of complete lattices with join-incomplete lattice endomorphisms

Let $L$ be an complete lattice. A lattice homomorphism $f: L\to L$ is said to be join-incomplete if there is an infinite set $S \subseteq L$ such that $f(\bigvee_L S) > \bigvee_L f(S).$ How can ...
32
votes
2answers
875 views

When to postpone a proof?

One possible practice in writing mathematics is to prove every theorem and lemma right after stating it. A long, technical proof — and sometimes even a short one — can interrupt the flow ...
0
votes
0answers
99 views

Is there a rather natural space an automorphism of which is the Mellin transform?

Disclaimer: this question might be a little too vague and thus not suitable for this site despite the soft-question tag. If so, feel free to migrate it to MSE. I just read this and, trying to find ...
0
votes
0answers
112 views

Newer list of open problems in model theory

In the book Model Theory by C. C. Chang and H. J. Keisler, there is a list of open problems in model theory. More exactly, this list is called "Open problems in classical model theory" (on page 597, ...
12
votes
1answer
426 views

Which nice/deep elaborations on the (operators <-> sheaves) / (endomorphisms <-> objects) theme are there?

A linear operator $T:V\to V$ on a (say) vector space over a field $k$ is just a $k[T]$-module, and may be viewed as the sheaf $\mathscr F_T$ over $\mathbb A^1_k$, with fibre over $\lambda\in k$ equal ...
21
votes
3answers
755 views

What technical and/or theoretical challenges are involved in automatically extracting proofs from books and papers into Coq code?

Over the years, advances in machine learning has allowed us to communicate and interact, using the same natural language, more and more semantically with computers, e.g. Google, Siri, Watson, etc. On ...
0
votes
0answers
122 views

How to prepare a radical change of research field after the PhD [duplicate]

I am in the middle of my PhD in functional analysis. My undergraduate studies were focused on pure theory and so it was logical to continue in this direction. However, recently I got into contact with ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

History of Geometric Analogies in Number Theory

My question, put simply, is: When did mathematicians/number theorists begin viewing questions in number theory through a geometric lens? For example, was it before Grothendieck introduced schemes to ...
12
votes
0answers
497 views

“To operate the machine, it is not necessary to raise the bonnet.”

The quotation in the title is attributed to Frank Adams and appears in several places: In the preface of [2002, Operads in algebra, topology and physics]: "to operate the machine, it is not ...
12
votes
3answers
632 views

How to write an abstract for a math paper? [closed]

How would you go about writing an abstract for a Math paper? I know that an abstract is supposed to "advertise" the paper. However, I do not really know how to get started. Could someone tell me how ...
2
votes
1answer
435 views

Mathematics equivalent of Feynman's Lectures in Physics? [closed]

I'm looking for an equivalent of "Feynman's Lectures in Physics" in mathematics. I'm specifically looking for book/books that delve into, using Feynman's words, "the meaning of things".
5
votes
2answers
195 views

Do computational geometers use Lagrange multipliers?

Can anyone point me to an example of a problem that (more or less) originated in computational geometry whose solution requires the use of Lagrange multipliers (or Kuhn-Tucker conditions, or dual ...
7
votes
0answers
267 views

What would you do if you improve your own result that is submitted but not publishied?

Here is a hypothetical situation: You have proved a result and written up a paper about it. You have submitted your article to some journal and it is being reviewed. While you are waiting, you have ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Style of mathematical writing vs. too many lemmas

I work in PDEs. I have now written 3 papers. I find my style is of the form: introduction, statement of results, paragraphs to introduce something, lemma, more text, lemma, more text, lemma, more ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Precise statement of Gersho's conjecture

Here is the Gersho's conjecture from his paper "Asymptotically optiaml block qunatization" "For $N$ sufficiently large the optimal(distortion-minimizing) quantizer for a random vector uniformly ...
5
votes
2answers
153 views

Separable coordinate systems for the Laplace and Helmholtz equations?

According to Mathworld, in three dimensions there are 13 coordinate systems in which Laplace's equation is separable, and 11 for the Helmholtz equation. I've read the relevant chapters of the book by ...
5
votes
3answers
646 views

“Family Tree” of Theorems

Is anyone aware of any attempt to describe the dependencies of theorems (perhaps in mathematics generally, perhaps in some limited areas) in the form of a "family tree"? That is, each node on the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Should we post on arXiv only papers in publishable shape (or very close)?

Question: Should we post on arXiv only papers in publishable shape (or very close)? This question should be distinguished from the following: Should one post a paper on the arXiv if it is not ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

The unpublished papers in reference to the published papers

Sometimes it happens that a published paper refers to an unpublished paper for a result used. In this case, if we want to check this result by ourselves, we need to access to this unpublished paper. ...
0
votes
0answers
142 views

Soft Question: Relationships Between Moduli Space and Objects They Parametrize

Apologies in advance if this question is not suitable for MO. My friend and I were wondering recently what, if any, are the relationships between the geometric properties of a moduli space and the ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do people use “formal calculation” to describe informal calculations?

Many times, I see the word formal being used to describe a calculation that is not rigorous. I would think that such calculations should rather be termed informal than formal. What is the explanation ...
3
votes
1answer
373 views

Formulating Kunen's inconsistency and Reinhardt cardinals in term of category theory

It is known that one can formulate certain large cardinal axioms (e.g. Vopenka's principle--see Mike Shulman's answer to Harry Gindi's mathoverflow question "Reasons to believe Vopenka's ...
12
votes
2answers
778 views

Describe the desired features of a “Mathematics Colloquium”?

