The first unknown case of polynomial DHJ | Gowers's Weblog

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]]>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”.

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]]>David (Mumford)

]]>Mathematics meets real life | Gowers's Weblog

]]>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

]]>A new journal in combinatorics | Gowers's Weblog

]]>My favourite pedagogical principle: examples first! | Gowers's Weblog

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