Category Archives: admin

Spring 2010

As in previous years, I will maintain a blog for my two courses on Algebraic Geometry and Algebraic Number Theory. You can browse through some of the previous years’ entries for a general guide to usage. I feel it’s been considered a fairly helpful means of communication about the material covered, so please do take full advantage of it!

Internet

One other important point:

I’ve been having a rather exasperating 10 days trying to get BT to activate my broadband service in a new house, sadly unsuccessfully. So I may not be able to get to email questions until Monday afternoon. The people who intended to send them could also avail themselves of the special office hour.

Proofs

I thought I would post a short email exchange, just in case other people are confused by this issue as well.

————————————————————————————–

Email:

hi, this is where the confusion arose as you mention some proofs specifically but at the bottom where it says “Needless to say, it is assumed that you will have a full
understanding of the material surrounding the results listed above, especially the definitions and the examples.” does this include the proofs of the theorems?

>
> For the answer to this, look at the course summary on the course webpage.
>
> Best,
>
> MK
>

>> do we need to know the proofs that are in the online notes but not in the
>> class notes?

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The answer to the last question is: Yes, of course you need to know the proofs. The paragraph quoted was put in to emphasize that you need to know *more* than the proofs. The obvious intention was to discourage people from pure memorization, which has been a topic of discussion since I taught the course last year. Let me once again refer people to the the posts on the blog surrounding last year’s exam. The exchange reproduced above seems to illustrate once again a tendency to indulge in a `minimal reading’ of requirements. Be careful. to spell it out once more, what is meant is:

`You need to know the proofs and understand them fully. This means you need *also* to understand the material surrounding the theorems and their proofs.’

New design

In keeping with my serious image 🙂 , I suppose I should disavow any concern with the mere appearance of this site. The reason for changing was that the previous format displayed the comments in very small type, making it a bit hard to read mathematics. Obviously, popular blogs are not constructed primarily to facilitate scientific communication.

Another remark on travel

Because I’ve recently begun posting links to conferences or seminars I go to, I thought I’d add a clarifying comment. The purpose of it, at least consciously, was not to show off that I’m a busy guy or something of that sort. It’s rather that for any serious mathematician, a complex web of obligations makes demands that oftentimes take time away from efforts aimed towards the direct benefit of students at his or her home institution. For example, I was absent for several days of this week because my two post-graduate students at Purdue were having their thesis defense, the last step in the process of obtaining their doctoral degrees. But then, by making the nature of such activities transparent, I hoped that my immediate absence might be rendered more understandable. In fact, I thought it might even create a better sense of global connectedness for the students at UCL in that teachers, after all, are shared the world over, hopefully to the benefit of the whole global community. (Probably I flatter myself.) This is also why I encourage students at UCL to come to lectures delivered by visiting academics or to try in general to take part in academic activities that go beyond the classroom.

Travel

This is to let students know that I am at a conference in Bangalore, India. I will have occasional access to the internet and will try to get to your questions as soon as possible, but you have to expect some delays until 5 April.

Submission form

I’ve finally figured out how to make a submission form for your questions. Hopefully, this will facilitate communication. Only text is allowed, so use some clear and approximately consistent methodology for typing mathematics. If you have a sophisticated question, you can send a PDF file via email. As for comments to previous posts, I presume you already know what to do.

MK

More about this blog

It seems reasonable at this point to extend an invitation to others who may have mathematical questions that are suitable for discussions on this blog. For example, students in my tutorial groups are strongly encouraged to use this medium. However, even if you’re enrolled in some other mathematics course at UCL, or, for that matter, a random student who found out about this site and wishes to pose a question, feel free to send it to me using the submission form or by email and I’ll do my best to reply. The email address to use is

myfirstname.mylastname@ucl.ac.uk

The email option is useful if your question is complicated and you need to attach a file.

Best,

Minhyong Kim

Dear Students,

The intention of this blog is to facilitate communication with my current students. I expect many of the discussions to start from replies to email queries on specific mathematical issues. But if there are other general topics you would like me to comment on, please let me know using the submission form, by email, or by attaching a comment to a post here.

I will include occasionally some remarks on the topics that come up in class, so check back frequently.

MK