July 2010

Last semester, a number of emails like this circulated:

Subject: Math Requirements

From:  FirstnameLastname@yahoo.com

To: jstankewatbutIdon’twantspammath.uga.edu

Dear James Stankewicz,

My name is Firstname Lastname and I am a graduate student at the University of Prestigious Institution studying for my ph d in math.  I am taking a class and we are studying Field and Galois Theory and one of the requirements is to contact a graduate student from any other university and do an e-mail consultation with them regarding a problem pertaining to what we study.  I would like to know if you would be able to help me fulfill this requirement.  To do so, all you need do is answer the given problem to the best of your ability and then rate the difficulty of the problem for a Gradute Level Algebra Class on a scale from 1 – 10,  1 being the least difficult, and 10 being the most difficult.  It would be more feasible if you could type your answer using the Latex software and e-mail it over as a pdf file,  but it is not required.  The problems  go as follows: (more…)

While I somehow never get emails from cranks, I tend to find them at the slightest provocation on the internet.  Here’s a new one: Miles Mathis, who I’ve not run into before.  He’s also a physics crank (multidisciplinary research!) so for the more mathematically minded, just jump down to Section 2, where he has some deep-seated problems with calculus (implicit differentiation seems to have caused him to label the Calculus as corrupt), and there are some other gems mixed throughout.  For instance, the page I found, on non-Euclidean geometry.

On a more productive note, I was searching the internet for things I can bring up in the class I’m teaching to point out the flaws in Euclid’s framework, that were due to him relying too much on certain bits of intuition (between, inside, continuity, etc) without spelling them out.  If you’ve got a good example, please link to it in a comment.

Today the conference ended, and I’ve got an early plane to catch. I’ll be away from the blog for a bit. Here’s the notes from the last day, which, I admit, are a bit sketchier than most of the others, but they’re what I have:


These are my notes, and are only a rough approximation of the actual talk:


I gave my talk today. It seems to have gone over well, though I’m not entirely happy with it…but then, as with many people, I’m my own harshest critic. Here’s the notes from other talks, the notes from mine will follow in a separate post.


Sorry these are going up a bit later than usual, had some difficulties last night, and was working on my talk. I’m just not taking notes whenever there are slides or lecture notes on the overhead, because it’s impossible for me to keep up while taking notes on those talks, so that will limit these a bit, but here are the other talks:



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