1
vote
1answer
42 views

Conditioned sum of n Poissons versus unconditioned Poissons

Let $\theta >1$ and take independent random variables $Z_k \sim \text{Poisson}(\theta/k)$ for $1 \leq k \leq n$ and let $Z_k^*$ have marginals like the $Z_k$ conditioned on $\sum_1^n k Z_k = n$: ...
4
votes
0answers
104 views

Deformation quantization of Poisson bracket without star-product

Kontsevich's formality theorem implies in particular that star-products on a $C^\infty$-manifold $M$, $$f\star g = fg + \sum_{k\geq1} \hbar^k B_k(f,g),\qquad f,g\in C^\infty(M),$$ where $B_k$ are ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

Strengthening of the local smoothing estimates for the free Laplacian

The classical local-smoothing estimates for the free Laplacian asserts that: $$\Vert e^{-it\Delta}f\Vert_{L^2((-\infty,+\infty)\,;\,H^{1/2}(B))}\leq C_B\cdot\Vert f\Vert_{L^2}$$ where ...
563
votes
217answers
142k views

Examples of common false beliefs in mathematics

The first thing to say is that this is not the same as the question about interesting mathematical mistakes. I am interested about the type of false beliefs that many intelligent people have while ...
0
votes
0answers
97 views

Closed-Form solution for system of simple nonlinear equations

I am interested in analytical solutions for a system of nonlinear equations. (The question was first asked at math.SE, where (after 1months and one rounds of bounty) there is only interesting ...
9
votes
1answer
134 views

Explicit calculations of small homotopy limits of CDGAs

I would like to carry out explicit calculations of homotopy limits of certain simple diagrams of CDGAS. My set-up is the following : I have a finite graded poset $R$ with minimal element $0$ and a ...
17
votes
2answers
427 views

What is the expected value of an N-dim vector of uniform randoms that sum to 1 which have been sorted into descending order?

What is the expected value of an N-dimensional vector of uniformly distributed random numbers which sum to 1 and have been sorted in descending order? Here is the algorithm for drawing a sample from ...
6
votes
1answer
201 views

Is the exponent $2$ sharp in the Balog-Szemerédi-Gowers Theorem?

The Balog-Szemerédi-Gowers theorem can be stated in the following form: let $A,B$ be subsets of $\mathbb{Z}/n\mathbb{Z}$ (say) with equal cardinality, such that $$ \|1_A*1_B\|_2 \ge K^{-1} \|1_A\|_1 ...
9
votes
2answers
456 views

Computing in quantum groups

I'd be interested in doing some computations in quantum groups $ U_q(\mathfrak g)$ that are conceptually simple (``is this element 0"?, and $\mathfrak g = sl_5$), but are somewhat lengthy to do by ...
70
votes
30answers
11k views

What are some very important papers published in non-top journals?

There has already been a question about important papers that were initially rejected. Many of the answers were very interesting. The question is here. My concern in this question is slightly ...
275
votes
15answers
38k views

Why do roots of polynomials tend to have absolute value close to 1?

While playing around with Mathematica I noticed that most polynomials with real coefficients seem to have most complex zeroes very near the unit circle. For instance, if we plot all the roots of a ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

A three-rope tangle that is equal to its mirror tangle

In the same way that a figure-eight knot is equal (after a suitable rotation) to its mirror knot, I am looking for simple tangles made of three ropes that are equal to their mirror tangle. The ...
153
votes
67answers
52k views

Awfully sophisticated proof for simple facts [closed]

It is sometimes the case that one can produce proofs of simple facts that are of disproportionate sophistication which, however, do not involve any circularity. For example, (I think) I gave an ...
103
votes
107answers
35k views

Most memorable titles [closed]

Apparently, for a large number of readers, the choice whether they select to read a paper or not is often strongly influenced by the title. I was wondering if the MO-users would be willing to share ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Sharpened Pinsker inequality for special case

Let $B(p)$ denote the Bernoulli distribution over $\{0,1\}$ and $B(p)^n$ the corresponding product distribution over $\{0,1\}^n$. For $n>1$ and $0<x<1$, define $$P_n(x):=B(\frac12+\frac ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

A-Paths as morphisms of Lie Algebroids $TI\longrightarrow A$?

