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Question for the old members of the forum

  1. Jun 15, 2005 #1
    Question for the "old" members of the forum

    Hi everybody,
    This is a question mostly for the older members of the forums or anynone who knows. I was wondering if any important mathematical result has been firstly posted here, or if there is anything interesting that has come up through the discussions in the math forums. Of course, I don't impy that most discussions/questions here are unimportant/uninteresting but I am talking about results that could even be published.
    I am just curious about the "history" of these math foums!!

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2005 #2


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    As a mathematician I have found the math questions mostly rather basic, almost always sounding like homework. The physics and astronomy sections seem to have more meat to them - even wild theories, although highly unlikely to prove valid.
  4. Jun 15, 2005 #3
    If you're looking for new math discoveries, as in new theorems and such, you won't find any here, even in the physics/atsro sections. I doubt a scientist would risk his work for many years by posting such a result online before publishing it. However, there are some very interesting and fascinating things found both in the physics sections as well as the mathematics sections, of course it depends on what you're level of math/physics is.
  5. Jun 16, 2005 #4
    Thanks for your answers. Ok, first of all, I maybe exaggerated a bit by saying "results that could even be published"! I actually wanted to say: interesting results that were produced during a discussion or a question. Of course a scientist that has found something new wouldn't post it in a forum! In other words, my question is about the most "glorious discussion" that has ever taken place here in these forums. Anyway, it is not a serious question after all...just curious about the forums that I tend to spend much time lately!
  6. Jun 16, 2005 #5


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    I've found this forum not useful for discovering entirely new mathematics but rather keeping your elementary mathematics in check, help with mathematics you are learning and a way to push at the edge of knowledge of other mathematics you may be learning.
  7. Jun 16, 2005 #6


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    well i have learned things here, so to me they were new.

    e.g. the gentleman who pointed out to me that the ratio of the area of a sphere to its volume was the same as for a circumscribed cube taught me something, and soon I realized I knew how to compute the 4 dimensional volume of a 4-sphere as easily as I can do the 3 dimensional volume of a 3 sphere.

    for some reason i had never realized this obvious fact in over 35 years of teaching calculus. actually i had never tried, being sort of intimidated by imagining 4 dimensions i guess.

    but any student who understands how to calculate the volume of a sphere from integration, knowing the area of a circle, should also be able to do it in any dimension.

    of course no one who merely memorized the volume formula can do anything along these lines at all, I expect, another reason why we teach the way we do, i.e. not for memorizing formulas.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2005
  8. Jun 16, 2005 #7
    Don't forget the "Booda Theorem," at my website below.
  9. Jun 17, 2005 #8

    matt grime

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    that theorem states it was proved in 1976; what manner of time machine do you have?

    i have certianly seen "new things" here, but maths is so diverse that isn't surprising.

    mainly i use it to keep my brain active when i get stuck in my own work. keeps me remembering things i would otherwise never think of again. it's also prompted me to learn some basic things i hadn't previously dealt with.
  10. Jun 18, 2005 #9


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    i also like the chance to try to communicate math to other people, and answer people's questions. for example, matt and i just posted some brief introductory remarks on category theory in answer to a question from a physicist, haelfix I believe.

    I have also written many words on tensors.

    I sometimes wonder if these little expositions are read much though. but i am apparently just genetically inclined to teach math.

    also i like it here because i like questions, and i get more sincere questions here in a month than i get from a class in a year.
  11. Jun 18, 2005 #10
    Well I read your explanations mathwonk, and I think they're great.
    I rarely post, but I read this forum all the time.
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