Mathematics - History and Overview Publications (50)

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Mathematics - History and Overview Publications

The paper is devoted to the contribution in the Probability Theory of the well-known Soviet mathematician Alexander Yakovlevich Khintchine (1894-1959). Several of his results are described, in particular those fundamental results on the infinitely divisible distributions. Attention is paid also to his interaction with Paul Levy. Read More


In this joint introduction to an Asterisque volume, we give a short discussion of the historical developments in the study of nonlinear covering groups, touching on their structure theory, representation theory and the theory of automorphic forms. This serves as a historical motivation and sets the scene for the papers in the volume. Our discussion is necessarily subjective and will undoubtedly leave out the contributions of many authors, to whom we apologize in earnest. Read More


Let $f$ be a function from a metric space $Y$ to a separable metric space $X$. If $f$ has the Baire property, then it is continuous apart a 1st category set. In 1935, Kuratowski asked whether the separability requirement could be lifted. Read More


This text was published in the book "Penser les math{\'e}matiques: s\'eminaire de philosophie et math\'ematiques de l'\'Ecole normale sup\'erieure (J. Dieudonn\'e, M. Loi, R. Read More


This paper introduces an extension of Heron's formula to approximate area of cyclic n-gons where the error never exceeds $\frac{\pi}{e}-1$ Read More


An edited version is given of the text of G\"odel's unpublished manuscript of the notes for a course in basic logic he delivered at the University of Notre Dame in 1939. G\"odel's notes deal with what is today considered as important logical problems par excellence, completeness, decidability, independence of axioms, and with natural deduction too, which was all still a novelty at the time the course was delivered. Full of regards towards beginners, the notes are not excessively formalistic. Read More


This essay traces the history of three interconnected strands. Firstly, changes in the concept of number, secondly, the study of the qualities of number, which evolved into number theory, and thirdly, the nature of mathematics itself, from early Greek mathematics to the 20th century. These were embedded in philosophical shifts, from the classical Greek ontologies through increasing pragmatism to formalism and logical positivism. Read More


In this article, a new method for characterizing nontransitive dice is de- scribed. This new method is then used to describe the "Nontransitive Identities" (NI) that are possible for 3 dice with 3, 4 and 5 sides each as well as for 5 dice with 3 sides each. Next, we will discuss how these NI can be used to create NI that involve more dice and/or die sides. Read More


James Earl Baumgartner (March 23, 1943 - December 28, 2011) came of age mathematically during the emergence of forcing as a fundamental technique of set theory, and his seminal research changed the way set theory is done. He made fundamental contributions to the development of forcing, to our understanding of uncountable orders, to the partition calculus, and to large cardinals and their ideals. He promulgated the use of logic such as absoluteness and elementary submodels to solve problems in set theory, he applied his knowledge of set theory to a variety of areas in collaboration with other mathematicians, and he encouraged a community of mathematicians with engaging survey talks, enthusiastic discussions of open problems, and friendly mathematical conversations. Read More


This article deals with the authors' experiences with flipping a basic undergraduate mathematics course in Introductory Linear Algebra, including the platform for flipping a classroom and students' feedbacks. Contrary to a traditional class where students typically come to the classroom unprepared, in a flipped classroom, students are asked to read content and watch related lectures online before they attend each class session. There are many ways to implement a flipped class effectively. Read More


We describe how to construct a dodecahedron, tetrahedron, cube, and octahedron out of pvc pipes using standard fittings. Read More


Our goal is to present, in what we believe is the most efficient way possible, a construction of four mutually tangent circles. Read More


A popular curve shown in introductory maths textbooks, seems like a circle. But it is actually a different curve. This paper discusses some elementary approaches to identify the geometric object, including novel technological means by using GeoGebra. Read More


Cauchy's sum theorem is a prototype of what is today a basic result on the convergence of a series of functions in undergraduate analysis. We seek to interpret Cauchy's proof, and discuss the related epistemological questions involved in comparing distinct interpretive paradigms. Cauchy's proof is often interpreted in the modern framework of a Weierstrassian paradigm. Read More


In this article we describe the life and work of Wolf Barth who died on 30th December 2016. Wolf Barth's contributions to algebraic variety span a wide range of subjects. His achievements range from what is now called the Barth-Lefschetz theorems to his fundamental contributions to the theory of algebraic surfaces and moduli of vector bundles, and include his later work on algebraic surfaces with many singularities, culminating in the famous Barth sextic. Read More


In this article we discuss the Mass Transference Principle due to Beresnevich and Velani and survey several generalisations and variants, both deterministic and random. Using a Hausdorff measure analogue of the inhomogeneous Khintchine-Groshev Theorem, proved recently via an extension of the Mass Transference Principle to systems of linear forms, we give an alternative proof of a general inhomogeneous Jarn\'{\i}k-Besicovitch Theorem which was originally proved by Levesley. We additionally show that without monotonicity Levesley's theorem no longer holds in general. Read More