In the paper Integrability of Lie Brackets Marius Crainic and Rui Fernandes describe obstructions to integrate a Lie algebroid to a Lie groupoid. The process of integration relies on the construction ...
55
votes
1answer
3k views

Did Bourbaki write a text on algebraic geometry?

Certainly Bourbaki never wrote an introduction to algebraic geometry: we would have heard about it, right?
51
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
104
votes
26answers
33k views

What is convolution intuitively?

If random variable $X$ has a probability distribution of $f(x)$ and random variable $Y$ has a probability distribution $g(x)$ then $(f*g)(x)$, the convolution of $f$ and $g$, is the probability ...
122
votes
10answers
15k 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
646 views

Isotropic ternary forms

It is well known that some questions about isotropic ternary forms reduces to the study of the special case $f_0(X)=xz-y^2, X=(x,y,z)$, see page 301 of Cassel's "Rational quadratic forms" (Dover, ...
62
votes
21answers
8k views

Probabilistic Proofs of Analytic Facts

What are some interesting examples of probabilistic reasoning to establish results that would traditionally be considered analysis? What I mean by "probabilistic reasoning" is that the approach should ...
42
votes
4answers
7k views

Do we still need model categories?

One modern POV on model categories is that they are presentations of $(\infty, 1)$-categories (namely, given a model category, you obtain an $\infty$-category by localizing at the category of weak ...
24
votes
2answers
599 views

Equivalence of “Weyl Algebra” and “Crystalline” definitions of rings of differential operators between modules?

Let $B$ be a commutative $A$-algebra, and let $M$, $N$ be two $B$-modules. We can talk about the set of $A$-linear module homomorphisms $M \to N$, i.e. the set $\text{Hom}_A(M, N)$. Differential ...
42
votes
9answers
4k views

Geometric / physical / probabilistic interpretations of Riemann zeta(n>1)?

What are some physical, geometric, or probabilistic interpretations of the values of the Riemann zeta function at the positive integers greater than one? I've found some examples: 1) In MO-Q111339 ...
34
votes
5answers
7k views

What is a cumulant really?

A cumulant is defined via the cumulant generating function $$ g(t)\stackrel{\tiny def}{=} \sum_{n=1}^\infty \kappa_n \frac{t^n}{n},$$ where $$ g(t)\stackrel{\tiny def}{=} \log E(e^{tX}). $$ Cumulants ...
84
votes
6answers
10k views

Why do probabilists take random variables to be Borel (and not Lebesgue) measurable?

I've been studying a bit of probability theory lately and noticed that there seems to be a universal agreement that random variables should be defined as Borel measurable functions on the probability ...
8
votes
1answer
830 views

A dual version of a theorem of Øystein Ore in group theory

Let $(H \subset G)$ be an inclusion of finite groups. This post is a dual version for the Generalization of a theorem of Øystein Ore in which it's proved: Theorem: $\mathcal{L}(H\subset G)$ ...
66
votes
12answers
22k views

What are the big problems in probability theory?

Most branches of mathematics have big, sexy famous open problems. Number theory has the Riemann hypothesis and the Langlands program, among many others. Geometry had the Poincaré conjecture for a long ...
73
votes
13answers
23k views

Top specialized journals

In geometry/topology, there are (at least) three specialized journals that end up publishing a large fraction of the best papers in the subject -- Geometry and Topology, JDG, and GAFA. What journals ...
18
votes
4answers
890 views

fixed point property for maps of compacts

Definition. A topological space $X$ has the Fixed Point Property (FPP) if every continuous self-map $X\to X$ has a fixed point. Question. If $X$ and $Y$ are homotopy-equivalent compact metrizable ...
47
votes
7answers
5k views

Riemannian surfaces with an explicit distance function?

I'm looking for explicit examples of Riemannian surfaces (two-dimensional Riemannian manifolds $(M,g)$) for which the distance function d(x,y) can be given explicitly in terms of local coordinates of ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Equality of Borel sets

I would like to understand the complexity of "equality of Borel sets". By complexity, I mean the complexity in the sense of Borel reducibility. Of course, since there is no standard Borel space of ...
69
votes
8answers
12k views

Is there a natural random process that is rigorously known to produce Zipf's law?

