Nina's Stillwater Calendar

Thursday, March 8

Complex Analysis is Like Magic Tricks?

I have asserted, and provided some evidence to show, that topologists are like gypsies. Of course, they aren't the only wierd mathematicians. A professor in my department, Ullrich, has written a complex analysis book. Note to non-math people: complex analysis is sort of like calculus only with imaginary numbers like √-1 to deal with. My favorite line so far: "There's a fascinating intuitively plausible hand-waving solution to the [problem] in section 6 of this chapter, with many missing details. Actually with no details at all, not even definitions." So should I now claim that complex analysts are like hand-waving magicians? Or was this an aberration?

My friend Barbara has written down quite of lot of random and unexpected quotes by various professors. (She even wrote down a quote from me once. Does that make me a famous orator now?) Perhaps she can shed some light on whether Ullrich's line represents an overall pattern or is an isolated occurrence. Based on how I feel during complex analysis lectures twice a week, I am inclined to believe the former.


Brian said...

No, that sounds pretty much the norm for Dr. Ullrich. I can't say whether that's the norm outside of Ullrich's imaginary world (where everything is a porcupine), however.

George said...

Interesting post... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your blog. I'm sure I'd visit here more often.
from Magic Tricks.