This article, dedicated, with admiration to Reuben Hersh, for his forthcoming 90th birthday, argues that mathematics today is not yet a science, but that it is high time that it should become one. Read More


The Boolean function implicit in the famous Dayenu song, sung at the Passover meal, is expressed in full conjunctive normal form, and it is proved that if there are n miracles the number of truth-vectors satisfying it is $2^n -(n+1)$. Read More


Mensuration with quadrilaterals had received attention in the Siddh\=anta tradition at least since Brahmagupta. However, in Bh\=askarac\=arya's L\={\i}l\=avat\={\i} we come across some distinctively new features. In this paper an attempt is made to put the development in historical perspective. Read More


Given integers $\ell > m >0$, we define monic polynomials $X_n$, $Y_n$, and $Z_n$ with the property that $\mu$ is a zero of $X_n$ if and only if the triple $(\mu,\mu+m,\mu+\ell)$ satisfies $x^n + y^n = z^n$. It is shown that the irreducibility of these polynomials implies Fermat's last theorem. It is also shown, in a precise asymptotic sense, that for a vast majority of cases, these polynomials are irreducible via Eisenstein's criterion. Read More


Exploiting Markoff's Theory for rational approximations of real numbers, we explicitly link how hard it is to approximate a given number to an idealized notion of growth capacity for plants which we express as a modular invariant function depending on this number. Assuming that our growth capacity is biologically relevant, this allows us to explain in a satisfying mathematical way why the golden ratio occurs in nature. Read More


We usually think of 2-dimensional manifolds as surfaces embedded in Euclidean 3-space. Since humans cannot visualise Euclidean spaces of higher dimensions, it appears to be impossible to give pictorial representations of higher-dimensional manifolds. However, one can in fact encode the topology of a surface in a 1-dimensional picture. Read More


The Sorites paradox is the name of a class of paradoxes that arise when vague predicates are considered. Vague predicates lack sharp boundaries in extension and is therefore not clear exactly when such predicates apply. Several approaches to this class of paradoxes have been made since its first formulation by Eubulides of Miletus in the IV century BCE. Read More


General acceptance of a mathematical proposition $P$ as a theorem requires convincing evidence that a proof of $P$ exists. But what constitutes "convincing evidence?" I will argue that, given the types of evidence that are currently accepted as convincing, it is inconsistent to deny similar acceptance to the evidence provided for the existence of proofs by certain randomized computations. Read More


This is a short essay on the roles of Max Dehn and Axel Thue in the formulation of the word problem for (semi-)groups, and the story of the proofs showing that the word problem is undecidable. Read More


We discuss the understanding of geometry of the circle in ancient India, in terms of enunciation of various principles, constructions, applications etc. during various phases of history and cultural contexts. Read More


In "Quartic Coincidences and the Singular Value Decomposition" by Clifford and Lachance, Mathematics Magazine, December, 2013, it was shown that if there is a midpoint ellipse(an ellipse inscribed in a quadrilateral, $Q$, which is tangent at the midpoints of all four sides of $Q$), then $Q$ must be a parallelogram. We strengthen this result by showing that if $Q$ is not a parallelogram, then there is no ellipse inscribed in $Q$ which is tangent at the midpoint of three sides of $Q$. Second, the only quadrilaterals which have inscribed ellipses tangent at the midpoint of even two sides of $Q$ are trapezoids or what we call a midpoint diagonal quadrilateral(the intersection point of the diagonals of $Q$ coincides with the midpoint of at least one of the diagonals of $Q$). Read More


Not only a review of Weintraub's Differential Forms: Theory and Practice but also a discussion of why differential forms should be taught to undergraduates and an overview of some of the other possible texts that could be used. Read More


This book introduces to the theory of probabilities from the beginning. Assuming that the reader possesses the normal mathematical level acquired at the end of the secondary school, we aim to equip him with a solid basis in probability theory. The theory is preceded by a general chapter on counting methods. Read More


The first part of this article intends to present the role played by Thom in diffusing Smale's ideas about immersion theory, at a time (1957) where some famous mathematicians were doubtful about them: it is clearly impossible to make the sphere inside out! Around a decade later, M. Gromov transformed Smale's idea in what is now known as the h-principle. Here, the h stands for homotopy. Read More


We present a variety of prime-generating constructions that are based on sums of primes. The constructions come in all shapes and sizes, varying in the number of dimensions and number of generated primes. Our best result is a construction that produces 6 new primes for every starting prime. Read More


A pilot survey was sent to chairs of 14 doctoral math departments asking for three types of data: (1) category on job-placements for research post-docs leaving their department in three recent years; (2) category of jobs from which their new faculty hires came in two recent years and two years a decade earlier; and (3) preparation for future careers offered by their department to their research post-docs. Eleven departments submitted data on post-docs. Of the 162 departing post-docs for whom data was supplied, 25% obtained tenure-track jobs in doctoral departments; 22% took another post-doc; and 18% were reported as "unknown/other". Read More


