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Ask a Mathematician!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by IdiotsOpposite, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    Sorry, I can't recommend anything. The course material and even the textbook I read on the subject was in German.

    Yes, constructs are not necessarily applicable, but it is quite hard to find any mathematical construct that has not yet been used (or abused) for some application outside of pure mathematics.

    This careful reasoning about convergence is exactly what physicists usually don't bother with. Until proven otherwise we just assume it converges and go right ahead. If we notice along the way that it doesn't, we try another approach, but as long as a technique works we don't care much about proving that it is applicable.
     
  2. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    Got the joke only after you pointed it out. Oh my.

    New question: do you have a favourite math joke?
     
  3. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    What's purple and commutes?

    An Abelian grape.
     
  4. Rashiminos

    Rashiminos Fool Prophet

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    Are there any non-abelian food groups?
     
  5. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Hot cross product buns?
     
  6. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    At the risk of a huge over-generalization, I would say that physics requires more creativity, while mathematics requires more rigor.
     
  7. Akkon888

    Akkon888 한국 사람

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    RPN or in-fix?
     
  8. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    I wouldn't say that physics requires more creativity. I think you need quite some creativity to think of a new proof. I would rather say that physics requires the ability to approximate, to determine which terms are important and which can be neglected.

    Without simplifying a problem by dropping the irrelevant effects, you don't get very far in physics. So you have to leave behind the mathematical rigor and focus on the important part while ignoring the unimportant. To distinguish these is one of the main skills of physicists.

    In mathematics the quest for absolute proofs does not allow for approximations, so you have to be rigorous and cannot just drop unimportant terms. Almost proving a theorem does not count for anything.
     
  9. IdiotsOpposite

    IdiotsOpposite Boom, headshot.

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    I looked up RPN and am honestly surprised anyone speaks of that with a straight face.
     
  10. SpiritWolf

    SpiritWolf Warlord

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    u ready?

    What's your survival strategy for real analysis? It has a nasty tendency to break people. ;)
     
  11. IdiotsOpposite

    IdiotsOpposite Boom, headshot.

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    My strategy - figure out what book I'm assigned, and read every chapter of it before the class begins.

    Twice.
     
  12. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Sure, I agree. But don't you think that being able to "bend the rules" like that is a form of creativity? Not to mention the creativity involved in designing good experiments.
     
  13. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    Why are statisticians so much better than mathematicians?
     
  14. gangleri2001

    gangleri2001 Garbage day!!!

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    I don't know if is it me that I'm stupid or that the concept is really hard to get. You see, an operator's arity is a concept easy to get for the most common forms of it (nullary, unary and binary), but it's hard to get when you reach ternary level. I assume that ternary operators work pretty much like a transistor, but what about quaternary or other n-ary operators? And what about a multary (that accept many arities)? I cannot imagine operators like these but maybe you can enlighten me.
     
  15. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    Of course it is a form of creativity. But I also consider the ability to apply the rules in new ways to get a new proof a form of creativity. So I wouldn't say one group is more creative than the other.
     
  16. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

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    I shivered when I saw that picture.

    No lie.

    --

    Bad way to read Rudin.

    The good way to read Rudin:

    Start at page one. Read until you come to the word Theorem. Do not read the proof. Prove it yourself. Or at least try. If you get stuck read a line or two until you see what to do.

    Thrust, repeat.

    If you make it through the first six or seven chaptors like this then there shall be no power in the verse that can stop you. Enjoy graduate school. You half way there.
     
  17. Atticus

    Atticus Deity Retired Moderator

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    Rudin isn't probably the easiest book to read as the first one on the subject. I'd recommend Avner Friedman's Foundations of Modern Analysis, which is a bit simpler.

    Of course it's given that you don't read math books. You must try proving things yourself. :)
     
  18. Rashiminos

    Rashiminos Fool Prophet

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    You've had a calculus course. Some of the material will be familiar, but now you have to deal with the why.

    (Actually, if you've had a discrete math course where proofs were done, you already have a good beginning).
     
  19. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Analysis isn't hard, it's just weird applying rigour to topics which previously haven't required it.

    You can always post in my maths thread in sci/tech if you want help.
     
  20. IdiotsOpposite

    IdiotsOpposite Boom, headshot.

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    Hehe, actually, if I ever need help with something, I usually ask the people at Physics Forums. Sometimes I help other people out there too.
     

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