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Re: [univalg] Fields that are are "trivial, unscholarly or naive"

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  • Keith A. Kearnes
    ... To clarify my sentence, the type of `research by amateur mathematicians that I was referring to as `trivial, unscholarly or naive is, e.g., `proofs that
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 2, 2007
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      > Keith A. Kearnes wrote:
      ...
      >> Moreover, there are `areas' where the only `research' is being done by
      >> amateur mathematicians whose work is trivial, unscholarly or naive.
      >
      > Melvin Henriksen wrote:
      ...
      > Part of what inspired me to write There are too many B.A.D
      > mathematicians" was the discovery that there are (allegedly) non
      > specialized journals whose editorial boards regard whole fields of
      > mathematics as "trivial, unscholarly or naive"
      -------------------------------------------------------------------
      To clarify my sentence, the type of `research' by amateur mathematicians
      that I was referring to as `trivial, unscholarly or naive' is, e.g.,
      `proofs that it is possible to trisect a general angle by straightedge and
      compass'.

      To further clarify my previous message, I do agree with (what I think was)
      the main point of Bill Lampe's letter: the AMS should be reminded that it
      has a duty to represent a diverse spectrum of mathematical exploration. My
      only objection was to the mention of money.

      Yours,
      Keith

      --
      Keith A. Kearnes Email: kearnes@...
      Department of Mathematics WWW: http://spot.colorado.edu/~kearnes
      University of Colorado Direct Phone: (303) 492-5203
      395 UCB Dept Phone: (303) 492-3613
      Boulder, CO 80309-0395 Fax: (303) 492-7707
    • Bill Rowan
      Hello everyone, Perhaps something along the lines of what Bill Lampe proposed (reminding the audience that we pay dues too) would not be too immoderate. I
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 2, 2007
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        Hello everyone,

        Perhaps something along the lines of what Bill Lampe proposed (reminding
        the audience that we pay dues too) would not be too immoderate. I wonder
        if we could point out that we vote in AMS elections? We could back this
        up by making a credible attempt to influence a society election. I don't
        think we would want to try to turn the AMS upside down, all we want is to
        make the powers that be feel they need to take our feelings and interests
        into account, as well as those of other constituencies.

        One way to do this would be to form a committee to select candidates for
        endorsement, and then to endorse them in the context of a controversy,
        say, the controversy over publication of Fred Wehrung's paper. We would
        then all vote as a blok for the endorsed candidates.

        Selection of the candidates to be endorsed might not be such a daunting
        task: all we really need is to be believed to have influenced the
        election, so we could just pick candidates in oddball fields who would
        agree to publicly thank us for our support, if they won.

        Bill Rowan
      • melvin henriksen
        This sounds like a fascinating idea. We could pose as a question to each of the candidates how they feel about the question of whether editorial boards of non
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 2, 2007
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          This sounds like a fascinating idea. We could pose as a question to
          each of the candidates how they feel about the question of whether
          editorial boards of non specialized mathematics journals should have the
          authority to reject papers of high quality because they do not like
          certain mathematical specialties. The action of the board of JAMS should
          be mentioned as as example of such (undesirable) conduct.
          Melvin Hentiksen

          Bill Rowan wrote:
          >
          > Hello everyone,
          >
          > Perhaps something along the lines of what Bill Lampe proposed (reminding
          > the audience that we pay dues too) would not be too immoderate. I wonder
          > if we could point out that we vote in AMS elections? We could back this
          > up by making a credible attempt to influence a society election. I don't
          > think we would want to try to turn the AMS upside down, all we want is to
          > make the powers that be feel they need to take our feelings and interests
          > into account, as well as those of other constituencies.
          >
          > One way to do this would be to form a committee to select candidates for
          > endorsement, and then to endorse them in the context of a controversy,
          > say, the controversy over publication of Fred Wehrung's paper. We would
          > then all vote as a blok for the endorsed candidates.
          >
          > Selection of the candidates to be endorsed might not be such a daunting
          > task: all we really need is to be believed to have influenced the
          > election, so we could just pick candidates in oddball fields who would
          > agree to publicly thank us for our support, if they won.
          >
          > Bill Rowan
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          >
          > No virus found in this incoming message.
          > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
          > Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.6/708 - Release Date: 3/2/2007 4:19 PM
          >
        • Jiri Sichler
          Melvin s approach to the matter could very well be the right one. Best, Jiri Sichler
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 2, 2007
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            Melvin's approach to the matter could very well be the right one.