We provide an explicit geometric algorithm involving only ruler and compass constructions in order to specify the specular reflection point on the surface of a reflecting sphere of radius $r$ given two focal points $A$ and $B$ lying outside of it. By numerically implementing the algorithm we compute the point in question for a number of cases. We conclude by discussing how the first iteration of the algorithm constitutes a first order approximation to the real solution by providing a closed expression for it as well as the error involved in doing so, as a function of the distances of the two focal points from the origin and the angle formed between them. Read More


The Monthly has published roughly fifty papers on the $\Gamma$ function or Stirling's formula. We survey those papers (discussing only our favourites in any detail) and place them in the context of the larger mathematical literature on $\Gamma$. Read More


We explore the rational, formal and non-formal criteria of consistency, non-triviality and redundancy in the mathematical research now a days. We develop a paradigmatic discussion by analysing the different conceptions of those criteria, from the logic-formal ones to the non formal ones (but still rational criteria).We illustrate the discussion with concrete examples obtained form the mathematical reseach, particularly from the results that were published in the last 50 years in the mathematical theory of deterministic dynamical systems. Read More


Weyl's original scale geometry of 1918 ("purely infinitesimal geometry") was withdrawn by its author from physical theorizing in the early 1920s. It had a comeback in the last third of the 20th century in different contexts: scalar tensor theories of gravity, foundations of gravity, foundations of quantum mechanics, elementary particle physics, and cosmology. It seems that Weyl geometry continues to offer an open research potential for the foundations of physics even after the turn to the new millennium. Read More


The accepted lore is that Operational Research traces its roots back to the First and Second World Wars, when scientific research was used to improve military operations. In this essay we provide a different perspective on the origins of Operational Research by arguing that these are deeply intertwined with the impressive technological advances in Western Europe between the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries. Read More


R-moulds of numerical semigroups are defined as increasing sequences of real numbers whose discretizations may give numerical semigroups. The ideal sequence of musical harmonics is an R-mould and discretizing it is equivalent to defining equal temperaments. The number of equal parts of the octave in an equal temperament corresponds to the multiplicity of the related numerical semigroup. Read More


Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes was the first African American woman to receive a PhD in mathematics. She grew up in Washington DC, earned a bachelors degree in mathematics from Smith College in 1914, a masters in education from University of Chicago in 1930, and a doctorate in mathematics from the Catholic University of America in 1943. Haynes spent over forty-five years teaching in Washington DC from elementary and secondary level to university level. Read More


This is a survey of several approaches to the framework for working with infinitesimals and infinite numbers, originally developed by Abraham Robinson in the 1960s, and their constructive engagement with the Cantor-Dedekind postulate and the Intended Interpretation hypothesis. We highlight some applications including (1) Loeb's approach to the Lebesgue measure, (2) a radically elementary approach to the vibrating string, (3) true infinitesimal differential geometry. We explore the relation of Robinson's and related frameworks to the multiverse view as developed by Hamkins. Read More


2017Feb
Affiliations: 1Gymnasium Neue Oberschule Braunschweig, 2Gymnasium Neue Oberschule Braunschweig, 3Technische Universität Braunschweig

The Coupon Collector's Problem is one of the few mathematical problems that make news headlines regularly. The reasons for this are on one hand the immense popularity of soccer albums (called Paninimania) and on the other hand that no solution is known that is able to take into account all effects such as replacement (limited purchasing of missing stickers) or swapping. In previous papers we have proven that the classical assumptions are not fulfilled in practice. Read More


Given the subjective preferences of n roommates in an n-bedroom apartment, one can use Sperner's lemma to find a division of the rent such that each roommate is content with a distinct room. At the given price distribution, no roommate has a strictly stronger preference for a different room. We give a new elementary proof that the subjective preferences of only n-1 of the roommates actually suffice to achieve this envy-free rent division. Read More


We explain the solution of the following two problems: obtaining of Kepler's laws from Newton's laws (so called two bodies problem) and obtaining the fourth Newton's law (the formula for gravitation) as a corollary of Kepler's laws. This small book is devoted to the scholars, who are interested in physics and mathematics. We also make a series of digressions, where explain some technique of the higher mathematics, which are used in the proofs. Read More


The classical quadratic formula and some of its lesser known variants for solving the quadratic equation are reviewed. Then, a new formula for the roots of a quadratic polynomial is presented. Read More


We review the theory of intrinsic geometry of convex surfaces in the Euclidean space and prove the following theorem: if the surface of a convex body K contains arbitrary long closed simple geodesics, then K is an isosceles tetrahedron. Read More


We describe our initial explorations in simulating non-euclidean geometries in virtual reality. Our simulation of the product of two-dimensional hyperbolic space with one-dimensional euclidean space is available at http://h2xe.hypernom. Read More


We describe our initial explorations in simulating non-euclidean geometries in virtual reality. Our simulations of three-dimensional hyperbolic space are available at http://h3.hypernom. Read More