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http://ark143.org/not
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:06:31 +0000hourly1https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.34Comment on Pedagogy by David Pierce
http://ark143.org/not/pedagogy/#comment-982
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:06:31 +0000http://ark143.org/not/?p=10#comment-982I have attended at least two talks by mathematics professors in Istanbul in which I asked, “Can you give an example?” and the answer was “No.” In one case, the work was motivated not by examples, but by (I think) a wish to generalize known theorems. In the other case, I think the aim was to produce one thing, an isomorphism; there was nothing to give an example of. Many mathematicians seem happy to define a class of structures and prove things about it, without showing any interest in what structures (if any) actually belong to the class. This seems to me like an odd way to do mathematics; but the observed fact is that some mathematics *is* done that way!
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