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Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: November 29th, 2019, 10:00 pm
by bearish
I think Terry Tao is a budding mathematical hero. 

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: November 30th, 2019, 9:36 am
by katastrofa
No idea who's Terry Tao, but I witnessed the cult of Stefan Banach.

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: November 30th, 2019, 12:03 pm
by Collector
math have their heroes, but slightly different than physics heroes

" "I'm not interested in money or fame; I don't want to be on display like an animal in a zoo." Perleman

so quite silent (slightly "nerdy") heroes we can possibly say.

physicist heros more outspoken:

Mathematican versus Physicists

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: November 30th, 2019, 3:13 pm
by bearish
No idea who's Terry Tao, but I witnessed the cult of Stefan Banach.
He was awarded the Fields Medal in 2006 at the age of 31 "for his contributions to partial differential equations, combinatorics, harmonic analysis and additive number theory", and has continued to branch out ever since: 

https://www.math.ucla.edu/~tao/preprints/

And, by all accounts I have come across, he is a nice guy.

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 1st, 2019, 12:26 pm
by katastrofa
Thanks and apologies for my ignorance. My mathematical culture was higher when my sister lived in London (she's a mathematician).
(It seems Tao should get a special reward for the number of collaborations!)

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 1st, 2019, 6:21 pm
by Cuchulainn
No idea who's Terry Tao, but I witnessed the cult of Stefan Banach.
Indeed, Banach was one of the major lights of Functional Analysis. Wasn't he a chain smoker and drank in bar (in Kracow??)

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 1st, 2019, 7:27 pm
by katastrofa
Oh, c'mon! You know it was in Lviv, The Scottish Café - still open! He had no equal in maths, but also drinking cognac (but he out-drunk the strongest Russian heads), smoking and romancing with young women. Some of these must have killed him.

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 4th, 2019, 11:22 am
by Cuchulainn
Lagrange is #1.

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 4th, 2019, 11:23 am
by Cuchulainn
Lagrange is #1.
Poincare was a polymath.

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 17th, 2019, 9:10 pm
by Cuchulainn
From LI

Folks, machines do not, "learn." Let's endeavor to stop using that word. It has a very specific meaning in Psychology. They just make, "adjustments," shall we agree to say? They certainly do not even come close to imitating the learning process in humans, and thankfully they never will!

And they don't, "think," either. Time to adjust our use of these terms.
 


i.e. less handwaving, more precise mathematical definitions.

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 17th, 2019, 10:32 pm
by Alan
Physicists and mathematicians

The former tend to have their heroes, mathematicians not. Why?

Are there no more (cult) heroes and even if there were, would mathematicians even care?

I think I know how mathematicians tick, but it would be cool to know what rocks the boat for physicists?

Genuinely interested.

Feynman was very good at explaining what rocks the world for him -- and many physicists generally. 

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 17th, 2019, 11:58 pm
by katastrofa
Feynman was such a majadero. That or his pseudo-mathematical derivations of negative probabilities - like a Monte Carlo discovery generator, he occasionally said something which turned out to be right, at least approximately (e.g. our quantum computers have nothing to do with his idea, but he's still cited in every related text).

Regarding ML, many psychologists make career out of shouting that machines can't learn and never will. I think the results in RL are impressive and sooner or later they will realise learning as psychologists understand it. Using Feynman's catchy phrase, they are now at the level of a cargo-cult learning. I'd say they are now at the level of Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine - we need a plane. Termodynamics. New science. You get it? I'm sorry, I'm falling asleep.

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 18th, 2019, 12:32 pm
by Cuchulainn
With maths, it's more like a bombshell.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaKyvr4ar1Q

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 18th, 2019, 12:40 pm
by Cuchulainn
Physicists and mathematicians

The former tend to have their heroes, mathematicians not. Why?

Are there no more (cult) heroes and even if there were, would mathematicians even care?

I think I know how mathematicians tick, but it would be cool to know what rocks the boat for physicists?

Genuinely interested.

Feynman was very good at explaining what rocks the world for him -- and many physicists generally. 
Reasoning by analogy is dangerous because physics insights (e.g. negative probabilities) do not always work in mathematics. But so many researchers accepted his comments as gospel. How many silly discussions did we not have on this forum?

TBH, Feynman turns me off.

Re: Philosophy of Mathematics

Posted: December 19th, 2019, 5:24 am
by Alan
I think Feynman is great. But, personality aside, his main achievement was his diagram approach to Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) and general quantum field theory. His diagrammatic 'cookbook' for quantum field theory made the subject accessible to not just a half-dozen experts, but graduate students -- so ten's of thousands. If he'd done nothing after that, he would still be considered a giant in the field for that achievement. 

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