Maths Uni Chat Watch

Simplicity
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#861
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#861
(Original post by Glutamic Acid)
If there's one thing I've learnt from the first few weeks of doing a maths degree (and there is only one thing I've learnt) it's that retreating to definitions and trying to be rigorous and formal bores me senseless. Which makes me feel like a mathematical abuser; a leech; a cruel pet owner expecting maths to perform clever and pretty tricks for me yet I have no consideration for its well-being; of its verity. And, hah! (hah) I don't think I even prefer applied maths.
Tricks. I don't tend to use tricks as yeah I read in Grothendiecks biography that he avoided any tricks as he considered that the hammer method.

I would argue that if you had to retreat to definition then you don't really understand it. But, yeah in how to prove it the author breaks everything down into as you say definitions and then basically does small logical steps to given. So I tend to do that if its not obvious.
0
reply
Simplicity
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#862
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#862
(Original post by SimonM)
Firstly, whatever the foundations of mathematics is, it's still not going to be that important to me as an end user rather than a programmer (or whatever suitable analogy you care to name).

Category theory (from what I've gathered) is to most mathematicians a tool for gaining greater insight as to differences between certain fields. Whilst thinking in a 'categorical sense' they don't tend to appeal to category theory that frequently...
Well, wouldn't that cause big problems. Certainly, if you read Ruelle he said one of the mistakes is this. For example, lets say you wanted to prove RH but then RH was undecidable in set theory, well if you can prove thats it undecidable you would have actually proven that its true. As RH can only be undecidable if there isn't a zero off the line.

Again, that would be the hammer approach. Grothendieck wouldn't be happy.
0
reply
SimonM
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#863
Report 9 years ago
#863
(Original post by Simplicity)
Well, wouldn't that cause big problems. Certainly, if you read Ruelle he said one of the mistakes is this. For example, lets say you wanted to prove RH but then RH was undecidable in set theory, well if you can prove thats it undecidable you would have actually proven that its true. As RH can only be undecidable if there isn't a zero off the line.

Again, that would be the hammer approach. Grothendieck wouldn't be happy.
I think the most important part of mathematics is communicating ones ideas clearly.

Get the hint?
0
reply
Oh I Really Don't Care
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#864
Report 9 years ago
#864
(Original post by Simplicity)
I would argue that if you had to retreat to definition then you don't really understand it. But, yeah in how to prove it the author breaks everything down into as you say definitions and then basically does small logical steps to given. So I tend to do that if its not obvious.
That is entirely contradictory to your belief that the only way to understand mathematics is to formalise mathematics from a few axioms which would require " going back to the definitions" so you point is mute both from your point of view and as a general approach to amthematics.

Spoiler:
Show
It is clear that the exercises we are given now - such as proving that is a,b,x in R\{0} and ax = bx then a=b are quite "boring" and while important are hardly giving us anthing to sink our teeth into. What they are providing us with is, for many, their first attempt to not just randomaly guess at how to prove something but understand what is allowed, get a feel for setting out maths and doing something that could be subjected to scrutiny. They also take something we are familiar with and build from there in anticipation of starting some analyis.


I am a staunch admirer of set theory as I like the idea and principle and quite enjoy fomral systems - what I certainly don't like or agree with is the idea you can retreat to it when we get stumped, which almost suggests that the mathematics we do is algorithmic. Woe betide the researcher who is scorned by you for not being able to come up with original research when he simply needs to retreat to definitions.
0
reply
MrShifty
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#865
Report 9 years ago
#865
(Original post by SimonM)
Category theory (from what I've gathered) is to most mathematicians a tool for gaining greater insight as to differences between certain fields. Whilst thinking in a 'categorical sense' they don't tend to appeal to category theory that frequently...
Exactly. To be honest I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of even pure mathematicians will by and large not spend too much time worrying about categories, other than via things like homology, and even then they'll be treat them as necessary but fairly uninteresting technical details.

(Original post by Simplicity)
Category theory is the greatest thing ever.
You're simply not in a position to judge this, or whether Bourbaki have the right idea, or any number of recent claims on the nature of mathematics or the importance/validity of this or that.

