Here’s a list of topics currently available. Updated on 23 Apr 2015.
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Elementary Number Theory
Notes from a short series of lectures on elementary number theory.
- Homework (22 Oct 2011).
- 3-part series on very basic modular arithmetic. No background required. It includes some exercises.
- Number Theory and Calculus/Analysis : gives a very brief idea of p-adic analysis.
- Homework (29 Oct 2011)
- A short two-parter: motivated by concepts in group theory.
- Number Theory Homework (2 Weeks)
- 4-part series on quadratic residues, including quadratic reciprocity.
- Sample Problem Solving + Homework Hints : more examples of problem solving in number theory.
- Modular Arithmetic Deluxe Edition : on means of extending modular arithmetic to rational numbers in some instances.
Thoughts on a Problem
A series of posts on the thought processes behind problem-solving.
Algebra in Olympiad Problems
By algebra, we mean elementary algebra, not abstract algebra.
- On symmetric polynomials and their applications to solving Olympiad-type problems.
- Power series and generating functions, with applications to solving combinatorial problems.
Linear Algebra (Misc)
Various notes on linear algebra concepts.
- Matrices and Linear Algebra
- Linear Algebra: Inner Products
- Why Do We Need Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors?
- Estimating Sums Via Integration
- Pick’s Theorem and Some Interesting Applications
- Polynomial Multiplication, Karatsuba and Fast Fourier Transform
- Random Walk and Heat Equation
- Some motivation for the definition of curvature.
- Series on multivariate calculus, which places emphasis on the idea that no particular set of parameters or coordinates should be given undue focus.
An attempt to explain thermodynamics in a (somewhat) mathematical approach.
- Thermodynamics for Mathematicians (I)
- Thermodynamics for Mathematicians (II)
- Thermodynamics for Mathematicians (III)
- Thermodynamics for Mathematicians (IV)
- Kinetic Theory, Entropy and Information Theory
Combinatorial Game Theory (Lecture Series)
This is a short course on CGT conducted in the first half of 2008, in NUS High School. Lectures 1-4 cover a simplified theory of impartial games, without going into full-fledged CGT. Lecture 5 is a slight diversion on loopy games. Lectures 6 onwards cover CGT in greater generality, which allows for the possibility of partial games. As a consequence, the materials in lectures 1-4 become a special case of this general theory.
[ The original course had an extra lesson on Dots-and-Boxes, but after reviewing the notes, I found some concepts poorly described, so it’s put on hold for now. ]
- Combinatorial Game Theory I : distinguishing between a winning & losing position.
- Combinatorial Game Theory II : solving Nim.
- Combinatorial Game Theory III : solving a “sum” of impartial games.
- Combinatorial Game Theory IV : solving take-and-break games.
- Combinatorial Game Theory Quiz 1
- Combinatorial Game Theory V : loopy games and games with draw.
- Combinatorial Game Theory VI : basic CGT concepts; game comparisons & Nim values.
- Combinatorial Game Theory VII : numbers in CGT; simplicity rule.
- Combinatorial Game Theory VIII : infinitesimals in CGT; toads-and-frogs game.
- Combinatorial Game Theory IX : number avoidance.
- Combinatorial Game Theory Quiz 2
- Combinatorial Game Theory X : canonical form of games.
- Combinatorial Game Theory XI : more examples of game computations.
- Combinatorial Game Theory XII : tinies and minies.
- Combinatorial Game Theory Quiz 3
Abstract Algebra: Group Theory
Two sets of notes on group theory. The term “casual introduction” may be a misnomer, since most of it is rather technical. That being said, I do attempt to motivate every definition and new concept. Whether or not the attempt has fulfilled its goal, that’s up to the reader to judge.
- Casual Introduction to Group Theory (1) : permutation group.
- Casual Introduction to Group Theory (2) : axioms of a group.
- Casual Introduction to Group Theory (3) : subgroups.
- Casual Introduction to Group Theory (4) : cosets + Lagrange’s theorem.
- Casual Introduction to Group Theory (5) : normal subgroups + group quotients.
- Casual Introduction to Group Theory (6) : group homomorphisms + isomorphism theorems.
- Intermediate Group Theory (0) : motivations + road map.
- Intermediate Group Theory (1) : group actions.
- Intermediate Group Theory (2) : Sylow’s theorems.
- Intermediate Group Theory (3) : automorphisms + semidirect products.
- Intermediate Group Theory (4) : determining structure of finite groups.
- Intermediate Group Theory (5) : free groups + relations.
- Intermediate Group Theory (6) : direct sums + direct products + universal properties.
Introduction to Ring Theory
A list of notes on ring theory. This tends to be a little fast-paced since there’re lots of parallels between basic group theory and basic ring theory.
- Introduction to Ring Theory (1) : definition and motivation.
- Introduction to Ring Theory (2) : subrings.
- Introduction to Ring Theory (3) : ideals and ring quotients.
- Introduction to Ring Theory (4) : ring homomorphisms and isomorphism theorems.
- Introduction to Ring Theory (5) : correspondence between ideals/subrings of R and those of R/I, Chinese Remainder Theorem.
- Introduction to Ring Theory (6) : table of summary.
- Introduction to Ring Theory (7) : polynomial rings.
- Introduction to Ring Theory (8) : matrix rings.
