Maths Uni Chat Watch

shamika
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#7161
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#7161
(Original post by Dog4444)
What are they like?
http://maths.cam.ac.uk/undergrad/examplesheets/

(search other universities for other examples. I'd be surprised if you understand what many questions mean but still worth a look)
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Dog4444
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#7162
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#7162
(Original post by Simplicity)
Neither.

It depends what year, but first couple of weeks are like A level style. Then, it becomes nothing like A levels or Olympiad.
So, then it becomes like what?

(Original post by shamika)
http://maths.cam.ac.uk/undergrad/examplesheets/

(search other universities for other examples. I'd be surprised if you understand what many questions mean but still worth a look)
Saw it, but can't do them so I can't say anything.
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Simplicity
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#7163
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#7163
(Original post by Dog4444)
So, then it becomes like what?
That depends what subject you do.

It's a stupid question. Nobody can answer it. For example, I have no clue what model theory or say analytical number theory.
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My Alt
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#7164
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#7164
(Original post by Dog4444)
What are they like?
More like STEP questions, if you've done any of that.
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Simplicity
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#7165
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#7165
(Original post by My Alt)
More like STEP questions, if you've done any of that.
Well, I think it depends what uni you go to?

Certainly, in my third year I haven't got anything like STEP. More like prove this, prove that e.t.c.

Also, the computational skills needed to do STEP are sort of useless in later years. For example in noncommutative algebra, all that stupid algebra crap they test is STEP is useless.
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My Alt
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#7166
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#7166
guys, guys, guys, I am a genuine vagina miner
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qgujxj39
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#7167
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#7167
Summary of my term so far - Markov Chains is my favourite course. Lovely mathematics, and the problems are fun. Of the rest, I'm enjoying pure (Analysis and Linear Algebra [except for the lecturer's handwriting {yay the bracketing system!}]) more, but finding applied (Quantum and Methods) easier.
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Slowbro93
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#7168
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#7168
So I am on my reading week now, analysis is quite interesting, geometry is straight forward and linear methods easy but so boring :nothing: However, what I really get excited about is learning about stars and space :moon: If it carries on like this, I might change my course to maths with physics from second year or do more applied optional modules :yep:
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assmaster
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#7169
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#7169
(Original post by My Alt)
guys, guys, guys, I am a genuine vagina miner
This does not describe a typical Maths student.
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My Alt
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#7170
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#7170
(Original post by assmaster)
This does not describe a typical Maths student.
Especially not
(Original post by Dadeyemi)
I'm a ****
who would attempt to perpetuate such an idea about me using my TSR account
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Simplicity
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#7171
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#7171
Is 22 too old to do Maths?
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alibee
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#7172
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#7172
(Original post by Simplicity)
Is 22 too old to do Maths?
Lol I hope not...
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IrrationalNumber
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#7173
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#7173
(Original post by Simplicity)
Is 22 too old to do Maths?
No.
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Simplicity
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#7174
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#7174
(Original post by IrrationalNumber)
No.
Was looking at the timeline of Grothendieck. At the moment he had three different discoveries and in a few years from 22 who would be writing his ground breaking work on the foundation of Algebraic Geometry.
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IrrationalNumber
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#7175
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#7175
(Original post by Simplicity)
Was looking at the timeline of Grothendieck. At the moment he had three different discoveries and in a few years from 22 who would be writing his ground breaking work on the foundation of Algebraic Geometry.
You're a mathematician. Tell me what's logical about picking one particular example and extrapolating that everyone has to go the same path as that one particular example.
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Jake22
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#7176
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#7176
(Original post by Simplicity)
Was looking at the timeline of Grothendieck. At the moment he had three different discoveries and in a few years from 22 who would be writing his ground breaking work on the foundation of Algebraic Geometry.
...and he wrote Pursuing Stacks and Les Derivateurs when he was well into his fifties.
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trollbuster
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#7177
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#7177
Alexander Grothendieck's autobiography is here, in the original French. Some of it has been translated into English. He told a friend of mine that once upon a time, he looked for a book publisher. One publisher said he'd publish it, but only if he took the names out. These were the names of leading mathematicians and academic figures, in the context of what they'd really said and done. (Imagine that! Didn't Grothy want promotion?) It was considered too dangerous to publish this sort of information. Grothendieck refused.

As the opposite of a creep, a crawler, someone who brown-noses journal editors and funders, a careerist, he would not have got a job nowadays. I often think of this when I hear an academic mathematician say how much they admire Grothendieck. Yeah sure. He probably would never have got a job in Anglo-America, and I strongly doubt whether today he'd even have got a job in France.

Interestingly some of the criticisms Grigory Perelman made of the academic maths racket when he turned down the Clay prize last year were similar to Grothendieck's.

