About

I am a mathematics writer based in the United States. I write extensively on various mathematical subjects. My online mathematical writings are scattered across a number of blogs (all my math blogs are by subject). This website serves as an online hub of my mathematical contents.

Climbing Mount Everest is of course an exciting adventure. A successful climb leads to a tremendous sense of accomplishment. It is a great trophy since it is the tallest mountain. But it can also be a deadly adventure if climbers are not careful or if there are unforeseen hazardous conditions (e.g. avalanches).

Climbing Math Everest is a math adventure but is usually not dangerous and almost always leads to good outcome. For Climbing Math Everest, success can come in many forms. It can mean career progress after passing the required math courses for a degree program or a school curriculum. It can mean building up number skills, which usually leads to becoming a better consumer or financial decision maker. With better math and quantitative skills, a wider array of career paths open up.

Other reasons for Climbing Math Everest: finding real life applications of math and solving hard problems that no one had done before.

Indeed, there are math problems that had resisted attempts at solving from the best mathematical minds through the centuries. Some of these problems have a $1 million prize (e.g. the Millennium Problems).

Some people think of finding the next largest known prime number as Climbing Math Everest. The best thing about this Everest is that there is another Everest to conquer after one is successfully scaled. Euclid proved over 2,000 years ago that there are infinitely many such Everest.

The current world record of the largest prime number is 2^{74207281}-1, which has 22,338,618 decimal digits (scaled in January 2016). If this number were to be typed out in a standard Times Roman 12-point font, the digits from start to end would cover a distance of more than 38 miles. All the digits would fill more than seven bibles.

The theoretical aspects of prime numbers are even taller Math Everest. Many problems involving prime numbers are easy to state but hard to prove. Some have withstood attempts at solving for centuries (twin prime conjecture and Goldbach conjecture come to mind).

Conquering Math Everest, from both an aesthetic and practical standpoint, can just be as exhilarating as the conquering of Mount Everest.

Climbing Math Everest is not necessarily about solving big problems. Everest is personal. Everyone has his/her own definition of Everest. It may be fulfilling the math requirements for school. It may be pursuing math skills to open up more career paths. For most mathematicians, Math Everest is no where near the height of the Millennium Problems. Math Everest is whatever gives you the most meaning and fulfillment.

My writing is my small attempt to provide math contents that can help people appreciate math at various levels. In addition to mathematical interests, I have also started writing three math blogs that focus on general audience. Writing math for general audience that is interesting and engaging is not easy, which is definitely one of my Math Everest.

About Me

I earned my PhD in mathematics from Auburn University. I did my dissertation in general topology under the direction of Gary Gruenhage. Here’s my entry in math genealogy. My Erdos number is 3, through the following path:

    Erdos – M. E. Rudin – Gruenhage – Ma

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\copyright 2017 – Dan Ma