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No topology sub-forum?

by pivoxa15
Tags: subforum, topology
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Chris Hillman
#37
Nov27-07, 04:59 PM
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Quote Quote by Hurkyl View Post
I do like the 8 forum titles Chris suggested.
Me too which is why this makes me wince:

Quote Quote by Hurkyl View Post
Maybe topology & analysis can be reasonably merged with manifolds & geometry?...Maybe we could take Chris's list, rename "combinatorics and number theory" to "discrete math and number theory" and move logic, sets, and categories a subforum of that?
I think I prefer this:
  • Calculus and Miscellaneous
  • Some Advanced Topics
    • Combinatorics and Number Theory
    • Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems
    • Linear and Modern Algebra
    • Logic, Sets, and Categories
    • Manifolds and Geometry
    • Probability, Information Theory, and Statistics
    • Topology and Analysis
This would have the advantage of subtly encouraging unadventurous newbies to put their post right where--- most likely--- we want it, in "Calculus and Miscellaneous". As a side benefit, we might even be able to restore "Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Number Theory".

Greg, does VB put a hard limit of seven subfora at each level? Is there really no possibility of eight math fora?
Coin
#38
Nov28-07, 03:28 AM
P: 587
I don't mean to make things worse, but that might be even more confusing than the old system...

1. I would like to request that either "graphs" or "discrete math", one of these two phrases, show up SOMEWHERE. (Graphs can be assumed to be part of discrete math). Otherwise it is too confusing to me at least whether that subject goes under "combinatorics" or "sets".

2. Under the "some advanced topics..." system, would that mean that ALL of the math subfora would be demoted from full forums visible from the front page, to the little subscript thingies like sci.physics.strings is?

3. I was actually just now looking at the current math listings and trying to figure out whether posts about lie groups should go under "differential geometry" or "abstract algebra". Under the new system, I'm even more confused: would they go under "manifolds", "modern algebra" or "topology"? Manifolds I guess?
Chris Hillman
#39
Nov28-07, 02:24 PM
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P: 2,340
These are all issues which would be clarified in the suggested sticky listing topics which would be considered at PF to fall under each subforum.
Greg Bernhardt
#40
Nov28-07, 02:38 PM
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Quote Quote by Chris Hillman View Post
Greg, does VB put a hard limit of seven subfora at each level? Is there really no possibility of eight math fora?
No, but we try to limit the front page size, I don't want it any longer. We can have some subfora but I'd like to keep the # of math main forums the same.
Astronuc
#41
Nov28-07, 06:39 PM
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Quote Quote by matt grime View Post
My only constructive comment right now is that we should not label the subforums according to the American university undergraduate's expectation of mathematics as a subsidiary subject to engineering.
Certainly not. I fret about the disconnect between mathematics and sciences and engineering. I'm certainly not up on the formalities of math (e.g. how various topics/categories relate to one another) as much as I wish to be, but therein lies the value of PF for me.

If you were to force me to make a pie in the sky suggestion right away (and I should be something positive, I suppose), then here's a whacky idea, based upon a 'bigger picture' of mathematics:

1. Introductory mathematics (What currently passes for "analysis")
2. Algebraic Topology and Geometry
3. Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems
4. Measure Theory and Probability
5. Foundations of Mathematics (Logic, sets, categories)
6. Number Theory (if we must - this seems to be the least used forum, and the one with the highest crackpot hit rate).
In HW, there are two categories: Precalculus Mathematics (All math courses prior to calculus) and Calculus & Beyond (All math courses from calculus onwards). Those two categories are certainly directed toward students, both HS and university. I think the forums are more formal and perhaps the categories should reflect the formal taxonomy of mathematics. Non-mathematicians really should learn this material.

Re: Item 6 - Number Theory - I think some people equate that with numerology, just as some equate astrology with astronomy.

And possibly a thread called "How do I do this integral, differentiate this, or find the limit as (x,y) tends to (0,0)", which take up a disproportionate amount of space.
These would be homework problems, which are appropriate for HW sections. Should general math be precalculus . . . . ? The non-homework forums have stickies about where to post HW problems, but I think some people don't pay attention.
Chris Hillman
#42
Nov30-07, 01:31 PM
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Quote Quote by Matt Grime
My only constructive comment right now is that we should not label the subforums according to the American university undergraduate's expectation of mathematics as a subsidiary subject to engineering.
The American undergraduate believes that his university is a wholly owned subsidiary of the college football team
JasonRox
#43
Nov30-07, 03:24 PM
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Linear Algebra and Calculus
Abstract Algebra
Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems
Analysis and Topology
Probability and Statistics
Combinatorics, Number Theory and Foundations

There we only need 6 forums.
Chris Hillman
#44
Dec1-07, 12:01 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 2,340
Jason, I feel that your scheme would only add to the existing traffic imbalance, since linear algebra and calculus are already two of the most busiest topical areas at PF! Ameliorating this was one of the criteria we established earlier.

I still prefer the scheme I suggested in my Post #38, together with the proposed sticky listing examples of suitable topics in each subforum. I seek input from experience PF users, but please do read the three relevant threads and note prior discussion of criteria and the conflicting desiderata which we have previously agreed to try to balance!


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