Is this true？ Anyone has a clue about this?

]]>Many years ago, whilst helping out on 1st year remedial mathematics at a Redbrick University (we only took students with an A in mathematics!), I had an identical conversation. Not believing the student when he said he had never seen the fundamental theorem I checked with the school and found that as teaching the fundamental theorem was discretionary they used look-up tables. The conversation was also difficult as it emerged the student didn’t understand the concept of “functions”.

]]>https://arxiv.org/abs/2105.14912 ]]>

I don’t think it’s helpful, either to the mathematicians at Leicester who may be about to lose their jobs, to the health of mathematical research at Leicester, or to the mathematical community in the UK, to frame this as a “pure” versus “applied” conflict: it is not. I’m sure you’re aware that both the LMS and the IMA wrote to the VC at Leicester criticising this proposal, for example. There is certainly a perception outside the community that mathematics and mathematicians are split into these two incompatible areas, and that perception leads to the mistaken belief that one part can be removed without affecting the other, as is proposed at Leicester. Perpetuating that division reinforces the case that the Leicester VC is using. I think it would be more helpful, and more accurate, to emphasise the unity of mathematics and the damage done to mathematics and mathematicians by creating divisions, either from the outside as in the Leicester case, or from the inside.

]]>One problem seems to be that the guy wielding the axe and doing the VC’s bidding thinks of himself as a kind of mathematician, and is highly “cited” (e.g. applying algorithms to produce “rostering for nurses”). And the Head of Department is definitely a mathematician – if of the “applied” kind (fluids – which I am in no position to judge).

So it looks from here as though Pure Mathematicians have been asleep at the wheel – politely and uncritically allowing “kinds of mathematics” to rise without comment, that have now shown their true colours.

Time to wake up?

]]>What theme do you use for your wordpress blog?

]]>Yeah well, you could also just fire the chancellor and replace them with someone that would work for much less money, universities could save money that way. Universities have far more administrators compared to the academic staff since they become corporatized under the justification of “efficiency”.

]]>David (Mumford)

]]>My name is Philip Lane and I read maths at Robinson (89-92). I was a distinctly average student who found 1A analysis very hard and hence when I started my second year steared clear of topics like analysis III like the plague. It was something that always irked, and yes, I was seduced by the the dark side and became a student of damtp. But why?

Because of covid I have had the opportunity to, at least partially, answer this. I hadn’t read a maths book for many years, bought B. Mendelson and W. Sutherland and with the luxury of time coupled with no examination pressure, started to read. What pleasantly surprised me was I could actually understand the material, but that familiar feeling of uncertainty returned when trying to start the problems. I was back to 1989. But now we have Amazon. I was well aware of Schaum outline books back in the day, but none were on the reading lists and clearly the starred books were the books to buy. I took a punt, one final throw of the dice, and bought S. Lipschutz General Topology. As a book it is ok, but for the average student to see almost trivial questions answered in excruciating detail was a revelation. The clouds had lifted.

Please, for the average Cambridge maths undergraduate, who finds IA pure hard, and gets put off analysis for life, could you produce that missing link between a typical maths book/lecture notes and the example sheets that is the WORKED example sheet. Easy questions, thoroughly worked out at every step (preferably with numbers) given as a handout. It would have made a huge difference to me.

Thank you,

Philip Lane

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