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  1. M

    Admissions Admission GPA

    Moderator's note: thread split off from https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/university-search-for-a-physics-major.1008062/ To an old guy like me these admissions standards look strange. It said online that to get into virginia tech one must have at least a 4.04 GPA. In my day no one had...
  2. M

    BCS Football

    Hello, There is a reason Georgia and the rest of the Southeast, read Alabama, is last/near last, in SAT scores, it's called FOOTBALL! Hello notre dame, welcome to the SEC. You may be a school of academic integrity, who gives most of your football income to academics, and enjoys the envy of...
  3. M

    News Is outrage alive today?

    I am watching a pbs special on daniel ellsberg who exposed the pentagon papers in the 1960's that revealed the fact that 5 straight presidents, truman, eisenhower, kennedy, johnson, and nixon, had all lied to the public about our involvement in the war in vietnam, and even supported dictators in...
  4. M

    Stupid question about email usage

    I try to be a good citizen and answer personal emails that come my way. So today I had two. I typed a quick answer to the first one and went on to the second one and tried to send it only to be told i had to wait a minute or so before answering that one. That is annoying and a waste of my...
  5. M

    Ncaa march madness and quantum mechanics

    lets hear it for physics majors! andrew nicholson of st bonaventure, that is. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/sports/ncaabasketball/andrew-nicholson-leads-st-bonaventure-into-ncaa-tournament.html "Once he got to campus, Nicholson found that his chemistry labs were difficult to schedule...
  6. M

    Jeremy lin - team player

    i can't find a jeremy lin thread. am i clueless and/or are you guys/girls such geeks you are on a different planet? he is from harvard, my alma. i think everyone is still ignoring the obvious, namely that he is showing that basketball is a team game, something the nba has forgotten for...
  7. M

    News Rod Blagojevich goes to jail - why not public service?

    I wonder how it benefits anyone, except old testament punishment advocates, for the taxpayers to pay for room and board for Mr. Blagojevich for 14 years. What about sentencing him to work at a public shelter, or other public service job, at low wages, and be required to house and feed himself...
  8. M

    Book piracy?

    a thread entitled "expensive books for free" in academic guidance, links to a site offering free copies of popular texts like rudin's principles of analysis, and bragging that "book piracy is not a bad thing". If this is indeed a piracy site, I suggest it does not belong on here.
  9. M

    News Save troy davis's life

    Here in Georgia we are awaiting action by authorities to execute a young black man, Troy Davis for murder to which he has never been linked by any hard evidence of any kind. Although 9 eyewitnesses once implicated him, 7 of them now say otherwise, some say they were pressured by police to lie...
  10. M

    Work versus volume

    A few years ago I challenged my class to use the method of volumes by slicing to compute the volume of a 4 ball, knowing the volume of a 3-ball. This leads to a slightly challenging trig integral, but not out of reach for a strong calculus student. (no one did it however.) This...
  11. M

    Closure of modules theorem

    can anyone give me a precise statement of the "closure of modules" theorem in several complex variables? it says something like: a criterion for the germ of a function to belong to the stalk of an ideal at a point, is that the function can be uniformly approximated on neighborhoods of that point...
  12. M

    News I hate to ask this but

    i hate to ask this but.... If that nincompoop george bush could defeat war hero john kerry, how can barack obama defeat john mccain? Is it possible because the electorate may have learned a lesson from watching gw at work for 8 years? or will the dems again snatch defeat from victory?
  13. M

    News Do republicans intentionally sabotage stability?

    It seemed to me that the elder bush, late in his term, started an intervention in africa that bill clinton would need to deal with. last week it dawned on me that the current bush might start a war with iran that obama would have to deal with. it seems that republicans intentionally start...
  14. M

    News Is george w bush the worst president ever?

    I am only 65 years old so i am not sure, i can only remember back to truman. Anyone with more history background? Bush has given us such an amazing example that even right wing christian conservatives like Mitt Romney are claiming to be the agents of change. Exactly how does Romney differ...
  15. M

    Does this forum include euclidean geometry?

