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  •  I had to google (none)
    "abstract algebra".  Lol.  I just glanced through some stuff, and said, "Oh, set theory."

    It sounds like the issues are similar to those called "meta-logic" in philosophy.  (Sorry, I know I should know this already, but I'm a lowly grad student.)

    "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

    by LithiumCola on Sat Nov 12, 2005 at 10:14:24 AM PST

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    •  Me too... (none)
      Because I don't know the meaning of english words !
      What I saw on google seems to be what we call the "Théorie des Ensembles" (or why this blog cannot be an Abelian ring, because it's not commutative... :-) )

      Oh well... I really don't have the vocabulary for some low joke !

      An older friend of mine was a math searcher (US Navy) and a bench astronaut for Gemini... He's retired and makes a nice living in translating mathematic books from english to french and vice-versa... It did surprise me at first, as I always thought that mathematics were a sort of universal language, but his explanations convinced me that, even in formulas, we don't really write it the same way !

      Too bad the poor Evariste Galois was killed too young!

      "What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night" A.E. Housman

      by Margouillat on Sat Nov 12, 2005 at 10:35:40 AM PST

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      •  Abelian... (none)
        ...is derived from Henrik Abel, a contemporary of Galois.  Both worked on the same problem.   Both sent their work to Cauchy to have it reviewed.  Cauchy screwed them both.  Galois outlined a theory about how to find the roots of polynomials, then went out and got killed in a duel, which although nominally about a woman, was more probably about his politics.  Cauchy supressed the work, because he disagreed with Evariste's politics.  Abel, a Norwegian, submitted a proof that there can be no general method created to find the roots of polynomials of degree greater than 4 that uses only the operations common to arithmetic (+, -, *, /) and the extraction of nth roots (called Abel's Theorem).  Cauchy misplaced the paper.  Abel died of consumption before receiving notice that he had obtained a faculty position.

        Robyn

        Teacher's Lounge opens each Saturday, sometime between 10am and 11am EST

        by rserven on Sat Nov 12, 2005 at 10:57:04 AM PST

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        •  Time flies... (none)
          And we still have all those "Cauchy"..!
          While I'm not at all in algebra (learned that long, long ago), I still find pleasure in re-reading the Bourbaki books... Made for fun and enlightenment by several mathematicians and writers... I wonder if there is a english translation ?

          "What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night" A.E. Housman

          by Margouillat on Sat Nov 12, 2005 at 11:03:32 AM PST

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    •  It is every bit the study of logic and meta-logic (none)
      There was a joke among my colleagues in grad school, which I mentioned the other day.  
      When the engineer has questions, he asks the physicist.  When the physicist has questions, he asks the mathematical analysist.  When the analysist has questions, he asks the algebraist.  When the algebraist has questions, he asks God.  If physicist's questions concern quantum theory, insert the statistician between the physicist and the analysist.  The topologist points out that the problem is either more or less complex than it appears, depending on one's point of view.
      The part about the algeraist talking to God is really about the algebraist consulting the foundations of mathematics and logic.

      Teacher's Lounge opens each Saturday, sometime between 10am and 11am EST

      by rserven on Sat Nov 12, 2005 at 12:03:45 PM PST

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