Seriously, relax, take a deep breath and enjoy your degree, because this kind of superficial showboating is just getting embarrassing (and having the opposite effect to the one I suspect you intend it to have).
0
reply
reems23
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#866
Report 9 years ago
#866
This is one ******* scary thread. Goodnight maths people. I rather love you.
0
reply
Simplicity
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#867
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#867
(Original post by DeanK22)
That is entirely contradictory to your belief that the only way to understand mathematics is to formalise mathematics from a few axioms which would require " going back to the definitions" so you point is mute both from your point of view and as a general approach to amthematics.
Not really. If you can't understand something then Velleman method of givens and goals is a good approach. But, granted a theorem itself is just a bunch of deduction from axioms. So if you understood the theorem then you should be able to deduce it from axiom.

(Original post by DeanK22)
Spoiler:
Show
It is clear that the exercises we are given now - such as proving that is a,b,x in R\{0} and ax = bx then a=b are quite "boring" and while important are hardly giving us anthing to sink our teeth into. What they are providing us with is, for many, their first attempt to not just randomaly guess at how to prove something but understand what is allowed, get a feel for setting out maths and doing something that could be subjected to scrutiny. They also take something we are familiar with and build from there in anticipation of starting some analyis.



I am a staunch admirer of set theory as I like the idea and principle and quite enjoy fomral systems - what I certainly don't like or agree with is the idea you can retreat to it when we get stumped, which almost suggests that the mathematics we do is algorithmic. Woe betide the researcher who is scorned by you for not being able to come up with original research when he simply needs to retreat to definitions.
The problem with that hypothesis is that if it was just getting to know whats allowed then they wouldn't teach elementary algebra but instead some form of new maths. Also, how would you know something is true and not just a guess? that would mean actually knowing the rules.

A large part of mathematics is algorithmic. Certainly, if you can't do calculations I don't see how you can get far in maths, unless there is a branch of maths that doesn't need heavy calculations to understand it. In a way we are computers. According to Lucas-Penrose argument the only real difference is that humans might have something non-algorithmic in thought. Penrose thinks this is visual images..

But, then it comes down to the researcher who like most working mathematician don't care about the foundation of mathematics.

(Original post by MrShifty)
You're simply not in a position to judge this, or whether Bourbaki have the right idea, or any number of recent claims on the nature of mathematics or the importance/validity of this or that.

Seriously, relax, take a deep breath and enjoy your degree, because this kind of superficial showboating is just getting embarrassing (and having the opposite effect to the one I suspect you intend it to have).
Well, its more philosophical than mathematical. For philosophical reasons I doubt my views will change. I'm not a good problem solver and have tried a lot to correct this.

That would be impossible as I have to atleast get 80% espically if I want to PhD at a decent uni.
0
reply
assmaster
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#868
Report 9 years ago
#868
(Original post by reems23)
This is one ******* scary thread.
Agreed.
I feel so uneducated, my mathematical education yesterday was watching episodes of El Nombre.
Spoiler:
Show
0
reply
v-zero
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#869
Report 9 years ago
#869
(Original post by assmaster)
Agreed.
I feel so uneducated, my mathematical education yesterday was watching episodes of El Nombre.
Spoiler:
Show
Classic.
0
reply
Simplicity
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#870
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#870
(Original post by assmaste)
Agreed.
I feel so uneducated, my mathematical education yesterday was watching episodes of El Nombre.
Well, I'm normally watching TV whilst doing maths. However, according to a medic I know that isn't studying. You should watch True blood, its really good.

College humor is really good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsMGjCXG0c0

However, that isn't the best song done by College humor.

(Original post by v-zero)
Classic.
The video doesn't make sense. Why would you be throwing pies in a gun shoot out?

P.S. Watching the new heroes. The writers really need to read some books on chaos theory. Hiro can't just go back into the past and change small things and they act like it won't change anything, stupid writers. Why do time travellers story lines in moves and tv make the stupid assumption that small changes in initial condition don't make a big impact.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the ending of the episode is Hiro reundoing what he did in the past.
P.P.S. I have lost faith in psychology. Well, lets just say I was in the stupid psychology experiment of language learning that didn't work and was stupid. It was stupid. The language was like no other language ever invented, it had no nouns. Yeah, I know of some weird langauges for example a african tribe has a language that is really active. But, yeah the language was stupid.

Not only that but I found out the study that says using abstract methods instead of examples leads to greater understanding in undergrad mathematician was flawed. Anyway, the example used was stupidly complex.