I'm now a member of my department's colloquium committee. Our task is to make a great colloquium series. I thought that the first step would be to come up with an appropriate definition of ...
20
votes
2answers
730 views

Intuition behind the definition of quantum groups

Being far from the field of quantum groups, I have nevertheless made in the past several (unsuccessful) attempts to understand their definition and basic properties. The goal of this post is to try to ...
6
votes
1answer
410 views

Are reduced residue systems relative primorials an active area of research? If not, why not?

As a math amateur, I am finding the study reduced residue systems relative a primorial a very interesting way to understand the distribution of primes. For example, it is fascinating to me that it is ...
8
votes
2answers
595 views

random category theory

This question is in some sense dual to the one asked in Is there an introduction to probability theory from a structuralist/categorical perspective? since contrary to the OP who asks for references ...
2
votes
0answers
152 views

When is it appropriate to name something a 'fundamental lemma'? [closed]

The term 'fundamental lemma' refers to many results in mathematics. I don't know too many results referred to by that name, but I am familiar with, for example, the 'fundamental lemma of sieve theory' ...
10
votes
3answers
466 views

Mathematical difference between entropy and energy

I have a rather soft question. Let's assume that we consider the heat equation posed in $S^1$: $$ \partial_t u=\partial_x^2u. $$ It is well known that if we define the functionals $$ ...
7
votes
2answers
537 views

Understanding Faltings's Theorem

I am soon to become a graduate student and so I started a personal project; I want to understand Faltings's proof of the Mordell conjecture. I want to get into arithmetic geometry (since I always ...
-5
votes
1answer
308 views

What's the minimum amount of knowledge to start doing research? [closed]

There are cases in which you have too much knowledge of something to do anything interesting ,and cases in which a lack of experience with a problem (and the prejudices about it) helps someone solve ...
7
votes
1answer
284 views

“Thin film evolution” (Reference request)

Ok this is my first$^*$ question on overflow, my apologies if this is not the right place to ask what follows! I observed the following phenomenon: I put a (vitamin) tablet into water, then after a ...
12
votes
4answers
942 views

“Epicycles” (Ptolemy style) in math theory?

By analogy: The epicycles of Ptolemy explained the known facts in the sun system and in this sense were not "wrong". But they distracted from a better insight. From another viewpoint, everything fell ...
6
votes
0answers
259 views

Have topographs been studied before?

This is my first post on MO so I hope this question is suitable. I have quite a few definitions which I will need to state before my questions at the end of this post. Please let me know if anything ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

number theory which is close to analysis

I have basic training in Fourier and Harmonic analysis. And wanting to enter and work in area of number theory(and which is of some interest for current researcher) which is close to analysis. ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

Two equivalent descriptions of a physical system yielding a non-trivial mathematical formula

First I would like to admit that this question may not be entirely appropriate for this site, but I will give it a go none the less. One often hears stories about how string dualities lead to highly ...
17
votes
3answers
982 views

Which way for reading the proofs?

I am a master student in mathematics. For me a large part of doing mathematics is thinking about, reading and verifying the proof of theorems that I find them in my field of study. I can do this ...
28
votes
8answers
5k views

Uninteresting questions with interesting answers [closed]

What are best examples of questions in mathematics that are not interesting until one knows the answers, whose answers themselves are what is interesting? The thing that prompts me to post this is ...
3
votes
3answers
199 views

Are linearizations of involutive PDEs locally solvable?

A possibly soft question for you guys and gals. Say a system of analytic PDEs has been completed to involution (in the sense that it's geometric symbol has a Pommaret basis, or has vanishing ...
0
votes
0answers
116 views

seminar about the strong multiplicity one for the Selberg class

Very recently, a seminar took place in Seoul with Haseo Ki as an invited speaker to talk about the strong multiplicity one theorem for the whole Selberg class that he did manage to prove. I would like ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Famous examples of PhD advisors younger than their student [closed]

What are the most famous examples of PhD advisors in mathematics, younger than their student? (if possible put the date of birth and/or the difference in age).
0
votes
1answer
178 views

soft copy of Ottmar loos's book on “symmetric spaces”

Is anyone in posssesion of the Ottmar Loos's old books on "Symmetric Spaces" . I have consulted Ottmar Loos himself as well as other experts like Prof.Parameshwaran Shankaran about the book. In their ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Explicit Solution of Bessel Process

I am trying to write an find an explicit solution (Bessel process) of following SDE: for $S\ge 0$, $df(S)=\mu dt+\sqrt{1+\alpha f(S)}dW_t$, $\alpha>0$, and $1+\alpha f(S)\ge 0$ and $W_t$ is the ...
1
vote
0answers
143 views

How the exceptional simple Lie groups/ algebras were first discovered and by whom?

I am wondering whether exceptional simple Lie groups/ algebras were first discovered in order to obtain a complete list of such objects, or they appeared as answers to completely different questions. ...
46
votes
17answers
10k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
109 views

algorithm to find a new point of small height in a number field extension

By the height of an algebraic number $\alpha$, I mean the absolute, logarithmic (additive) Weil height $h(\alpha)$; e.g. $h(2^{1/n}) = (\log 2)/n.$ If $K$ is a number field, let $\delta(K)$ denote ...
7
votes
0answers
271 views

Use of an appendix in a long paper

I am writing a long paper (around 100 pages). I would consider 50 pages of it interesting in that it solves a problem of some significance in my field and contains an number of difficult ideas in the ...
3
votes
0answers
86 views

Looking for a natural definition of certain polynomials associated with skew Young diagrams

Consider a connected skew Young diagram in the English notation and then rotate it counterclockwise by $\pi/4$. This rotation can be avoided by simply replacing "rows" by "diagonals" in the below, but ...