math resources
May 2, 2003 8:09 AM   Subscribe I'd say more but there's just too much here. Browse around.
posted by wobh (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

posted by xmutex at 8:12 AM on May 2, 2003

Also, for those who haven't seen it, don't miss MathWorld. The folks have this to say on the existence of both sites.
posted by Songdog at 8:17 AM on May 2, 2003

The Shodor Foundation teaches kids about math by teaching them to program cool java applets. I wish my own math education had been like that.
posted by bendybendy at 8:41 AM on May 2, 2003

Um, this is mostly kids getting their homework done for them. Equivalent to linking to a term-paper warehouse. The math encyclopedia is potentially useful (to those same kids, mostly), but Eric Weisstein's MathWorld (linked above) is better.
posted by gleuschk at 9:21 AM on May 2, 2003

Um, the kids wrote the java.
posted by bendybendy at 9:39 AM on May 2, 2003

Sorry, I meant to refer to the original link to, not to the java applets (which are pretty groovy).
posted by gleuschk at 9:46 AM on May 2, 2003

Um, this is mostly kids getting their homework done for them

"is there a way to state something about the eigenvalue density of an
infinite dimensional (N by N for N -> \infty) matrix, knowing a recurrence relation for the characteristic polynomials p_N, i.e., in principle, at least numerically, the coefficients of p_N. Can I make a statement for N -> \infty ?"

This is the most recent posting I saw there.

Some kids.
posted by freebird at 9:57 AM on May 2, 2003

It's been a long while since I've had to do homework so I don't have any appreciation for the dynamics of it anymore. I'm not sure how sympathetic I am to the parties involved in those situations either.

Mathworld's interface is definitely better, and it appears much more complete. But planetmath seems aimed a little higher. I enjoy reading things like this paper which slightly exceed my comprehension and tease me into stretching my brain and learning more until I do understand.

I feel shame for myself and for the educational system I grew up in that I didn't feel this way about math in school.
posted by wobh at 10:09 AM on May 2, 2003

speaking as someone who occasionally attempts to learn more math in her free time: AWESOME. Mathworld is great, but more sites == more better.
posted by sodalinda at 10:21 AM on May 2, 2003

Gleuschk: While there's a bit of a "help me with my homework" vibe to some of the messages, it doesn't seem to be as much of a focus as the encyclopedia. I can tell you that such encyclopedias are invaluable to me as a researcher in the natural sciences (physics, specifically); whenever I run across some mathematics I don't know, it's ten times easier to pull up the appropriate entry on this site or MathWorld than to figure out what textbook I need to pull out of the library and hack through its obscure notation and convoluted writing.

I suppose you could argue that the site is questionable if it has questionable uses (disregarding the legitimate ones), but you could make the same argument about your CD burner.

As for the MathWorld/PlanetMath debate: I'd agree that MathWorld is slicker - that's what an infusion of Wolfram Research cash will do for you. Somehow, though, MathWorld hasn't been quite the same since the shutdown, and since the PlanetMath site is still young (compared to MathWorld, which has been around since '95) they're bound to close the completeness gap sooner or later.

Also not to be missed: Ask Dr. Math (a service of the Math Forum, and Wolfram's exhaustive Mathematical Functions handbook.
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:25 AM on May 2, 2003

Excellent site.

And they've got pR0n, which is what attracted most of us kids "just getting our homework done" in the first place:

Love and Tensor Algebra - Stanislaw Lem

Love and Tensor Algebra
from "The Cyberiad" by Stanislaw Lem
(changed by William t. Rankin)

Come, let us hasten to a higher plane
Where dyads tread the fairy fields of Venn,
Their indices bedecked from one to n
Commingled in an endless Markov chain!

Come, every frustrum longs to be a cone
And every vector dreams of matrices.
Hark to the gentle gradient of the breeze:
It whispers of a more ergodic zone.

In Riemann, Hilbert or in Banach space
Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways.
Our asymptotes no longer out of phase,
We shall encounter, counting, face to face.

I'll grant thee random access to my heart,
Thou'lt tell me all the constants of thy love;
And so we two shall all love's lemmas prove,
And in our bound partition never part.

For what did Cauchy know, or Christoffel,
Or Fourier, or any Bools or Euler,
Wielding their compasses, their pens and rulers,
Of thy supernal sinusoidal spell?

Cancel me not - for what then shall remain?
Abscissas some mantissas, modules, modes,
A root or two, a torus and a node:
The inverse of my verse, a null domain.

Ellipse of bliss, converge, O lips divine!
the product o four scalars is defines!
Cyberiad draws nigh, and the skew mind
Cuts capers like a happy haversine.

I see the eigenvalue in thine eye,
I hear the tender tensor in thy sigh.
Bernoulli would have been content to die,
Had he but known such a^2 cos 2 phi!

posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:58 AM on May 2, 2003

If I had heard an explanation like this at some point, I would have hated my math education a little less.

Great (original and added) links!
posted by letitrain at 11:14 AM on May 2, 2003

Some kids.

For values of "kids" approaching advanced undergrad math majors, yes. (Awful as it is, this is how I think of them. I am old and jaded. And tired.)

I missed the Papers section at first glance. It's certainly more advanced (though quite scanty so far).

Johnny Assay's links are sweet, and his point taken.
posted by gleuschk at 12:54 PM on May 2, 2003

Hey, wow. PlanetMath on MeFi. Huh.

PM came out of the Undernet #math room two or three years back... We all had a deep love of the MathWorld, and it was shut down over a frivolous copyright suit with the CRC. So at first, we got around this when Glasnost/ AKrowne (who is also my webmaster!) wrote some script to re-build MathWorld from its Google cache and offer it online. This was a copyright infringement of massive proportions, of course, and within a couple months, there was an order to shut it down. So then we started thinking about building a grassroots, free-to-the-public version of Mathworld, and so Planetmath was born. About this time, I wandered off to Budapest to study hardcore, and missed out on a lot of the fun. To be honest, I never hopped back onto that scene again, though I do pop me head in from time to time.

I'm still kind of sad they didn't stick with the original name idea, WathMorld, a tribute to Wario.

As for the 'kids' bit, I know that (at least in #math) we had three Doctorate level mathematicians when I was hanging around. (drini, one of the top ten contributors, is one.) I know that there are a few people working on their Master's over at PM, and my old buddy KimJ is working on her doctorate. I think its a good example of how academic mathematics doesn't act like any normal business model.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:32 PM on May 2, 2003

Oh. My. God. That web site represents my SECOND RING OF HELL.
posted by aacheson at 3:26 PM on May 2, 2003

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