Also interestingly, there is a website called GrothendieckCircle. org, which no longer publishes his writings - they cite his request not to. Right, but then there's another website with the very similar name of Grothendieck-Circle. org. That site is completely mellow, about fun with maths. They also get his name wrong, calling him "Andrew". I think we can conclude that this technically well-constructed and easy-to-navigate site wasn't done by anyone with any real admiration for him, or even much of an interest in him, but rather by someone who got paid for it.

One thing's for certain - the big figures in academic maths don't want people to view either Grothendieck or Perelman as models. I doubt Grothendieck since 1980 would have consented to be in the same room as an individual such as Bela Bollobas. (Take a look at Bollobas's involvement in the Elian Gonzalez affair).

If three of the strongest mathematicians of the 20th century have been Grothendieck, Perelman, and John von Neumann, the movers and shakers would much rather people took as a model the foul von Neumann - a truly obnoxious and extremely nasty piece of work who in the 1950s urged the United States to attack the USSR with nuclear weapons.1

Another thing worth recalling about Grothendieck: in his mathematical work, he was the opposite of a 'problemist'. In much of 'Anglo-American' mathematics, not being a problemist is like breaking wind in church - completely unwanted, just ignore it - 'surely all maths is about problems?' - 'isn't "theory" something they do in France?'. 'Oh we've moved far beyond that now'. A case of 'whereof one mustn't speak, thereof one must be silent'? Intellectual and moral cowardice.

Grothendieck's deep and imaginative and truly creative mathematical work will be remembered far longer than most discoveries in combinatorics.

He was the opposite of a careerist and creep.

Footnote
(1) Bertrand Russell, interpretable by the naive in the early 1960s as the conscience of the Trinity College high table, called for the nuking of the USSR in 1946. Only to prevent a lot of suffering, you understand. Recall that his grandfather had been British prime minister during the Crimean War.
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Jake22
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#7178
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#7178
(Original post by trollbuster)
As the opposite of a creep, a crawler, someone who brown-noses journal editors and funders, a careerist, he would not have got a job nowadays. I often think of this when I hear an academic mathematician say how much they admire Grothendieck. Yeah sure. He probably would never have got a job in Anglo-America, and I strongly doubt whether today he'd even have got a job in France.
Great post. I agree with most of it apart from the emboldened quote.

My reason? He was just too good for him not to get a job. His thesis and then Grothendieck-Riemann-Roch would have people falling over to employ him.

You cite a comparison with Perelman but the fact with Perelman is that in his early career - despite being an awkward character and pissing a lot of people off, he was still given postdocs in the US without even having to apply. After that, people were still falling over themselves to give him a tenure track position (after he proved the soul conjecture) but he declined all of the offers on the basis that, at 28, he wanted a full professorship. The next time he visited America (after he posted the 2002 arxiv papers) all of the top departments were again falling over themselves to give him a professorship, practically asking him to name the salary.
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Owl_492
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#7179
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#7179
(Original post by trollbuster)
Another thing worth recalling about Grothendieck: in his mathematical work, he was the opposite of a 'problemist'. In much of 'Anglo-American' mathematics, not being a problemist is like breaking wind in church - completely unwanted, just ignore it - 'surely all maths is about problems?' - 'isn't "theory" something they do in France?'. 'Oh we've moved far beyond that now'. A case of 'whereof one mustn't speak, thereof one must be silent'? Intellectual and moral cowardice.
Have you read Frans Oort's article on Grothendieck's research method? It illustrates the idiocy of statements such as "maths is about problems" and "thinking about hard problems is how you learn maths".

I mention these statements because so often I've heard them repeated by fools who've 'absorbed' them and repeat them without ever having had the gumption to form their own opinion on the matter - i.e. to actually 'think' about what they're talking about!

Oort on Grothendieck:

"more and more in his algebraic geometry career his true belief became clear: the basic study of abstract theory is the main aim, and solutions to a great problem will emerge 'as just byproduct'."

"Grothendieck described two (extreme) ways how to crack (a big nut). The first way he described is basically by brute force. The second way is to immerse the nut in a softening fluid, (...) until the nut opens just by
itself.
"

"Inventing a 'trick', solving by studying special cases, substituting general ideas by special structures in special cases was out of the question for Grothendieck."

"the enormous leap Grothendieck made in generalizing a previous idea into a grand new theory (...) (He) always tried to consider the most general situation."

"What happens if general patterns and theories do not suffice to settle a specific problem? Grothendieck gives us the impression that at such a point one (had) better (give) up, or rather develop a more general structure, or “escape” into a more general problem."

(I should add that Oort unfortunately goes on to try to be 'balanced').
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around
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#7180
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#7180
(Original post by Owl_492)

(I should add that Oort unfortunately goes on to try to be 'balanced').
Why unfortunately?
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