In Which I Feel A Little Picked On


This is not a proper Reading the Comics post, since there’s nothing mathematical about this. But it does reflect a project I’ve been letting linger for months and that I intend to finish before starting the abbreviated Mathematics A-to-Z for this year.

Panel labelled Monday-Friday. A man sitting in an easy chair says, 'I'll get to it this weekend.' Panel labelled Weekend. The man sitting in the easy chair says, 'I need to relax. I'll do it next week.'
Jeff Stahler’s Moderately Confused for the 12th of June, 2021. Essays in which I discuss Moderately Confused, usually for its mathematical content, are at this link.

In the meanwhile. I have a person dear to me who’s learning college algebra. For no reason clear to me this put me in mind of last year’s essay about Extraneous Solutions. These are fun and infuriating friends. They’re created when you follow the rules about how you can rewrite a mathematical expression without changing its value. And yet sometimes you do these rewritings correctly and get a would-be solution that isn’t actually one. So I’d shared some thoughts about why they appear, and what tedious work keeps them from showing up.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

3 thoughts on “In Which I Feel A Little Picked On”

  1. I still have my copy of Jacobson’s Basic Algebra I
    Took it the year I hit rock bottom.
    Every decade or so I pull it out & try to understand Principal Ideal Domains
    Not getting close.

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    1. I believe I still have mine, too. Also I remember having just enough of a handle on principal ideal domains to survive two tests and to skip over the part of my quals that touched them. … I might have become a successful mathematician if I’d done better with the subject back then. Maybe.

      Like

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