Zipf's law is the empirical observation that in many real-life populations of n objects, the $k^{th}$ largest object has size proportional to $1/k$, at least for $k$ significantly smaller than $n$ ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Deduction theorem

Is there an axiomatic system where the deduction theorem does not hold?
151
votes
3answers
7k views

A Game on Noetherian Rings

A friend suggested the following combinatorial game. At any time, the state of the game is a (commutative) Noetherian ring $\neq 0$. On a player's turn, that player chooses a nonzero non-unit element ...
13
votes
1answer
721 views

Do canonical stacks exist over Spec(Z)?

Suppose a scheme $X$ has tame quotient singularities. Does there exist a smooth DM stack $\mathcal X$ with coarse space $X$ so that the coarse space morphism $\mathcal X\to X$ is an isomorphism ...
29
votes
2answers
987 views

Shortest path through $\sqrt{n}$ points out of $n$

Say I sample $n$ points uniformly at random in the unit square, and then I look for the shortest path through $\sqrt{n}$ of those points (rounding up, say). What happens to the length of this path as ...
2
votes
3answers
638 views

Movable Divisors

Let $X$ be a projective variety. Does anyone know an example of a movable reducible divisor $D\in Mov(X)$ such that any element in the linear system $|D|$ of $D$ is reducible?
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Intuition of law of iterated logarithm?

Let $X_i$ be iid random variables with $EX_i = 0$ and $Var X_i=1$ and $S_n=X_1+\cdots+X_n$. Then the law of the iterated logarithm says almost everywhere we have ...
8
votes
1answer
367 views

A proper smooth surface is projective

My question is a reference request for the following fact: if $k$ is a field and $X$ a proper smooth surface over $k$, then $X \rightarrow \mathrm{Spec}\, k$ is projective. Where is this well-known ...
20
votes
2answers
804 views

Laws of Iterated Logarithm for Random Matrices and Random Permutation

The law of iterated logarithm asserts that if $x_1,x_2,\dots$ are i.i.d $\cal N(0,1)$ random variables and $S_n=x_1+x_2+\cdots+x_n$, then $$\limsup_{n \to \infty} S_n/\sqrt {n \log \log n} = \sqrt 2, ...
6
votes
1answer
243 views

Embedding Euclidean buildings into products of trees

A Euclidean building has a natural metric space structure. (A definition of Euclidean building can be found on Wikipedia, or, more expansively, in Section 4 of Kleiner-Leeb.) Question: Is it true ...
18
votes
9answers
5k views

How to motivate and present epsilon-delta proofs to undergraduates?

This would seem to be a common question, but I am surprised not to see it already asked and answered on MO! I am teaching an undergraduate course, and I want to teach them to construct basic ...
57
votes
4answers
3k views

Perron number distribution

A Perron number is a real algebraic integer $\lambda$ that is larger than the absolute value of any of its Galois conjugates. The Perron-Frobenius theorem says that any non-negative integer matrix $M$ ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

Probability of a Random Walk crossing a straight line

Let $(S_n)_{n=1}^{\infty}$ be a standard random walk with $S_n = \sum_{i=1}^n X_i$ and $\mathbb{P}(X_i = \pm 1) = \frac{1}{2}$. Let $\alpha \in \mathbb{R}$ be some constant. I would like to know the ...
47
votes
4answers
5k views

Connectivity of the Erdős–Rényi random graph

It is well-known that if $\omega=\omega(n)$ is any function such that $\omega \to \infty$ as $n \to \infty$, and if $p \ge (\log{n}+\omega) / n$ then the Erdős–Rényi random graph $G(n,p)$ is ...
42
votes
4answers
5k views

Origin of terms “flag”, “flag manifold”, “flag variety”?

These terms have become common in Lie theory and related algebraic geometry and combinatorics, as seen in many questions posted on MO, but it's unclear to me where they first came into use. Probably ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Gauss's views on pure mathematics

According to Wikipedia's entry on Gauss: "Though Gauss had been up to that point supported by the stipend from the Duke, he doubted the security of this arrangement, and also did not believe pure ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Flux through a Mobius strip

A friend of mine asked me what is the flux of the electric field (or any vector field like $$ \vec r=(x,y,z)\mapsto \frac{\vec r}{|r|^3} $$ where $|r|=(x^2+y^2+z^2)^{1/2}$) through a Mobius strip. It ...

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