# Questions tagged [soft-question]

Questions that are about research in mathematics, or about the job of a research mathematician, without being mathematical problems or statements in the strictest sense. In other words, questions that can be answered without making computations or applying theorems and axioms.

**8**

votes

**2**answers

634 views

### Is differential topology a dying field?

I recently had a post doc in differential topology advise against me going into the field, since it seems to be dying in his words. Is this true? I do see very little activity on differential topology ...

**-3**

votes

**0**answers

112 views

### What are recent developments, and/or cutting-edge topics in your field of expertise? [on hold]

I am trying to get a better sense of contemporary research in a broad range of fields in mathematics, and what current researchers are focusing on within those specific fields.
For instance, I have ...

**0**

votes

**0**answers

341 views

### A list of examples of beautiful but useless mathematics [on hold]

I posted this question on math.stackexchange, but got no formalized answers, so I'd like to try again here. The entirety of the question is copied below the line:
Paul Erd?s said this about the $3n + ...

**-5**

votes

**1**answer

316 views

### MacLane–Birkhoff's “Algebra” vs Jacobson's “Basic Algebra I,II” vs Lang's “Algebra” [on hold]

(Cross-posted at Math Stackexchange)
I'm searching for an apt textbook(s) on Abstract Algebra for a very advanced undergraduate/graduate level course in Algebra, and would be grateful for any help. ...

**0**

votes

**0**answers

137 views

### Reading list in dynamical systems

So I’ve managed to gather from various sources, a plethora of books in dynamical systems. Now I’m wondering which of them to read, and in what order.
So far these are the books I’ve found/been ...

**0**

votes

**0**answers

58 views

### Fractional and Exterior Calculus

I am interested in fractional calculus and was wondering is there an equivalent/analagous fractional exterior calculus or fractional theory of differential forms? If so can someone point me out to ...

**23**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Is the field of q-series 'dead'? [on hold]

I had a discussion with my advisor about what am I interested as my future research direction and I said it is special functions and q-series. He laughed and said that the topic is essentially dead ...

**0**

votes

**0**answers

58 views

### Alternate Ways of Writing Complex Summations

In my writing, I often have to consider summation formulas where describing the terms of the summation make the equation rather weirdly spaced out. For instance, I am currently considering the formula
...

**12**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Grade-school elementary algebra presented in an abstract-algebra style?

I remember once hearing a (probably apocryphal) story about a university math professor that tried to teach a gradeschool class about algebra by telling them a few simple axioms and definitions and ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

44 views

### Focusing and nonfocusing nonlinear terms

What is the mathematical and physical meaning of the terms focusing and nonfocusing when they refer to nonlinear terms in a dispersive equations?

**0**

votes

**0**answers

305 views

### PhD-like placements to do small pure math research projects

Does the mathoverflow community know of any payed internships, summer schools other placements in topology, differential geometry and/or ?
Specifically, I'm not looking for highly structured programs,...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

325 views

### Rejection of article without mentioning specific reason [closed]

After 3 months of submission I got this mail from EJC without any specific reason of rejection.
"We regret to inform you that we have decided not to proceed with publication of your submission "......

**1**

vote

**0**answers

137 views

### Lecture notes in complex algebraic geometry (which might follow Voisin's book)

I have two questions here,
Whats the difference in the target audience/required-background between Voisin's two volumes and Griffiths-Harris' book on algebraic geometry which also seems highly tied ...

**20**

votes

**9**answers

3k views

### How do we explain the use of a software on a math paper?

Suppose one has written a math/computer science paper that is more focused in the math part of it. I had a very complicated function and needed to find its maximum, so I used Mathematica (Wolfram) to ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

46 views

### Is projection method really applicable for numerical solution of linear integral equations in $ L^p \ (p \neq 2)$ setting?

Projection method is a traditional method to numerically handle problem of linear integral equation. The routine way is to do it in $ L^2 $ setting. For example:
Let $ A:L^2(a,b) \to L^2(a,b) $ be a ...