On Unique Factorisation Domains
A good start in algebraic number theory.
- Topics in Commutative Rings: Unique Factorisation (1) : finite factorisation.
- Topics in Commutative Rings: Unique Factorisation (2) : unique factorisation in rings.
- Topics in Commutative Rings: Unique Factorisation (3) : examples and sample computations.
Some notes on undergraduate level analysis (involving lots of ε-δ stuff).
- Sequence Convergence
- Basic Analysis: Sequence Convergence (1) : definition and basic properties of convergent sequences.
- Basic Analysis: Sequence Convergence (2) : more advanced properties, e.g. monotone convergence theorem, squeeze theorem.
- Basic Analysis: Sequence Convergence (3) : limits at ∞ or -∞; limits inferior and superior.
- Basic Analysis: Sequence Convergence (4) : convergent sums, absolute convergence, alternating sign series.
- Limits and Continuity
- Basic Analysis: Limits and Continuity (1) : definition and basic properties of limit of a function.
- Basic Analysis: Limits and Continuity (2) : advanced properties and definition of continuity.
- Basic Analysis: Limits and Continuity (3) : continuity in higher dimensions and greater generality, open subsets.
- Basic Analysis: Uniform Convergence : pointwise convergence and uniform convergence of a sequence of functions.
- Basic Analysis: Closed Subsets and Uniform Continuity : closed subsets of real line, uniform continuity of a function.
Typically includes algebraic combinatorics, e.g. group theory, representation theory.
- Burnside’s Lemma and Polya Enumeration Theorem : theory and lots of computational examples, useful in finding the number of objects up to symmetry.
Point Set Topology
Some notes on point-set topology. In this series, I attempt to provide motivation for every definition or concept.
- Basic Definitions
- Bases and Subbases : the equivalence of “generating sets” for topology.
- Subspaces : topology for a subset; ’nuff said.
- Product Spaces (I) : only covers product of finitely many spaces.
- Disjoint Unions
- Continuous Maps : maps which respect the underlying topologies of the spaces.
- Limits and Convergence : re-looks at limits from the point-of-view of topology; gives a nice “holistic” view of all limits.
- Nets and Points of Accumulation : nets are a useful generalisation of sequences, for topological spaces.
- Cauchy Sequences and Uniform Continuity
- Closure : the smallest closed subset containing a set S.
- Interior : the largest open subset contained in a set S.
- Product Spaces (II) : covers infinite products; uses universal properties quite a lot.
- Hausdorff Spaces and Dense Subsets : truth be told, not quite related concepts.
- Complete Metric Spaces : includes completion of a metric space.
- Sequentially Compact Spaces and Compact Spaces : attempts to motivate the concept of compact spaces.
- More on Compact Spaces
- Finite Intersection Property : a fascinating application of the compactness concept.
- One-Point Compactification and Locally Compact Spaces : locally compact criterion is essential for the one-point compactification to be Hausdorff.
- Connected Spaces
- Path-Connected Spaces
- Locally Connected and Locally Path-Connected Spaces
- Separation Axioms : (T1) to (T4); roughly speaking, these describe how close a topological space is to being metrisable.
- Topological Groups : groups whose underlying actions are continuous.
- Quotient Topology and Gluing : useful for constructing new topological spaces; again, the universal property is important.
- Quotients of Topological Groups : not quite as obvious as one might think; with topology involved, there’re always traps for the unwary.
- More on Algebra and Topology : a general article to cover various concepts in algebra and whether they still make sense when topology is added.
Representation Theory of Finite Groups
The first part talks about the “semisimple case”, where the base field has characteristic zero. The second part discusses modular representation theory and requires a significant amount of non-commutative algebra.
- Quick Guide to Character Theory (I): Foundation
- Quick Guide to Character Theory (II): Main Theory
- Quick Guide to Character Theory (III): Examples and Further Topics
For modular representation theory, see later.
Elementary Module Theory
An attempt to cover modules in the general context of non-commutative rings, including a discussion of linear algebra over division rings. Surprisingly, non-commutativity can actually clarify certain concepts. E.g. the dual of a left module is a right module. The series is not quite complete.
- Elementary Module Theory (I)
- Elementary Module Theory (II)
- Elementary Module Theory (III): Approaching Linear Algebra
- Elementary Module Theory (IV): Linear Algebra
Cohomology: Starting from Basics
A series of articles to talk about cohomology, beginning from the basic concept of Euler characteristics. Definitely unfinished, and I’m not quite sure how to proceed.
On non-commutative rings: the selection of topics is far from complete, but it’s primarily meant as a foundation to modular representation theory. I’m reasonably happy with the outcome. Please feel free to email me if you find any mistakes.
- Simple Modules
- Semisimple Rings and Modules
- Structure of Semisimple Rings
- Application to representation theory:
- Noetherian and Artinian Rings and Modules
- Radical of Module
- Composition Series
- Jacabson Radical
- Local Rings
- Krull-Schmidt Theorem
- Exact Sequences and the Grothendieck Group
- Hom Functor
- On tensor products
- Projective Modules and Artinian Rings
- Projective Modules and the Grothendieck Group
- Modular Representation Theory (I)
- Modular Representation Theory (II)
- Modular Representation Theory (III)
- Idempotents and Decomposition
- Modular Representation Theory (IV)