            Best,
            Jiri Sichler

            --------------------------------------

            On Fri, 2 Mar 2007, melvin henriksen wrote:

            > This sounds like a fascinating idea. We could pose as a question to
            > each of the candidates how they feel about the question of whether
            > editorial boards of non specialized mathematics journals should have the
            > authority to reject papers of high quality because they do not like
            > certain mathematical specialties. The action of the board of JAMS should
            > be mentioned as as example of such (undesirable) conduct.
            > Melvin Hentiksen
            >
            > Bill Rowan wrote:
            > >
            > > Hello everyone,
            > >
            > > Perhaps something along the lines of what Bill Lampe proposed (reminding
            > > the audience that we pay dues too) would not be too immoderate. I wonder
            > > if we could point out that we vote in AMS elections? We could back this
            > > up by making a credible attempt to influence a society election. I don't
            > > think we would want to try to turn the AMS upside down, all we want is to
            > > make the powers that be feel they need to take our feelings and interests
            > > into account, as well as those of other constituencies.
            > >
            > > One way to do this would be to form a committee to select candidates for
            > > endorsement, and then to endorse them in the context of a controversy,
            > > say, the controversy over publication of Fred Wehrung's paper. We would
            > > then all vote as a blok for the endorsed candidates.
            > >
            > > Selection of the candidates to be endorsed might not be such a daunting
            > > task: all we really need is to be believed to have influenced the
            > > election, so we could just pick candidates in oddball fields who would
            > > agree to publicly thank us for our support, if they won.
            > >
            > > Bill Rowan
            > >
            > >
            > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
            > >
            > > No virus found in this incoming message.
            > > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
            > > Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.6/708 - Release Date: 3/2/2007 4:19 PM
            > >
            >
            >
          • George Janelidze
            Dear Colleagues, It is my first message to you, and I therefore hesitate a bit to enter such a long conversation concerning the publication of an important
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 3, 2007
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              Dear Colleagues,



              It is my first message to you, and I therefore hesitate a bit to enter such
              a long conversation concerning the publication of an important paper that I
              have not read. Nevertheless may I make a comment suggesting a new (?)
              formulation of the problem we deal with?



              Reading again David Hilbert's "No one will drive us from the paradise which
              Cantor created for us" let me ask: do those who reject papers in abstract
              mathematics know anything about that paradise? I claim they do not, and they
              still think that mathematics is about numbers, and that every theorem about
              any kind of a mathematical structure is only technical unless that structure
              either is a number system or is closely related to a number system. And if
              we take ANY "very prestigious" mathematical journal, is there ANY paper
              about abstract mathematics in recent years? Please take indeed any such
              journal that is also old enough and compare the topics of 2007 with, say,
              the topics of 1957.



              And exactly because they do not know about Cantor's paradise, no letter will
              convince them that solving any problem in lattice theory deserves a
              publication. And the same is true not just for lattice theory, but also for
              universal algebra in general, and for general topology, and for category
              theory.



              Writing that letter to AMS is still a good idea, but we should understand
              the global problem: the very existence of abstract mathematics is in danger.
              It is in danger because it has too many enemies, from "Impact factors" and
              "Applications" to pseudo-solutions of the "classical" problems that nobody
              can understand (which implies that everything we are doing is trivial since
              it can be understood!).



              George Janelidze
            • Brian Davey
              Dear all, For two years I have been the advisor of a young and brilliant doctoral student in lattice theory/universal algebra and I often find myself worrying
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 24, 2007
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                Dear all,

                For two years I have been the advisor of a young and brilliant doctoral
                student in lattice theory/universal algebra and I often find myself
                worrying like hell about his future. I believe that a number of us are
                also in this case, with the general idea that it's going to be much
                harder for the youngsters than it might already have been for us. So I
                think that what the younger members of our mathematical community
                (Petar, Jonathan) are telling us should really be taken into account.

                Fred

                --

                Friedrich Wehrung
                LMNO, CNRS UMR 6139
                Universit\'e de Caen, Campus 2
                D\'epartement de Math\'ematiques, BP 5186
                14032 Caen cedex
                FRANCE

                e-mail: wehrung@...
                alternate e-mail: fwehrung@...

                URL: http://www.math.unicaen.fr/~wehrung
                <http://www.math.unicaen.fr/~wehrung>
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