Also, yeah Feynman critism. Well, yeah.
0
reply
MrShifty
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#871
Report 9 years ago
#871
(Original post by Simplicity)
Well, its more philosophical than mathematical. For philosophical reasons I doubt my views will change. I'm not a good problem solver and have tried a lot to correct this.
I'm sorry but this is utter rot and wholly irrelevant to the discussion. This isn't about category theory, or foundations, or anything of that nature. It's about you having a pop at and denigrating others on this forum, and whining about your university and lecturers; all the time masquerading under this sneering intellectual pretence that's all the more absurd for the fact that you simply don't know what you're talking about the vast majority of the time.

It's fine to be curious about higher level stuff - you're interested and that's great. However, it's a bit rich to swan about here pontificating about its virtues and trying to use mere mention of advanced topics as some rickety old pedestal on which to raise your self over others when, as you admit, you don't actually understand much if any of it.

I know this is harsh, but I would hazard that you desperately need a taste of reality. I would suggest that your arrogance, inability to recognise your own limitations, contempt for others and the 'fine details' of mathematics, and sheer laziness when it comes to contructing arguments and analysing those of other are far greater hinderances to your ambition than some imaginary need to get over 80% (which as my phrasing suggests, is rubbish). Hell, at times I find it hard to get a sense that you even enjoy maths, most of the time you just seem to be complaining about it and clutching onto some half formed ideal of what you think maths should be about and hoping you'll turn out to be right.
0
reply
The Muon
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#872
Report 9 years ago
#872
(Original post by reems23)
This is one ******* scary thread. Goodnight maths people. I rather love you.
:hmmm:
0
reply
harr
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#873
Report 9 years ago
#873
(Original post by Simplicity)
P.S. Watching the new heroes. The writers really need to read some books on chaos theory. Hiro can't just go back into the past and change small things and they act like it won't change anything, stupid writers. Why do time travellers story lines in moves and tv make the stupid assumption that small changes in initial condition don't make a big impact.
But they've already changed it. That's logic.

My guess is that most of the systems are pretty stable over the short term anyway.
0
reply
Simplicity
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#874
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#874
(Original post by MrShifty)
I'm sorry but this is utter rot and wholly irrelevant to the discussion. This isn't about category theory, or foundations, or anything of that nature. It's about you having a pop at and denigrating others on this forum, and whining about your university and lecturers; all the time masquerading under this sneering intellectual pretence that's all the more absurd for the fact that you simply don't know what you're talking about the vast majority of the time.

It's fine to be curious about higher level stuff - you're interested and that's great. However, it's a bit rich to swan about here pontificating about its virtues and trying to use mere mention of advanced topics as some rickety old pedestal on which to raise your self over others when, as you admit, you don't actually understand much if any of it.

I know this is harsh, but I would hazard that you desperately need a taste of reality. I would suggest that your arrogance, inability to recognise your own limitations, contempt for others and the 'fine details' of mathematics, and sheer laziness when it comes to contructing arguments and analysing those of other are far greater hinderances to your ambition than some imaginary need to get over 80% (which as my phrasing suggests, is rubbish). Hell, at times I find it hard to get a sense that you even enjoy maths, most of the time you just seem to be complaining about it and clutching onto some half formed ideal of what you think maths should be about and hoping you'll turn out to be right.
Attack the person and not the argument, figures. In a way I haven't popped at someone. Can you show me where I have made a personal attack on anyone. I can't agree with something I don't think is true. When have I ****ged off my lecturer.

Again, its about philosophy. In a way I have never once said that I think I'm better than everyone in this forum. If so can you quote it.

I don't know if I have them personality traits. But, yeah in a way people don't like someone to disagree with them. Even if I was arrogrant how would that be bad? as a lot of people in history have done great things and they have been arrogrant. Well, what is uni but passing exams. The aim is to pass exam if you look at objectively.

Yes I do like maths. Its just that its been lately there seem to be no challenge.
0
reply
Simplicity
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#875
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#875
(Original post by harr)
But they've already changed it. That's logic.

My guess is that most of the systems are pretty stable over the short term anyway.
No. Its hard to give away the details as yeah I would have to put it in spoilers and what not. But, essentially the writers acted like you can go back 15 years in the past and changed a really big event and then act like it won't change anything improtant.

Have you read black swan. In that he argues this is false. Certainly, 9/11 is a good example of this. In a way you can't really tell what are black swans as say a liverpool football could be a black swan e.g. thinking of the liverpool fan who caused liverpool to lose a few weeks ago. But, yeah the errors in any non linear system will get really big fast.
0
reply
Oh I Really Don't Care
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#876
Report 9 years ago
#876
(Original post by Simplicity)
Attack the person and not the argument, figures. In a way I haven't popped at someone. Can you show me where I have made a personal attack on anyone. I can't agree with something I don't think is true. When have I ****ged off my lecturer.

