Questions tagged [advice]

Questions asking for advice on various mathematical matters. Be careful that your question is answerable, and also that it is not a polling question (e.g. "What is the best / your favorite way to...").

Questions asking for advice on various mathematical matters. Be careful that your question is answerable, and also that it is not a polling question (e.g. "What is the best / your favorite way to...").

855 questions
27 answers

How to study math to really understand it and have a healthy lifestyle with free time?

Here's my issue I faced; I worked really hard studying Math, so because of that, I started to realised that I understand things better. However, that comes at a big cost: In the last few years, I had practically zero physical exercise, I've gained…
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Too old to start math

I'm sorry if this question goes against the meta for posting questions - I attached all the "beware, this is a soft-question" tags I could. This is a question I've been asking myself now for some time. In most areas, there's a "cut off age" to be…
Thomas Nesbitt
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How do I sell out with abstract algebra?

My plan as an undergraduate was unequivocally to be a pure mathematician, working as an algebraist as a bigshot professor at a bigshot university. I'm graduating this month, and I didn't get into where I expected to get into. My letters were great…
15 answers

Identification of a quadrilateral as a trapezoid, rectangle, or square

Yesterday I was tutoring a student, and the following question arose (number 76): My student believed the answer to be J: square. I reasoned with her that the information given only allows us to conclude that the top and bottom sides are parallel,…
The Chaz 2.0
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"Advice to young mathematicians"

I have been suggested to read the Advice to a Young Mathematician section of the Princeton Companion to Mathematics, the short paper Ten Lessons I wish I had been Taught by Gian-Carlo Rota, and the Career Advice section of Terence Tao's blog, and I…
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How do you describe your mathematical research in layman's terms?

"You do research in mathematics! Can you explain your research to me?" If you're a research mathematician, and you have any contact with people outside of the mathematics community, I'm sure you've been asked this question many times. For years…
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Math and mental fatigue

Just a soft-question that has been bugging me for a long time: How does one deal with mental fatigue when studying math? I am interested in Mathematics, but when studying say Galois Theory and Analysis intensely after around one and a half hours, my…
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what is expected from a PhD student?

As a PhD student in applied mathematics or mathematics in general, are you expected to be able to prove every problem, for example, in an elementary real analysis book? I know it sounds silly but I am wondering if I have high expectations of…
Tomas Jorovic
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Am I just not smart enough?

When I was doing math, let us say for example, introductory number theory, it seems to take me a lot of time to fully understand a theorem. By understanding, I mean, both intuitively and also rigorously (know how to prove or derive). However, I…
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Complete course of self-study

I am about $16$ years old and I have just started studying some college mathematics. I may never manage to get into a proper or good university (I do not trust fate) but I want to really study mathematics. I request people to tell me what topics an…
8 answers

What made you choose your research field?

I was wondering how come modern mathematicians do not seem to discover as many theorems as the older mathematicians seem to have done. Have we reached some kind of saturation limit where all commonly needed mathematics has already been discovered or…
Comic Book Guy
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GRE Subject Test - Past Papers, Books, Advice

This is not for the Maths part of the General GRE. This is for the GRE Subject Test in Maths. Feel free to add or comment. How do I know the definition of rings or of anything on the GRE given that definitions can vary? What does the subject GRE…
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Learning mathematics as if an absolute beginner?

I dread mathematics, and I believe it's because I have come to associate mathematics with the experience of terrible teachers. All of my math teachers have been grumpy, but one in particular was the epitome of evil. She would take any opportunity to…
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What is the proper way to study (more advanced) math?

Here's what happens. I get stuck on some proof or some mathematical construction and I end up staring at the problem for hours, sometimes not making any progress. I do this because sometimes I think that I'm being lazy, I'm not thinking things…
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What is mathematical research like?

I'm planning on applying for a math research program over the summer, but I'm slightly nervous about it just because the name math research sounds strange to me. What does math research entail exactly? For other research like in economics, or…
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