Saturday, June 07, 2008

Food and Maths

Hello hello hello. I need some help in case you were wondering why I said hello three times.

One of my tasks for the summer was to prepare another lecture that I would give for The Galois Group (TGG). I know that student volunteers will be hard to come by, so hopefully by giving another one myself others might be encouraged too. Those who attended my first lecture will not be surprised when I say that I don't always "open the door before walking through it". Anyway, as always, a serious lecture on a serious topic is beyond me. I always try to look for humour, so that people who wonder what the heck I rambled about will at least remember laughing! (Even if it is at me, but you get used to that after five or six years...)

So today as I watched Dr. Who online (which is absolutely fantastic... or shall I say spiffing?!!) an idea came to me. To those who are awake when they should be (i.e. not at 1:35 am and I have a driving lesson tomorrow at 12:30!!) then the posts title might give things away slightly. This idea is in its very early stages and can be discarded at any time--I have three months after all!

The help... oh yes, the main reason for this post of course.

You are a geometer (say): what area of your mathematics fills you up?

Same question goes to all applied mathematicians, logicians, algebraists and those which I am straining to remember. This lecture is not intended to have serious mathematical content (just yet). It will have maths but that's what I need help with at the moment. (This is part of my research I suppose, which will be continued when I am next "back at home").

What do I mean by "what fills you up"? Well in each of them areas is their something which naturally has a role similar to food. I don't really want to give much away at the moment, but I can't find a way to explain myself. Hmm, what about "what area of your field can you look into to fill yourself up". (Topologists--please don't comment on the obvious... Hehe, I didn't deliberately mention you guys (I'm not being mean!) but I already have your area sorted.)

What do you see in your field which reminds you of food. What Theorem, definition, proposition or lemma (no matter how difficult) will make you look back in amazement and say "aaahhh" (and perhaps rub your stomach?!).

Yes that's it I think. I do get these bursts at weird times it seems, but even if you are a student please please let me know what gives you the "aah" feeling. (aah in a good sense of course).

You can leave the rest to me. (Not that that will fill you with any confidence of course!) If you are completely confused by this post, then think of the positives: in the morning I might not like what I've written and planned, so you won't be alone then!

The biggest concern at the moment is that the lecture might only be 10 minutes long.... A problem indeed (any suggestion would be welcome of course). OK--bed time now, and please stay off the roads tomorrow. It has been four weeks since I have been behind that darn wheel (yes, it's darn wheel at the moment...) I can't say that I remember how to drive, truth be told!


Anatoly said...

This is not "food", but I personally love theorems that go against common sense or intuition and nonconstructive proofs. See this page for example:

Beans said...

Hi Anatoly,

Thanks for the link--I liked what I read!

I don't really know what I'm after though (having woken up and not discarded this idea).