Again, its about philosophy. In a way I have never once said that I think I'm better than everyone in this forum. If so can you quote it.

I don't know if I have them personality traits. But, yeah in a way people don't like someone to disagree with them. Even if I was arrogrant how would that be bad? as a lot of people in history have done great things and they have been arrogrant. Well, what is uni but passing exams. The aim is to pass exam if you look at objectively.

Yes I do like maths. Its just that its been lately there seem to be no challenge.
(a) Do you like maths or are you pretending? The idea of University is not to pass exams. We all choose maths because we love it you spanner. Or well ,you clearly don't but the rest of us here do.

(b) In regards to your personality it is clear you are;

Not in touch with reality

Have an unmotivated god of mathematics complex [I have yet to see you answer a mathematical question on f-38 that didn't involve - oh this is easy go induction, bourbaki says problems are hindering people why are you doing problems, etc].

Unjustly arrogant - arrogance develops as a by product of being better than everyone around you know while maintaining this status. Feel free to tell me how this applys (being better does not correlate directly to spending 8 hours study while your peers spend none or 2 - it quite clearly means being a better mathematician) to you.

Pedantic and extremely boring and repetitive.

(c) I feel like you aren't personally attacking anyone but your posts piss me off all the time because of the utter **** they contain - really if I could put my finger on it I would say that that in itself actually feels like a personal attack as not only are you preaching nonsense but explaining both incoherently and as if we are children.

(d) No challenge. Please from what I can gather you couldn't tell me anything mathematical.

(Original post by Simplicity)
Have you read black swan. In that he argues this is false. Certainly, 9/11 is a good example of this. In a way you can't really tell what are black swans as say a liverpool football could be a black swan e.g. thinking of the liverpool fan who caused liverpool to lose a few weeks ago. But, yeah the errors in any non linear system will get really big fast.
Of course we all forgot your specialism in chaos theory - I heard Acheson and Stewart are coming to Manchester just to discuss some research you are doing. Hope you don't confuse (as you did me) by trying to set up an incomplete metaphor between a swan and a liverpool fan.
0
reply
assmaster
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#877
Report 9 years ago
#877
(Original post by Simplicity)
Can you show me where I have made a personal attack on anyone.
Do we have to go through this again?
College humor is really good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsMGjCXG0c0
I like the song that is parodying, it's hella catchy.
The video doesn't make sense. Why would you be throwing pies in a gun shoot out?
It's for kids Simplicity. Besides, it's El Nombre. Making sense is not what it's for... Little Juan :love:

Edit: why did you quote me as 'assmaste'? Makes me sound like part of a gay pirate ship :/
0
reply
harr
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#878
Report 9 years ago
#878
(Original post by Simplicity)
Have you read black swan. In that he argues this is false. Certainly, 9/11 is a good example of this. In a way you can't really tell what are black swans as say a liverpool football could be a black swan e.g. thinking of the liverpool fan who caused liverpool to lose a few weeks ago. But, yeah the errors in any non linear system will get really big fast.
I haven't read it, but my understanding was that it talks about the possibility of seemingly minor things having a major impact rather than arguing that any minor change is likely to have a major impact. Not that the supposedly minor things are actually that minor (arms buildup and assassinations, financial decisions by the government of one of the biggest countries in the world, etc.).
0
reply
Simplicity
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#879
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#879
I can't be bothered to argue. I'm revising for test tomorrow.

Also, everything always ends up attacking the person.
0
reply
DFranklin
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#880
Report 9 years ago
#880
(Original post by Simplicity)
But, yeah the errors in any non linear system will get really big fast.
This, of course, is totally incorrect.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Cranfield University
    Cranfield Forensic MSc Programme Open Day Postgraduate
    Thu, 25 Apr '19
  • University of the Arts London
    Open day: MA Footwear and MA Fashion Artefact Postgraduate
    Thu, 25 Apr '19
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
    Undergraduate Open Day - Llandaff Campus Undergraduate
    Sat, 27 Apr '19

Have you registered to vote?

Yes! (273)
38.18%
No - but I will (51)
7.13%
No - I don't want to (51)
7.13%
No - I can't vote (<18, not in UK, etc) (340)
47.55%

Watched Threads

View All