    I am teaching euclidean geometry this fall and realized i dont know it that well. there are some famous modern versions of the axioms which do not completely satisfy me, such as hilberts, gasp. i said it. i especially like the new book by hartshorne, geometry euclid and beyond, because he...
  16. M

    Geometry of discriminants

    consider a field k and the affine n space Y = k^n, whose coordinates a1,...,an parametrize monic polynomials over k. and over it consider the space S of solutions of those polynomials, i.e. S = {(a,x): where a = (a1,...,an) is a polynomial, and (x1,...,xn) are the roots of a lying in an...
  17. M

    Becoming a physicist

    I miss Zapper's wonderful guide to learning and being in physics. Although it has been around a while, I think there are always new people needing this information, and I still enjoy re - reading parts of it from time to time. Of course Disney too keeps interest high in their best videos by...
  18. M

    Proofs of big theorems of calculus

    The following theorems are usually left unproved in calculus, for no good reason. See what you think. 2250: Elementary proofs of big theorems The first theoretical result is the Intermediate Value Theorem (IVT) for continuous functions on an interval. Theorem: If f is continuous on then...
  19. M

    Drug abuse

    Dear Moe, This is hard, since the monitors deem this an inappropriate topic for discussion here. I agree with them, but am concenred about you, since you seem to be a user. Let me just say without further ado, drug use is harmful to you in the long run, as it is sort of like burning your...
  20. M

    News US congress approves interrogation techniques

    does this bother anyone? I myself am profoundly troubled and embarrassed. According to the account I read in the Atlanta Journal, the law says George Bush gets to decide what are appropriate interrogation techniques, there is no public list of the ones he approves, there is no appeal after...
  21. M

    Abstract algebra made simple

    I have finally understood algebra. It is all about understanding groups. first of all we tackle abelian groups, and finitely generated ones at that., we completely classify them as sums of cyclic groups using their structure as Z modules where Z is the integers. then we ask about non...
  22. M

    Problem registering

    i know someone who is trying to join and register as a member using internet explorer 5.5. as yet he cannot succeed. is that browser a problem?
  23. M

    To chancer, on physics in physical therapy

    Today, someone on the forums calling self "chancer" made a question which I have a response to; maybe you could relay this to the forum? Chancer is studying physical therapy and is also required to study a physics sequence. This is in the Academic and Career forum. Chancer is not sure why...
  24. M

    Cayley hamilton

    If A is an n by n matrix of constants from the commutative ring k, and I is the identity n by n matrix, then Lagrange's expansion formula for determinants implies that adj[XI-A].[XI-A] = f(X).I where f(X) is the characteristic polynomial of A, and adj denotes the classical adjoint whose...
  25. M

    Other Should I Become a Mathematician?

    I am interested in starting this discussion in imitation of Zappers fine forum on becoming a physicist, although i have no such clean cut advice to offer on becoming a mathematician. All I can say is I am one. My path here was that I love the topic, and never found another as compelling or...
  26. M

    The value of checking your work

    I am grading differential equations finals. In this subject almost every single answer can be checked by plugging it back into the equation to see if it works. I even instruced students to "check your worK" on the final. So far out of 112 problems graded, only one answer has been...
  27. M

    Maps of finite modules

    In the spirit of challenges, here is a surprizingly simple question about finite modules, that I did not know the answer to until recently. It is so elementary that I suspect it was common knowledge to the ancients and only forgotten as algebra became more sophisticated. We all know that...
  28. M

    Irreducible polynomials

    im teeching algebra and had to prove that X^5 - 8 was irreducible over the rationals. so i did it using eisenstein. then more generally i seem to have proved that X^n - a is irreducible over the rationals whenever it has no rational root. but i used galois theory, and the course im...
  29. M

    Schools Remarks on AP courses in high school

    The following remarks were written by me to my sons' high school community some years ago. I believe they are still relevant. They were then considered so heretical that they were not acceptable as publishable. The idea of posting these remarks was inspired by Zapper Z's extensive and...
  30. M

    Trivial solution method for constant coeff case

    I have noticed the following trivial method for solving special constant coeff. ode's, but cannot find it in the usual ode books, (i had better look in courant though, as everything else is in there.) given a cc ode of form (D-a)(D-b)y = f, where f is a solution of some cc ode, i.e. where g is...
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